How to book accommodation for the 2024 Olympic Games

Once you have reserved your tickets for the Olympic and/or Paralympic Games, the next step is to find a place to stay in Paris or in another French city hosting the Games. What types of accommodation are available? How can you book them? What are your rights if the hotel cancels? This article displays everything you need to know about booking accommodation in France for the 2024 Olympic Games.

 

If you have booked an accommodation along the river Seine, near the venue for the opening ceremony of the Games, you will need a digital certificate in the form of a QR code. This QR code as well as an identity document will be compulsory to move around the grey zones on foot from the 18 to 26 July 2024. You must register on the online platform Pass Jeux – Official Website (pass-jeux.gouv.fr) to download the QR code. This will allow public authorities to control the flow of people and ensure the safety of the area around the competition venues.

For your stay in France, you have the option of booking:

  • a hotel room,
  • a furnished room or flat,
  • a campsite pitch, a mobile home, a cabin or a bungalow,
  • a guest room in a bed and breakfast (B&B),
  • a bed or room in a youth hostel…

To find accommodation, you can contact the Tourist Office of Paris or of the other cities hosting this events, use a holiday rental agency or check out accommodation rental websites.

If you choose to book through an online platform or ad sites, be aware that they are only intermediaries between you and the landlord or hotelier and cannot in principle be held responsible for any problems with the accommodation. Be particularly careful: the flat presented on the site may not be the one you dreamed of.

Tip: Feel free to contact the hotel or the rental property owner directly to compare such aspects as price, terms of cancellation, room/property features and breakfast with what the booking platform offers. Platform service fees can be a substantial additional cost.

Before confirming your reservation, you should make sure to read the hotel’s general terms and conditions of sale to know your rights in the event of a cancellation or any other modification to your reservation.

Before booking an apartment, room or bungalow for your stay in France, make sure that you have the following information:

  • the address, surface area, number of main rooms and other features of the accommodation (e.g. it is on a high floor with no elevator),
  • whether it contains a bathroom/WC,
  • its condition and state of maintenance,
  • the amenities provided (e.g. fridge, oven, TV, bed sheets),
  • the rental price,
  • whether the price includes e.g. breakfast, cleaning/housekeeping, bed linen,
  • whether or not pets are allowed.

Also check if the accommodation has a label (gîte de france...).

If you rent a furnished tourist accommodation (from an individual or an agency), a detailed description must be provided to you before the rental starts.

Good to know: Hotel operators in France do not have the right to refuse accommodation to families with children (Articles L.225-1 to 225-4 of the French Penal Code). However, hotel operators may try to circumvent this stipulation by telling potential guests with families that the hotel is fully booked. If you have any doubts about the reasons for refusing your booking, you will be required to provide proof that the hotel operator acted in bad faith and, where appropriate, need to file a complaint for discrimination.

No, the hotel star rating system varies from country to country. A three-star hotel in France may not meet the same criteria as a three-star hotel in Italy, Spain, Germany, etc.

In France, hotels can choose to be rated based on the criteria established by Atout France, the country’s tourism development agency. In this case, the number of stars is determined by the four categories below:

  • The standard of amenities/facilities
  • The quality of customer service
  • Best environmental practices
  • Best practices for catering for guests with disabilities

To check the rating of your accommodation, visit the Atout France website (in French only).

Be sure that you do not confuse the rating of an accommodation with the stars given by other travelers in their online reviews.

Tip: Hotels can also have certification labels. For example, Tourisme & Handicap certification is given to hotels that provide a high standard of service meeting the specific needs of guests with disabilities, and the EU Ecolabel certifies that hotels have implemented certain environmentally friendly measures.

The deposit (dépôt de garantie but also often called caution in French) is an amount of money that the owner of a rental property may ask you to pay before the rental starts to cover any damage that may occur during your stay.

While the owner can cash the deposit, it must be returnedto you after your departure if no damages or need for repairs were reported at the time of the departure inspection of the rental property (état de lieux de sortie).

It is important to note that if repairs are required based on the information contained in the arrival inspection report (état de lieux d’entrée), and if their amount is greater than the deposit, you will have to pay the difference. Always ask for proof of the repairs made (such as an invoice from craftsperson).

If you choose to rent an apartment in Paris or elsewhere in France, the rental property owner may require that you provide proof of insurance. In France, the most typical policy is comprehensive home insurance (assurance multirisque habitation), which covers you in the event of fire, explosion or water damage. Any other damage you may cause (broken furniture, damaged or lost objects) is generally at your expense.

Contact your home insurance provider, for instance, to check if your policy can be extended to cover a holiday rental. Additionally, look into any coverage that may be offered through your bank card if you are using this form of payment for your accommodation.

You may be asked to pay a "tourist tax" on site.  All touristic, coastal and mountain towns can indeed impose this tax on tourist accommodation. The amount to be paid by tourists can be adapted each year by the cities, before the 1st of July.

Are subject to this tax :

  • palaces
  • tourist hotels
  • tourist residences
  • holiday villages
  • guest houses
  • outdoor accommodation (camping, caravan sites, etc.)
  • camping-car and tourist parking areas
  • marinas.

The amount to be paid depends on the category of the establishment and is charged per person and per night.

Some people may be exempt from paying this tax:

  • minors (under the age of 18)
  • beneficiaries of emergency accommodation or temporary (re)housing
  • holders of a seasonal employment contract in the town concerned

Be careful, since the 1st of January 2023, an additional tax of 34% is added to the tourist tax indicated in the Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône and Var departments.

You can check the amount of applicable the tax in the area you are visiting on this website.

The price displayed is inclusive of tax. It includes applicable taxes and all booking-related service fees. Any applicable taxes to be paid by the consumer that are not included in the price should be displayed near it.

Important:

  • Breakfast is not necessarily included in the price of a hotel room.
  • For tourist rental properties, you may be charged a cleaning fee. Ask for a breakdown of such fees.
  • The price of B&Bs includes, as a rule, the night’s stay, breakfast and housekeeping. Other meals (table d'hôtes) may be available for an additional charge.

Yes.

If you are travelling with a pet, you should ask before booking as not all hoteliers accept pets. Ask the question at the time of booking. Please note! A supplement may be required.

If the booking is made on a booking platform, a small icon (?) is usually visible indicating whether or not pets are allowed in this establishment.

If the hotel room or rental property does not match the advertised description (e.g. it has a view of a construction site instead of the Eiffel Tower or smells unpleasant), or if it does not contain the amenities stated in the rental contract, take photos of the discrepancies.

Then, get in touch with the owner in order to find an amicable solution. For instance, ask the owner to repair the appliance that is broken or to clean the rental property. If you booked your accommodation through an online platform, feel free to contact them and ask them to help you navigate the problem and reportthe condition of the accommodation.

If no solution can be found, ask the owner if anotherrentalproperty is available for you to stay in under the same rental agreement. If this is impossible, ask for a price reduction, a voucher for a future stay or any other solution that would be satisfactory to you.

Good to know: If the rental accommodation is unsafe or unsanitary (e.g. presence of cockroaches, loose electrical outlets, mould, windows that do not open), the city health department can be contacted.

If you are a non-French national, yes.

All foreign guests (over the age of 15, as children under 15 can be listed on the accompanying adult’s form) who are staying in a hotel, furnished accommodation, B&B, campsite, etc., must complete and sign the police information form upon their arrival. This form may be requested by the police and gendarmerie in the event of civil disorder or legal investigations/inquiries. The form must be retained by the hotel or lessor for six months. If you refuse to complete or sign the police information form, the hotel operator or lessor is entitled to refuse you entry to the property.

No.

First, it is important to know that you have no right of withdrawal when you book accommodation online. This means that you do not have a period of 14 days after the confirmation of your booking to change your mind.

If you cancel your booking, you will be subject to the terms of cancellation set by the hotel or in the rental agreement. There are several types of reservations. If you are not ready to commit fully to a reservation, opt for a reservation marketed as « flexible » . However, still refer to the general terms and conditions of sale at your specific establishment to be certain of your rights.

If your booking is non-refundable, even if your cancellation is due to circumstances beyond your control (such as an illness or the death of a loved one), you will not be automatically refunded. It is up to you to negotiate with the hotel r the rental property owner in order to obtain a refund or the postponement of your stay.

Yes, a hotel may cancel your booking prior to your arrival in France. The hotel is legally obliged to refund you, regardless of the reason for cancellation or type of booking.

If you paid in advance, the amount is either considered a deposit or a down payment. If the reservation does not specify whether it is a deposit or a down payment, the sums paid in advance are considered to be deposits.

When a hotel cancels your reservation, there are two scenarios.

Either you had a flexible reservation:

  • If you have paid a deposit, the hotel must refund you twice the amount of the deposit, provided it complies with the terms and conditions of sale.
  • If you have made a down payment, the hotel must only refund the amount once.
  • If you have neither paid a deposit nor a down payment, the hotel can cancel withtout giving you any compensation (he is not obliged to relocate you for instance). Check the terms and conditions for more detail.

Or you had a definitive reservation:

  • If you have paid a deposit, the hotel cancelling the reservation must refund you twice the amount of the deposit.
  • If you have made a down payment, the hotel must refund this payment and you may claim damages for the loss suffered.

Outside of the provisions in the general sale conditions, the hotel is also subject to carrying out the contract in good faith. Cancelling a reservation in order to rent a more expensive room conflicts with this principle and is punishable by law.

No. The hotel can’t unilaterally decide to alter the price of the reservation, unless the change is in the consumer’s favour.

If the hotel wishes to raise the price you had initially agreed on, they must ask for your agreement.

A refusal on your part is not a valid reason for cancelling your reservation. 

  • First, contact the hotel operator or the rental property owner in writing. You may also contact the intermediary through which you found the accommodation (e.g. online booking platform, tourist office). Retain proof of your correspondence.
  • If this effort proves unsuccessful, proceed as follows:

If you live in France, you can receive assistance from a consumers’ association, whose contact information is available on the DGCCRF’s website. You can also report your problem with the hotel operator or the rental property owner on the SignalConso  platform.

- If you live in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway, the European Consumer Centre for your country can assist you. Visit the ECC Network website for its contact information.

- If you live in a non-EU country, contact the embassy or consulate of your country in France or report your dispute on the websiteeconsumer.gov, via the complaint form or contact the members of consumersinternational.org.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.