One solution for those trying to travel in France on a budget, despite the stronger franc, is the chain of hotels called Formule 1, which has basic furnishings in rooms for up to three people.
The group describes itself as the least expensive in the country and at about $24 a night for three (calculating the dollar at five francs), one would find it difficult to do much better, though charm is not the chain's strong suit.The hotels are built from prefabricated units that are assembled on the spot. Each air-conditioned, soundproof room is identical: about 90 square feet and including double bed, single bunk bed, sink, desk, chair, closet and television set with built-in alarm clock.
One bathroom (with shower but not bath) is allotted to every three rooms. The shower is cleaned by an automatic system after each use.
The Formule 1 hotels can be found on the outskirts of cities, near airports and highways.
There are 27 in the suburbs of Paris, 150 throughout the rest of France and 4 in Belgium. More are scheduled for Britain and West Germany.
The group is part of Accor, a French hotel and restaurant company that recently purchased Motel 6, the Dallas-based chain of economy motels in 42 states.
A brochure listing each hotel's location and telephone number is available in each hotel or can be had by writing to: Chaine des Hotels Formule 1, B.P. 159, 93163 Noisy-le-Grand, France.
At each hotel a receptionist is on duty from 6:30 to 10 in the morning and from 5 to 10 in the evening; outside these hours guests have access to their rooms by using a Visa card in an automatic teller that provides a code number. (Visa is the only credit card accepted.)