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Quality assured accommodation

When searching for holiday accommodation in France it can sometimes be a little confusing when it comes to understanding the various stars and classifications. Each type of accommodation, whether it be campsites, hotel’s or self-catering gîtes – they all have their own rating system. Therefore, it is helpful to know exactly what they mean before booking. Our guide should make things a little clearer.  

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The time to organise your holiday in the Vendée is approaching fast! So, how exactly do you choose your accommodation, and with which criteria? The possibilities are endless, you'll be spoiled for choice! 

Fortunately, there is a star rating system to help you see things more clearly. The stars are intended to inform visitors about the level of comfort, the quality of the equipment as well as the services provided. Whether it is a campsite, a gîte, a B&B or a hotel, all are subject to a strict evaluation grid. They must meet more than 200 criteria: some of which are compulsory, others essential, and several are optional.

The classification ranges from 1 star (basic accommodation) to 5 stars for the most luxurious establishments. The criteria obviously will change to suit each type of accommodation.

So, let us have a closer look, to see exactly what these stars correspond to. It should make it easier for you to filter these "star ratings" when using our search engines. Therefore, all you need to do is...follow the guide!

campsite rating

Holiday accommodation in France – campsites in the Vendée

The best formula for young people and families! The Vendée is considered the number one county in relation to the number of campsites, needless to say that the choice is gargantuan! To establish this star classification, we can identify three families of criteria:

1. The Pitches and holiday rentals:

The size (surface area) of the pitches is important for the star rating. The campsite pitches should be clean and well maintained, this also applies to the equipment and collective spaces. Electricity connection points are only compulsory near pitches on campsites with a 3-star rating.

1- and 2-star campsites: you will often find campsites in these categories with pitches of 80m², the minimum pitch size is 70m².

For 3,4 and 5-stars campsites the average campsite pitch size is 89 to 114m².

2. The Facilities on site.

It is important that the facilities are always clean and in good condition. From two-star campsite, wash-blocks must be equipped with individual cubicles.

3. The campsite reception and booking methods

During your stay, if you require information or have a minor problem, here are your possibilities:

  • 1 Star:  Non-mandatory presence of reception staff during the day.
  • 2-Star: Mandatory presence of staff at the reception during the day.
  • 3-Star: Must have Staff available 24h/24h at the reception, speaking two foreign languages, one of which is English.
  • 4-Star: Staff available 24/24 at the reception, a website, and information tools in two foreign languages, one of which is English.
  • 5-Star: Three foreign languages available at the campsite reception, including English or being able to book on-line at any time.

What you need to remember about French campsite star ratings:

1-Star: for family holidays, friendly atmosphere guaranteed.
Be aware: Organised activities are not compulsory in 1-star campsites.

2-Star: Cheaper holidays but maintaining quality.
Since 2019, in theory, Wi-Fi access is required on all pitches for campsites rated with 2-stars or more.

3-Star: Always very popular!
You can enjoy numerous activities, children’s play areas, internet access in communal areas, sale of beverages….

4-Star: If you enjoy lots of entertainment and activities adapted for the entire family, it’s for you!
If you fancy a good meal on site, it is possible in the campsite bar and restaurant.
If you have forgotten a few essential bits of shopping or you need something urgently, don’t panic. You can usually find them in the campsite shop or locally.
Need to do some washing? Washing machines are available.
You have arrived by car, and do not really want to leave your car in an unsupervised car park. Four-star campsites ensure the security of your vehicle.
Do you want to play sport or get back in shape? The campsite will offer you at least 4 different facilities.

5-star:  For a "top class" experience!
Showers with hot water are compulsory only in the 5-star campsites.
Your children can have fun in the heated swimming pool (or lake), while you watch them from your deck chair. You will even be able to leave them at the nursery or with a day care service.
Extra services with the 5-star campsites, you can book your holidays online, and benefit from various equipment such as a tumble dryer.
+ Optional services: wellness areas (spa, hairdresser, etc.), gym, fitness area with instructor, etc.

gites rating france

Gîtes and holiday home rentals in France

Their rating, in stars, must meet 112 different criteria and comes under three topics:
- Equipment and fittings
- Customer services
- Accessibility and sustainable development

To be able to access the rankings system, holiday accommodation must achieve a minimum score of:
165 for category 1
174 for category 2
201 for category 3
223 for category 4
237 for category 5

They are evaluated for holiday accommodation:

  • The size and the surface area of ​​the accommodation.
  • The Electrical equipment.
  • The furniture, bedding, and household appliances.
  • The quality of sanitary equipment.
  • The level of kitchen equipment.
  • The parking area/space, a much-appreciated option.
  • The neighbourhood / surrounding environment.

What you need to remember:

1 star

- Private bathroom in a closed and ventilated space inside the accommodation, with independent access. It should include: a sink, a shower or a bath equipped with a shower screen.
- 1 coffee maker.
- Baby equipment (highchair and bed) / (payable supplement).
- Single bed: 80 cm by 190cm.
- 1 pillow compulsory.
- Mattress covered by mattress protectors or removable covers.
- Minimum surface area of one-room for one person: 12m2 / for 2 people = 12m2.

- High speed internet access.
- Washing machine for accommodation of more than 4 people.
- Oven: unless the accommodation is for more than 5 people, in this case it is mandatory
- Microwave oven
- Toaster
- Bed linen on request
- Housekeeping service (on request)
- Hair dryer

2 stars
Mandatory: The 1-star criteria, as well as:

- Bed linen on request
- Single bed: 90 cm by 190 cm
- Accommodation with a living area (minimum surface area for one person) = 14m2 / Two people = 14m2

The same options as for the 1 star.

3 stars
Mandatory: The 2-star criteria, as well as:

- Television
- Washing machine for accommodation of more than 4 people
- Oven
- Microwave oven
- Toaster
- Private area
- Bed linen on request
- Housekeeping service (on request)
- 2 pillows compulsory
- Accommodation with a living area (Minimum surface area for one person) = 16m2, for two people = 18m2

4 stars
Mandatory: the 3-star criteria, as well as:

- High speed internet access
- Private bathroom with bath or shower with shower screen larger than standard dimensions
- Baby equipment (highchair and bed) -> free
- Freezer (or freezer compartment)
- Beds made on request
- Hair dryer
- Single bed: 90 cm by 190 cm
- Accommodation with a living area (Minimum surface area for one person) = 18m2 / two people = 20m2

5 stars
Mandatory: the 4-star criteria, as well as:

- Personalised welcome on site
- Bed linen included
- Beds made up, included
- Single bed: 90 by 200 cm
- Accommodation with a living area (Minimum surface area for one person) = 24 m2 / two people = 26m2
- foreign languages

Gîtes de France and Clévacances – why the "ears of corn" and "keys"?

In addition to the star rating, some owners have become members of a "label".

Gîtes de France

Having been established in the countryside, it gave us the word gîte, in the sense of a "rural gîte". The quality of the accommodation is determined by "épis" or ears of corn (the literal translation, maintaining the rural connotations).


Traditionally located by the sea, the quality of holiday accommodation is denoted by "clés" or keys.

These labels are stricter on the layout of the rooms, their comfort (such as heating and domestic hot water), the environment and green areas, as well as the equipment.