Opening a bed and breakfast, an achievable dream

Many dream of a life changing experience, in an idyllic environment. Starting a bed and breakfast or a holiday cottage is one of them.

France, 66 million inhabitants, 84.5 million tourists

And why not in France? In fact, France is the 1st tourist destination in the world with 84.5 million arrivals of international tourists

Among these visitors, more than 2 million, of which 20% are foreigners, go to B&B and holiday cottages, because they are welcoming places that continue to seduce. However, we notice that this increasingly demanding clientele is turning towards high-end bed and breakfasts. The charm of the house, the calm environment, the quality of the services, the conscientious decoration are all required criteria.

Life project vs economic projectchambres-hote-70251vm

It is not a crime to dream, while keeping both feet on the ground.

This life project can be perfectly realized by optimizing a property while obtaining an additional income. An operation that allows, in the long term, to increase and enhance its heritage.


 Opening a bed and breakfast or a gite in 5 steps

  1. Buy a guest house or a gîte

The property is primarily the key to success. Groupe Mercure has selected the most beautiful properties, located in the most beautiful regions of France, acclaimed by tourists from all over the world.

Their geographical location as well as their charm have a strong impact on the attendance of the bed and breakfast or the gite.




 This charming property is ideally located next to Salers in the Cantal region, one of the most beautiful villages in France.

• 18 bedrooms, professional kitchen, swimming pool, terrace with view.

(Reference 70235vm)



moulin-renove-bourgogne-1297vmIdeal for a B&B activity, this renovated mill is located in the area of Chablis, the golden gateway to Burgundy.

• 9 bedrooms, beautiful volumes, original features, land with millrace, islands.

(Reference 1297vm)




On the coast of Goëlo, 2 steps away from the historical center of Paimpol, a city full of charm and animated all year round, an authentic and elegant guest house.

• 9 bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, veranda, possibility to install a SPA and a gym

(Reference 8vm)

Côte d'Azur     

 maison-hote-cote-azur-169vmBetween Grasse and Nice, in Roquefort les Pins, this guest house is located at 10 minutes from the sea and close to the tourist sites, in a calm setting.

• 10 renovated bedrooms, professional kitchen, swimming pool with terrace, parking space.

(Reference 169vm) 


demeure-XIX-ile-de-france-21083vmIn the heart of a private golf course, at 30 minutes from Paris and 10 minutes from Disneyland, this 19th century residence is ideally located to attract a demanding clientele.

• 5 bedrooms, large volumes, comfortable house.

(Reference 21083vm)



Amas-provencal-montpellier-59964vmt 30 min from Uzès, one of the most beautiful villages of France, this superb provencal farmhouse offers a splendid view on the Cevennes. Ideal for a top-of-the-range guest room activity.

• 9 bedrooms, outbuildings, heated swimming pool, terrace.

(Reference 59964vm)

Nord Pas de Calais

Ipropriete-gite-62284vmdeally located in Touquet-Paris-Plage and near its large white sandy beaches, this beautiful restored property includes a gite adjoining the house.

• 7 bedrooms, park of 2 hectares, reception room.

(Reference 62284vm)



gite-haut-de-gamme-normandie-41795vmIn the Mont-Saint-Michel bay, this charming house has been tastefully renovated and offers to the guest's comfort and top-of-the-range services.

• 5 bedrooms, heated pool with summer bar, billiards, library.

(Reference 41795vm)

Pays de la Loire

maison-de-maitre-pays-de-la-loire-152vmAt 50 km from Tours, in Château du Loir, this Manor House is located on a domain of 4 hectares.

• 2 gites of 90 m² each, covered and heated swimming pool, SPA, garages.

(Reference 152vm)


Renovated old mill - PicardieVery charming and tastefully renovated old mill from the XVIIIth century

  • Located in Compiègne (65 km from Paris). Ideal for a top-of-the-range B&B activity. 12 bedrooms, including 4 en suite bedrooms, an outbuilding of about 200 m², a beautiful kitchen, a billiard room, a gym, a 4 car garage, a large park with vegetable garden, grassland...

    (Reference 80373vm)


maison-caractere-restauree-14550vmIn the heart of the Poitevin marshland, this restored character house of is located in a picturesque village.

• 2 restored gites of 125 m ² each, swimming pool

(Reference 14550vm)



villa-provence-12121vm In the Var, this exceptional villa offers a view on the Mount Saint Victoire, and is luxuriously fitted.

• 2 suites converted into a flat, heated swimming pool, equipped kitchen, terrace of 600 m ², enclosed and tree-filled land of 2 hectares.

(Reference 12121vm)


presbythere-oloron-sainte-marie-64928vmOn the border of the "National Park of the Pyrenees" and 100km from Biarritz, in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, this former presbytery has been converted into a guest room.

• 6 ensuite bedrooms, view on the Pyrenees, plot of 900 m², possible to create a swimming pool.

(Reference 64928vm)


chambre-hote-savoie-3351vmIn Savoie, in Albertville, this top-of-the-range guest room was renovated in 2015 by an architect.

• 5 suites of very high standing, semi-professional kitchen, swimming pool, garage, helipad, panoramic view

(Reference 3351vm)


gite-limousin-32436vmBetween "the Regional Park of Brenne" and the "Natural Park of Périgord", this restored mill is located in an exceptional environment of water and greenery.

• Gîte of 120 m², enclosed park, 1st category river.

(Reference 32436vm)



 2. Choose the structure type

The functioning differs between guest rooms and gites, but legally and fiscally, these two activities are similar.


chambre-villa-prestige-12121vmA guest room is defined as a furnished room which is located in the main residence of the inhabitant in order to accommodate tourists, without exceeding more than 5 rooms to rent.

It is generally combined with the "table d'hôte", which provides additional income.





The 29,000 guest rooms represent only 1% of all beds in France.

This indicates that the high-end market is a good opportunity.




The gite is generally a house or an independent and furnished accommodation near the main house of the owners.

In France, there are more than 169,000 gîtes, all located in rural areas.


 3. The steps to open a B&B or a gîte



Declaration at the town hall

Because it is a tourist structure, a bed and breakfast or a gîte must be declared to the town hall of the city via a "Cerfa form n°14004*02."


Registration at the CFE (Center of business formalities)

In order to provide invoices to the hosts, the guest room or the gîte also need to be declared to the CFE, in order to receive a company identification number.


Registration at the RCS (Business and firm register)

To be formalized, the opening of a B&B or a gîte need to be registered at the RCS.


 4. Financial aid to improve B&B and gites

Financial assistance, especially for major renovation work, can be given through the local authority, the county council or the regional council. We must not neglect the European Funds.


 5. The interest of certification labels

One of the keys to success is the presence in tourism organizations. This reassures the clientele about the quality of the services and the place. The 2 main networks are "Gîtes de France" and "Clévacances".