1st time in Paris - apartment advice

Dec 28th, 2014, 07:14 PM
  #1  
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1st time in Paris - apartment advice

Hi all -- in the process of planning my honeymoon which will include 4 nights in Paris at the very end of May 2015. Even though it's our honeymoon we don't want to spend a ton of money on a fancy hotel and are looking for a small apartment that's moderately priced. From my research I think we'd like to stay in the 6th or the 7th. We live in Brooklyn now so are fine with smaller studio spaces and walk-ups. A central location is most important to us - a home base from where we can do a lot of walking and eating! Free wi-fi, laundry and non-smoking are also important but those look pretty standard in the listings I've seen.

Here are some listings I found that look like they have potential (this should also give an idea of the price range we're looking at). Would love any insight on these units or suggestions of others that are forum favorites!

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p485474vb

http://parisbestlodge.com/may.html

http://www.parisbestlodge.com/sgy.html -- also saw this same apartment listed on homeaway

http://parisbestlodge.com/eiffelapt.html

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p1026733

www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p6029205

Thank you in advance!!!
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 07:23 PM
  #2  
 
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My wife and I have made week long stays in apartments the past two times we were in Paris. Most recently we stayed in the 6th at an ok apartment. However two years ago we stayed here: http://homaparis.com. I would highly recommend it. The owner of the apartment is great to deal with and the apartment itself is fantastic, balcony where you can eat breakfast. Nicely appointed bedroom, sitting room, kitchen and bath. It is immediately off of the Rue Montrueguiel which is a major market street in Paris. To be honest while I liked staying in the 2nd more than the 6th. If your budget can handle it this is a great apartment.
phaddix is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 08:46 PM
  #3  
 
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They all look great. I will comment on # 2 & 3. In April of 2012, we stayed in Paris Best Lodge's Mr. Prince which appears to be on the same block as these two. We loved the area. It has a great vibe and is within easy walking distance to the majority of places you would want to go. The river at Pont Neuf is a block and a half to the north. The Odeon Metro station is a block and a half to the south. We have stayed with PBL twice and they are a pleasure to deal with.
letsgeaux is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 09:21 PM
  #4  
 
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Congratulations on your upcoming wedding and honeymoon.

OK, let me get my first question out of the way.... why only 4 nights in Paris!!! ;-)
(kidding... I just love Paris and would have loved to have a honeymoon there)

The p6029205 looks like a ground floor apartment (a downside for me, noise, security, etc). It also has a wierd bedroom/loft that doesn't look terribly inviting or sturdy.

The p1026733 also has a very strange looking and questionably sturdy sleeping area. And a strange walkup shower.

The www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p485474vb --- it has some interesting reviews that suggest the management company is a little too hands-off... took a long time to return the deposit, etc. I tend to run when I see a pattern like that. There are so many other properties available.

The http://parisbestlodge.com/may.html is cute, great location, the decor is a bit over the top and too twee for my tastes, but it looks clean.

The http://www.parisbestlodge.com/sgy.html -- the decor would drive me bat sh*t crazy. Very loud and jarring.

The http://parisbestlodge.com/eiffelapt.html -- I personally like that location the best... it's also the most "Parisian" looking apartment and seems the most romantic for a honeymoon. It's not as centrally located for getting around on the Metro. My metro is a bit foggy... but I think that line from Ecole Militaire will require a transfer (correspondance) for some of the key tourist things. But you're also very close to the Eiffel tower which you can quickly walk to each night to watch it twinkle.

There are literally hundreds, maybe thousands of options for Paris apartments. What is your maximum per night budget? Have you tried looking on VRBO?
Or http://www.holidaylettings.co.uk/

Here are a couple from VRBO that have reviews if you can splurge a little more than 80EU a night:
http://www.vrbo.com/386566
http://www.vrbo.com/427390
http://www.vrbo.com/360805

This one even appears to have a view of the Tour from the balcony?
http://www.vrbo.com/6658231ha

I'm guessing this is your first time to Paris? On our first trip (and several subsequent trips) to Paris, we wanted to be as close to the Seine as possible, in the 6th, near a metro station. If I weren't near the Seine, I'd like to be close to the Eiffel tower (and now with kids this is the neighborhood we pick because that's how they like to end their days.)

The 6th is close to many of the typical touristy things, but also overrun with tourists as it's *the* neighborhood they all stay in. 15 years ago, in my 20s and early 30s, that's where I always wanted to stay. It has become a bit grungy in the past few years, in my opinion.

The 7th is very nice, and where I usually stay now. (I'm now in my early 40s, with children, and I actually *like* the quiet and the pace of the 7th.) Many people here will say it bores them to tears. More seasoned Paris travelers will say to stay out in the other arrondisements.

Or have you considered the Ile St Louis or Ile de la Cite? My parents (who are fine in a studio) have looked at several properties on the Iles... because the buildings are so old and tightly crammed together and so medieval, there are often very tiny and delightfully romantic little places carved into beautiful and very very old buildings. The location is very close to the Seine for beautiful nighttime strolls.
Like these:
http://www.vrbo.com/1210540a
http://www.vrbo.com/6664778ha

You may also find it a challenge to find places that allow a 4 night stay, this far in advance. A lot of places will say they allow nightly rental, but in May, it's high season, and they may not take a 4 night rental until much closer to the arrival, if other bookings on either side of it allow for a shorter stay.

Good luck!
skatterfly is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 09:27 PM
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Ooops... I obviously misread the title of the post... yes your first time in Paris. You will have a really wonderful time... no matter where you go. It'll be your honeymoon. Hang in there with the planning. This is often the hardest part of the trip... planning! -skatterfly
skatterfly is offline  
Dec 28th, 2014, 11:25 PM
  #6  
 
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I have stayed in two of the Parisbestlodge apartments.. as well as toured 3 others while on various visits..


We found PBL a joy to deal with.. they speak perfect English. have reasonable deposit policies.. and I swear the apartments are just as pictured.. some apartments do not look like their photos.. so beaware of that..

BUT.. as far as I know PBL only does week long rentals unless they have changed their policies.

Frankly for four days stay in a hotel. Its your honeymoon.. no dishes, no bed making.. clean towels.. etc..

Your experience will be no less authentic then an apartment styaers( I think its hilarious some people think they are having some sort of "living like a local" experience anywhere for a few days .. ha.. you are taking out garbage and running the dishwasher like a local would so hey if that makes a person feel more "authentic" so be it. I have rented apartments and stayed in many hotels.. there are pros and cons to both experiences.. but as I said.. only 4 days.. make it easy on yourself.

These hotels is just as cheap as most apartments.. and clean, and well located..

Hotel Eugenie
Hotel Diana
Hotel Des Grand Hommes or the Pantheon Hotel( these are sister hotels , next to each other. but can be a bit pricey..but sometimes offers special deals,,its however a very nice hotel in the moderate catergory)
Hotel Familia
Hotel College du France
justineparis is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 02:44 AM
  #7  
 
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I'm also in the "stay in a hotel" for all the reasons above plus having a desk to advise you or make reservations for restaurants. Honest, you'll love it so much more.
Gretchen is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 05:37 AM
  #8  
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Thanks everyone for your feedback so far. Yes first time in Paris - first time in Europe actually. We are trying to balance wanting to see everything and go everywhere with a realistic itinerary- only 4 nights in Paris because we are also doing 7 in Italy and 4 in barcelona. However that is a topic for another post and I don't want to hijack my own thread!

http://www.vrbo.com/360805 looks like it has potential - will investigate!

We are definitely open to a hotel but everything I have found so far in the 6th and 7th are just too expensive. Those suggested above seem to be in the 5th which I can look into also.

The one pbl apartment I saw cross listed on homeaway does seem to be available for less than a week. The decor isn't what I'd chose for our apartment but for 4 days it's not a deal breaker!
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 06:21 AM
  #9  
 
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Don't get hung up on the 6yh and 7th. You will enjoy the areas recommended, perhaps even more.
First time traveler==do the hotel for many reasons already given. On a honeymoon, you want to be care-free--turnkey arrangements with no mixups, shopping for breakfast (go to a local café!!). Four days is just not a long time so simplify what you can so you can optimize seeing and enjoying--and just sitting in a café people watching.
Gretchen is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 07:27 AM
  #10  
 
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Yes, a hotel is definitely a good idea if you want absolute ease. And yes, they are a bit more expensive. But don't forget to add in the cost of the cleaning fee to the rental. Averaged over 4 days, that might bring up your nightly cost in an apartment. An apartment may still cost less if you can find an apartment willing to take a 4 night stay, but it's true, there won't be a front desk. It all depends on how you like to travel.

Also, I'm not really clear on your daily maximum, but I can recommend the Hotel L'Empereur in the 7th. Their nightly rate for a room overlooking Invalides is about 200Eu a night. A little less without the view. Extremely comfortable beds, and very clean and quiet. Not in the heart of the 6th but close enough in to get around to everything easily.

For about the same price, a good friend of mine swears by the Hotel des Marronniers in the 6th. About 190-200EU a night. Great location!
skatterfly is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:08 AM
  #11  
 
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I would never rent an apt for only four days when I'd never been in a city before. There is a lot of "work" with renting one, you know -- you have to pay in advance and it will be mostly nonrefundable. Then you have to meet up to get keys, and somehow figure out how to leave when you want (and get your deposit back, which you can't do if you leave on your own). And you won't have anyone to call a taxi for you and stuff like that. YOu don't really need an apt for only four days.

I get that you think you'll get more if you rent an apt for 100 euro a night. It won't be deluxe, that's for sure, at that price, but you will get more than a hotel for that cost, I do agree with that.

As far as your apts, the Mazarine would be a good location but I also suspect they won't rent to you for only 4 nights. That Homeaway Eiffel Tower Nest thing is horrible, it has a ladder to go to the bed, are you serious? YOu could kill yourself with that thing, not to mention the serious discomfort and inconvenience.
Christina is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:13 AM
  #12  
 
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- http://www.vrbo.com/360805 looks like it has potential - will investigate! -

First, read the reviews of the other two places the owner rents out. I am not sure I would want to rent from someone with reviews like that.

I have never rented from PBL, but they get good reviews and at least you know you can trust the folks that you'll be working with (based on what I have read about them, not personal experience.)
rialtogrl is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:34 AM
  #13  
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Sounds like I should be doing some more hotel research!
Hotel L'Empereur in the 7th As recommended above may work -- any other recommendations in that price range in that general area?
I'd say max budget is $200eu/night. I'm not holding to a strict $ yet -- more money spent here is less to spend in Rome etc. so I'm open to looking.
jrf252 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:35 AM
  #14  
 
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I have rented from Thierry of Paris Best Lodge several times and have always had a very positive experience.
I have found him to be completely trustworthy.
His apartments are exactly as they look on his websites.
tdk320n is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:38 AM
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Actually, without looking at all the apartments and trying to average their rates, what is your budget per night?

We have had short rentals from rentparis.com and enjoyed them. They are mostly in the 3rd and 4th but convenient and the prices are low.
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 10:03 AM
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I'd second the recommendation for Hotel du College de France. We stayed there for our own honeymoon. It isn't fancy, but it was clean and well located. The front desk staff was friendly. Our room was roomier than I expected (by Parisian standards). For as little time as we spent in the room, I'd rather spend less on lodging and more on food and experiences,
indyhiker is online now  
Dec 29th, 2014, 11:01 AM
  #17  
 
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I would stay in the 5th far before I would stay in the 7th. The 7th is more residential.. quieter ( as in a bit boring in areas) and is not as central at the 4th, 5th and 6th.. stop reading Rick Steves.. lol
justineparis is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 11:12 AM
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Opinions are going to be all over the place. I would agree that 7th isn't really central, but I wouldn't consider the 5th or 6th any more central. 1-4th are central, the rest are around those 4.
apersuader65 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 03:53 PM
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I have stayed in PBL apts four times and am renting 2 different PBL apts in 2015. Thierry is great to work with. I stayed in the PBL studio St. Germaine a few years ago, and the pics are representative of the apt. It's a great location.
But, PBL apts rent fast and may not be available for May 2015.
I second staying in a hotel for 4 nights and also recommend hotel du college de France. The hotel Muguet in the 7th is nice and has Eiffel tower views.
powhatangal is offline  
Dec 29th, 2014, 09:20 PM
  #20  
 
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@JustineParis... Haha... I forgot that Rick Steves really likes the 7th also, presumably because it's so close to Rue Cler. I like it precisely because it is more "residential." Now that I'm a mom with small kids—which means I don't like noisy nighttime streets and typically can't or don't take advantage of the vibrant nightlife and restaurants—I actually appreciate the quiet and tranquility of the 7th. But like I said up above, I know many people here would say it bores them to tears.

But in terms of value, for the same price as a budget hotel in the 5th or 6th, she could get a really nice hotel (maybe even 3*) with very comfortable beds (and maybe a view of the Eiffel tower or the golden Invalides dome from her room)---which might be more memorable for her honeymoon.

The Hotel Muguet (same owners as the Hotel De L'Empereur) does have some rooms with Eiffel Tower views, but they may or may not guarantee that view upon reservation. Whatever you do... tell them it's your honeymoon. Hopefully they can oblige. I've always found them to be generally very nice in person, though typically very formal in their email correspondence.

Also in the 7th is the Hotel Duquesne, and if memory serves Mr. Steves like that one. ;-)

I haven't stayed in a hotel in the 6th for well over a decade, but I remember liking the Hotel De Fleurie. I'd also look into the Hotel Dauphine (super tiny rooms but quaint) and perhaps the hotel des Marronniers (I may have mentioned that already). Also my in-laws have stayed in and liked the Hotel de Seine, but their rooms are seriously *tiny*. (Well, they really all are.) But all 4 of these are in the heart of St Germain, which may fit more with this OPs plans.

@Rialtogirl... good catch on that apartment's other properties. Very good advice to check the reviews of the *other* properties they own. Whenever I see even the hint of a pattern of bad reviews, or really almost any negative review, I find myself moving on to another listing. There are just so many other options... though admittedly fewer that will allow a 4 night rental.

@JRF252 (the OP)... I hope that the places I'm recommending won't push beyond the limits of your 200EU a night budget. I admit that for me, charm, cleanliness, and comfortable bed/linens are some of my top priorities when traveling... and I've gotten a little spoiled over the years. I'm on the opposite end of the spectrum than people who say they don't care what their room looks like, and I apologize in advance for being the little devil on your shoulder... but seriously, it's your honeymoon! Consider a little splurge. Even $50-$75 bucks more a night might get you a significantly nicer room than some practical but basic room in the 5th. Add that up over 4 nights you're only talking about $200 or $300 more, total. Paris is one of the most expensive cities, and in my opinion, where you stay could have a real effect on how you experience Paris for something as romantic as a honeymoon.

Also, to the OP, you said you're coming the last week of May... keep in mind that this is also the beginning of the French open. You might want to start making some hotel reservations (at the *refundable*--most flexible---rate if you aren't 100% certain yet) so you can block those dates before they fill up. Some of these hotels may already be booked up for that last weekend in May.
skatterfly is offline  

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