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camelbak Feb 6th, 2007 07:36 PM

Advice and Comments on Paris Apartment Rental
Good evening!

I have finally convinced my hubby that our Europe trip this year should be all about Paris! Paris! Paris!

We are planning on flying into Paris in mid-September for a full 7 nights. This will be the first time in Paris for both of us (crazy but true), and I have been researching and researching hotels and apartments throughout the various districts in Paris.

We really like the idea of renting an apartment. It appears to be more economical, you get a better flavour of how people really live in the city, and you can stretch out and not be falling all over eachother (from all the reviews I have read, it appears that Paris hotel rooms can be quite small). We enjoy cooking, sitting back and relaxing and "nesting", so a comfortable, cozy apartment really is ideal for us.

I have been reading and reviewing post/threads on Fodors, SlowTrav, and have been reviewing apartment rentals on everything from VRBO, Parisbestlodges, Iloveparisapartments, and even Venere!

I think that I have narrowed down the apartments which I really like (I have like another 20 bookmarked as backups) - and it seems that we are both drawn most specifically to the Marais district.

I was hoping that you could review the apartments I have picked out and maybe provide any suggestions/comments, or even point me in the direction of a fabulous hidden gem that I haven't been able to locate yet?

Choice #1
I keep coming back to this apartment and thinking...mmmm...I really like it...

Choice #2
I know nothing about this area - good/bad?

Choice #3
I love the look, but it seems a titch small?

Choice #4
I read a good review about this. Again in the Marais district.

Your comments and advice would be greatly appreciated for this Paris newby.


kopp Feb 6th, 2007 08:03 PM

Hello camelbak! Isn't trip planning fun? Exhausting, too, but the anticipation of what's to come is so exciting, no???

Apartment hunting is quite the chore. You've done a good job with your questions. Good research!

You're going to be there mid-September. Will you need A/C? I'm not sure, but I don't think any of the places you mentioned have cooling, unless I missed it.

#2 says it's a 4th floor walk up. Do you know that's 5 floors up? Kind of a lot for me after a long day, or if I forgot my coat or whatever. But maybe you love stairs. b( And the stools without backs on them? hmmmm...

#3 does not mention sq ft/mt. What's a one bedroom studio? Isn't it either/or? Don't know if having a bedroom is important to you, but you might want to check if it's a one bedroom or a studio. Also, what floor is this one on?

#4 the mezzanine ceiling looks pretty low. And the stairs - those criss-cross kind that are hard to navigate in the dark when you've got to make a potty stop in the night. To me that's a no-no.

My thoughts only. Good luck!

fishee Feb 6th, 2007 08:59 PM

I'd pay attention to how much sunlight each apt gets. When there's no photos of any windows, it makes me nervous.

Even a cute apartment loses its charm if it's too dark, esp. in September when there's still a lot of daylight hours. It feels great to wake up or come home to an apartment that is filled with sunlight.

camelbak Feb 6th, 2007 09:14 PM

Excellent point about the sunlight. Living in Vancouver, Canada, where there is 5 months of rain (no, really!), I love any last ray of sunlight that I can get.

My first choice seems to have a lack of windows...though the stairwell picture does show a lot of windows...would it be terribly rude to write to the owner and ask if she has any pics of her windows? :)

Just showed the hubby It's a winner for him. He has a thing for lofts (don't ask me!!!), AND it has lots of light.

It does have the crazy little stairs going up to the loft (it would be interesting to go up and down at night wouldn't it?).

Anyone know of any other fabulous loft style apartments in any district close to all the sites, smells and sounds of Paris that I may be missing?

Thanks for your quick feedback....that is why I love this site so much. It's SUCH a great community!


fishee Feb 6th, 2007 09:24 PM

I know I'm not making this any easier, but if possible, I'd keep my eye out for a little balcony with table and chairs. Great to drink your coffee in the morning and to enjoy a drink in the evening -- weather in Sept. would be perfect for this.

The studio I stayed in is probably too shabby chic, you seem to like a streamlined and modern aesthetic. good luck!

camelbak Feb 6th, 2007 10:17 PM

A little table and chairs would be perfect, and I actually love chabby chic style. My taste is definitely classical, but mainly like clean and not too cluttered. I don't usually go for modern and sleek.

Basically, I am looking for somewhere fresh and light and airy...a little classical, clean and not cluttered.

I love all of the apartments offered by Iloveparisapartments (like this... ...the classical French look - if you know of any apartments that can provide that AND lots of light for a reasonable price..please pass them on!

fishee Feb 6th, 2007 10:27 PM

oh, this place on huchette is totally beautiful -- is it already taken??

I stayed in this studio on Saintonge and enjoyed it immensely but I think you can afford something more elegant. There's a link to my pictures of the apt and neighborhood towards the bottom of the thread.;tid=34916913

lmlweb Feb 6th, 2007 11:11 PM

I have some comments - which should really be no surprise, huh? After all, SILs always have something to say.

The one that the hubby likes - I'm noticing there's no oven (probably not that important), and just 2 burners. You'll probably have to cook simple stuff if eating in - again, probably not a big deal, since your pasta dishes are pretty good. But keep in mind lots of walking = a nice soak in the tub to relax your legs. There doesn't seem to be a bath tub. No matter, again.

I like it. The steps are interesting, and you'll be fine providing that you put the right foot forward!!! The sofa bed sounds perfect for that 3rd wheel, LOL!

As for hte Rue de La Huchette one - if we can get more than just 3 people going, like 5 or 6 going at the same time, it's perfect!

Good luck! Book it as soon as you're 100% positive you're going in September to avoid disappointment. If you're going to fly Zoom like I did last fall, you'll want to find out when you arrive and leave so you can book accordingly.

lmlweb Feb 6th, 2007 11:15 PM

And like you, I do like the VRBO one the best as well. It has bathtub and a full stove. And it is much roomier. So, if it's just the two of you, I'd go with the one Hubby likes as it's perfect for 2 of you, but if there's going to be more than 2 of you, then the VRBO will give more room without tripping over each other!

Leburta Feb 7th, 2007 12:10 AM

I'll be the contrarian here. I think for a first trip to Paris, it is nice to stay in a hotel. If either of you has been to the grand old city, that would be different. In a hotel, there is a desk clerk or concierge to point you in the right direction, give you advice and assistance. Unless you speak French, my vote is to stay in a hotel for the first trip, then stay in an apartment on subsequent trips when you know your way around better.

johnnycoyote Feb 7th, 2007 10:02 AM

I recently used and was really happy with them. They have a nice selection with very good taste, reasonable prices and all very centrally located (important)
Have a good trip

LuckyLuc Feb 7th, 2007 10:07 AM

Some great selection but I prefer something with a private garden. vrbo 103254

Seamus Feb 7th, 2007 10:35 AM

My vote is for #1, hands down - there's a reason you keep coming back to it. It's almost twice the area of #2 or the others. There are windows in the LR, shouldn't be a concern. Good location, too. The loft appeal is understandable but the place is pretty tiny in comparison to #1 and it is not really a loft but a "mezzanine" with not enough room to stand.

camelbak Feb 7th, 2007 11:04 AM

Thank you everyone for your replies and suggestions!

I have looked at hotels, and understand the appeal of having a conceirge available to help with ideas on how to get around, etc., but I also like the appeal of wandering around an apartment in my pj's and being able to make coffee, and have a breakfast, etc. before heading out (i.e., I don't want to get dressed to go out for breakfast). I also like the idea of being able to cook meals and just putter around without having to just always sit on a hotel bed. Whenever I stay in a hotel I always feel like I have to go out....strange but true...

Thanks for the website Johnnycoyote. The apartments are fantastic, and I like the look of the studios too - and a great price. I particularly like:


The prices seem very reasonable, and in a good area of the city (of course I don't know what areas of BAD areas...) :)

LuckyLuc - thanks for showing me the vrbo. It IS nice, and the price is great - but the hubby (alright, and I) prefer to have a separate sleeping instead of a pull out couch. The garden is beautiful though.

I think my biggest problem I am having is that there are TOO many great places to stay in Paris! har har....what a problem huh?!! :p

The La Huchette property will have to wait until there are at least three of us going (can you believe I am planning a second trip to Paris before I even go on my first one???). The price is just too high to splurge on for the two of us....

Has anyone else have good reports on using the the Specialapartments in the Marais?

Comments on the two I have suggested above would be super appreciated! Of course if anyone else wants to share them "hidden gem" with me, I will add it to my wish list too!

Thanks again everyone!

blh Feb 7th, 2007 03:18 PM

We are staying in the first - VRBO 79965 in May. At least two people on this board have recommended it - do a search and you can find there comments. They were very pleased - said it was even better than it looks on the website, location great, owners wonderful to deal with (have been so far for us) - only $100 deposit and quick replies. Good luck!

Danna Feb 7th, 2007 06:30 PM

I vote for the first one. The second one and those weird stools would get old after a day trying to actually eat a meal or look at a guidebook.

The third looked a bit cramped and I have taken lofts OFF my list of apartments.

My daughter and I stayed at this lovely apartment in the 16th last year.

But, what we learned was that we do want cable or satellite tv so we can hear the news, watch abit of the BBC etc.

So now my quick scan includes cost, floor (or elevator), sq. meters, cable tv, layout and I hope to find one in a double digit neighborhood.

Good luck!

lyban Feb 7th, 2007 10:04 PM

I too have been looking for an apartment, but I am going next month so alot of the ones I have found nice are not available for my time.
I have been to this persons site, found it originally on a Vrbo search and love all his places. Like I said, I could not get one of his but I did speak with him and he seemed very nice.
I have found myself another place in the Marais for next month but thought I would send you this link in case you want to look at any of these.

travelbunny Feb 7th, 2007 11:13 PM

I think one and two are the only options on the original list. The rue du Bac appt. is a studio (not a one bedroom). The other is a "loft". I know the location of #2 and it is good. I notice on 1 there is no address. The area is good but if you know the specifics, I might be of more help. I do agree with some people..for a first trip it might be nice to have a few days in a hotel. I think you will be fine...just get on to slow travel to see if anyone has had experience with these apts or agencies. Apt rentals are great if nothing goes wrong. If it does you need the back up of a good agency or owner.

camelbak Feb 7th, 2007 11:25 PM

Thanks everyone for your replies!

I actually contacted a person who left a comment on VRBO re: 79965 and they gave a great recommendation. My concern (which was raised here) was the lack of windows that appeared in the pictures. The renter indicated that there were two large windows in the LR which overlooked a courtyard..didn't notice if it was dark or light during the day since they were out exploring - makes total sense! Overall they enjoyed their you should have great luck too!

Nice to hear that the owner is nice, and a small deposit, even better!

I will try to find out the specific address for Apartment #1 and post here. Hopefully those of you so familiar with Paris can tell me if it is a fabulous area to stay in.

Just to throw everyone for a loop - does anyone know of a great (and inexpensive) apartment in the St. Germain area? I know it's on the total opposite side of the river, etc. etc.

If you could pick which area b/w St. Germain and Marais which would you pick, and why?

Thanks everyone for your continuing replies, I really, really appreciate it!

travelbunny Feb 8th, 2007 12:04 AM

re St. Germain and Le Marais..for a first visit I think St. Germain but the area of St. Germain near the 7th. I like the neighborhood (I lived on a tiny street near the rue du Bac metro so I am prejudiced); quiet but not too far away from anything. Great window shopping and wonderful food shops nearby. I like the Marais too. I like the 4th too though when I ws living in Paris it was "edgier" than it is now. It can be very busy on Sunday with people wandering around. At one time alot of artists and young designers had places there; now "trust fund kids"(I am using US vernacular) staying in a family studio are more the norm. You can't go wrong with either but I like St. Germain for a first stay with the Marais for a second!

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