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Apartment near Palais Royal vs. Hotel in Marais?

Apartment near Palais Royal vs. Hotel in Marais?

Old May 1st, 2002, 04:18 AM
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Apartment near Palais Royal vs. Hotel in Marais?

Hello everyone!

I have a hotel(nothing special) reservation made in the Marais district for me and my girlfriend, and she has never been to Paris. Last night I was searching through the internet and found that we can rent an apartment with a private rooftop to eat and such. Has anyone stayed north of the Louve, and has anyone ever rented an apartment in Paris. It makes me nervous, but I don't know why? Although I think we would like the Marais distric better, I think the apartment would be more romantic, plus then we could cook and grocery shop. Help please? Thank you!
Old May 1st, 2002, 04:42 AM
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Hi Travis
Unless you are the one who would be doing all the cooking, you might want to ask your dear one how she feels about cooking on vacation. Just a suggestion.
The Palais Royal is a great right bank location in my opinion, and the idea of having your own flat in Paris does sound nice. The Marais is also very charming, although people might advise you better if you say the name of the hotel you have chosen. All other things being equal, it will really depend on whether or not you want the hotel's services, even if they are minimal, like making the beds and cleaning the bathroom.
Old May 1st, 2002, 04:45 AM
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I meant to add, you might also want to reveal the name of the apartment rental agency or any other details--people here may know the agency, and can certainly offer some pointers.
One thing I know from a friend of mine, you would need specific information on how the key is going to be picked up on the day you arrive, even if you arrive quite early in the a.m. My friend had to take the metro all over Paris, with luggage, trying to find the place where the key was, which was not close to where the apartment was. When she got to the agency office, no one was there yet, it was still too early. See if someone with the key will be meeting you at the flat, or is available in the same building.
Old May 1st, 2002, 04:58 AM
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Okay....First of all, I always do all the cooking, and love it! Plus I don't expect her to do anything, this is my trip to her, she is going to get spoiled. The hotel is Hotel Andrea, just of rue Rivoli on rue St Bon. The apartment agency is 'Vacation in Paris', and they state they mail the key to you with all the info before you leave. There is also a phone number in Paris for any problem that may arise. Hope this helps for everyone, thanks again.
Old May 1st, 2002, 05:23 AM
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I meant 'off the rue Rivoli;, not 'of rue Rivoli'. Also does that area (just north of the Louvre) has many cafes as the Marais area would, and is it just as safe, as long as you use common sense? Thank you!
Old May 1st, 2002, 06:02 AM
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There are a couple of very positive comments on the service and location of Hotel Andrea at
www.paris.org, though both comments mention that the room decor is nothing special. Don't know how recent the comments are. The hotel location is not my first choice, but that's me. To me it is not as attractive, or convenient as being near the Palais Royal if that's really where the apartment is. Plus, I really hate the Chatelet metro station which is near the hotel. On the other hand, a walk east and north into the Marais shows you a very charming area, with lots of nice cafes and bistros, more choices than you will find north of Palais Royal.On the third hand, if the apartment is just as much near Forum Les Halles as it is near Palais Royal, the Les Halles area I don't like after dark at all, and not much during the day either.
Perhaps look at other apartment listings to compare? Some agencies that have been recommended here and elsewhere are
www.locaflat.com less expensive than some, "clean but simple apartments"
www.paris-sleeps.com recommended by a Fodor’s poster
Orion 30 pl d'Italie 75013 phone 1 40 78 54 54
in the US 800 546 4777 or 212 688 9538
fax 1 40 78 54 55 in the US fax 212 688 9467

rental agency Rothray 10 rue Nicolas Flamel 75004 is said to have attractive properties in the Marais section phone 1 48 87 13 37 fax 1 42 78 17 72

Chez Vous is based in the US in California phone 415 331 2535 fax 415 331 5296
recommended in Gourmet magazine and on the Fodor’s discussion board
March 2001 rates start at $940 per week for a studio apartment

Paris Sejour Reservations, recommended on Fodor’s forum, offer studio to 3-bedroom flats.
office in the US. Telephone 312 587 7707. Fax 800 582 7274
Paris Connection, based in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA recommended by a Fodor’s poster in 1999. U.S. phone # is 954/475-0815; faX # is 954/475-0630. e-mail address is (was)[email protected]

good luck
Old May 1st, 2002, 08:10 AM
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I recommend an apartment stay. We stayed in the heart of the Marais near Rue Rambuteau/Rue de Archives. The agency that we used was rentparis.com. They were great. They met us at the apartment with the key and were very personable. I would recommend them and the Marais.
Old May 1st, 2002, 08:49 AM
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I have done both in the last year, and personally would opt for the apartment, esp. since it is centrally located and not where you would have to metro into the city. Our recent stay was at a hotel; we had planned some mid-evening events which made it somewhat difficult to schedule dinner, and it would have been a real help to have had our own kitchen and some market food. Of course, if dinner IS your evening entertainment, then a kitchen isn't necessary. As someone above said, it also depends on how independent you can be - we used no services at the hotel other than eating breakfast. Next time (as I pray there will be), I will look for an apartment again.
Old May 1st, 2002, 10:14 AM
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I prefer an apartment to a hotel, no matter what the amenities are. Dollar for dollar, euro for euro, I get more of what **I** want in an apartment than a hotel (I don't care about room service or teeny bags of macadamia nuts in the refrigerator; I like space and separate areas/rooms for sleeping, eating, watching TV, etc. I also like a kitchen for making my own food, or brewing coffee (not that instant hot pot/coffee thing, a real coffee maker with MY coffee), and a fridge big enough to hold a box of pastries (oh er I mean "one eclair").

If you prefer the amenities a hotel offers, like room service, housekeeping, fresh towels, a pick-up laundry/drycleaning service, big bathtub, etc., then spend the money on a good hotel. It's a matter of deciding what makes you happy.

As for cooking, there's cooking, then there's cooking. Many boucheries have roasted chickens for sale; the food paradise in Galeries Lafayette has lots of prepared things like salads. You can semi-prepare a meal in the apartment without a lot of work.

The Marais is more interesting (more activity) but the area north of the Louvre is very pretty, with several "galeries" and the Palais Royal.
Old May 1st, 2002, 11:37 AM
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Thank you Elvire, Beth and Cindy! I am definitly going to get the apartment, because I don't care about the amenities of a hotel as much as having a great rooftop view to eat breakfast or drink an evening bottle of wine. I am actually very excited about the prospect of going to the market and coming home to cook, how often can you get to do that? My girlfriend said that we shouldn't since it is a little more expensive, but heck you only are in Paris once, or four times(for me), and hopefully many, many more!
Old May 1st, 2002, 11:44 AM
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Travis, Glad you decided on the apt, always my preference. When you get there, set the radio to TSF 89.9 and you will be in heaven. As a matter of fact you don't have to wait, you can listen to it on the internet now to get in the mood! Don't have a link, just search for a live feed on google or whatever you use. Now, I always have a little bit of Paris with me at my desk! Have a great trip, Peg
Old May 1st, 2002, 12:18 PM
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The area north of the Louvre is probably MORE safe than the Marais, and yes there are many lovely restaurants and bistros. My current home away from home in Paris the Hotel du Louvre (Rue St. Honore @ Av d"Opera), chosen as much for location as its ambience. Well positioned to walk just about everywhere and a very high rent district, much more so than the Marais (which I also like very much, but a little seedy as a place to stay). Above caution about Les Halles should be heeded--one of my least fave parts of Paris and even tho somewhat cleaned up, still a druggy, bum paradise. For longer stays I have rented or borrowed apartments and it does truly give you the feeling of "daily life"--grab those quality delusions when you can!
Old May 1st, 2002, 12:28 PM
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I live in Paris and I prefer the Louvre area that is if off the Rivoli street means between the Louvre museum and the Concorde (check with the owner of the apart.) This area is great and has easy access to the Marais, Bastille back to the Champs Elysee - by walking. I do not favour the Marais district as it is the other end of rivoli, quite animated and rowdy at night, lots of homosexuels (nothing against them, but don't know about you). The idea of renting is great but ensure you pay a minumum (if asked to deposit) - it's best to see the aprt before - too many estate agents in this field nowadays. Hope this is helpful.
Old May 1st, 2002, 03:58 PM
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How do you
Old May 2nd, 2002, 11:56 AM
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Hi Travis,

I just had to reply to your message because I have stayed at the very apartment you are looking at! My boyfriend and I stayed there for one week in June of 2000 and enjoyed having the apartment very much. We were a bit nervous at first too, but it was great. The company was easy to work with (mailed us the key and info ahead of time etc. then we just mailed it back upon our return). There is a boulangerie right across the street so every morning we would jump over there to get our fresh croissants and pain au chocolats (YUM) as well as pick up a baguette or two to make our picnic lunches for the day. The apt has a great location - about two blocks from the Opera metro station, as well as a Monoprix (combo dept store and grocery store - ery convenient). It is also just a short walk to the Palais Royale and the Louvre.

A word of caution though that it might not be for everyone. The apt, although nice, is quite small (like most apts and hotel rooms in Paris I would guess though), and when we were there the "shower" was a hand held one that did not attach to the wall, the ceiling was very low (tough for my 6ft 2in tall boyfriend), and I don't think there was a shower curtain for some reason - which made showering a bit difficult to say the least. Also, it is obviously on the top floor and the elevator is old, rickety and TINY (barely fit the two of us) so be prepared for that as well.

Also, we took a taxi from Gare du Nord and I had printed out a map and the address on a piece of paper ahead of time so that I could just hand it to the driver since more than likely they are not familiar with the apt. We had a bit of trouble finding which door to go in when we first arrived, but I believe it is the first one to the left of the Japanese restaurant that occupies the first floor. A bit nervewracking to start off, but smooth sailing after that!

But, in my opinion, the terrace makes it all worthwhile. Nothing better than being in Paris, sipping wine with the one you love surrounded by candles (thx to the Monoprix!) and the view of Sacre Coeur and the Opera House in the distance. My fiance actually proposed to me on that very roof-top terrace (we are finally getting married this July!) Anyway, we loved the apt and plan to go back as soon as we can.

Sorry to be so specific, I got lost my dreamworld for a bit there! This is exactly the type of info I wish I had had before I went though so I hope you have found it helpful. If you have any additional questions, ask away and I'll do my best to get back to you. Have a fabulous trip!
Old May 2nd, 2002, 12:55 PM
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Wow Courtney, thanks a bunch, how lucky is that!! I may have tons more questions, so stay close to this posting, that is if you don't mind of course. I have a dream (whole life)of proposing to my girlfriend on the Eiffel Tower, but that would be way better. Not saying that I am this time, but it sure is romantic!

Most showers in Paris (Europe) are like that, except they usually come off the wall, I still am not use to the no curtin thing, guess it's bath time in Europe.

There is no AC?, and you were there in June, did you find that area loud at night with the windows open? How's the spiral staircase going up to the terrace? Great view?!! Any close places for dinner? You felt safe walking at night? Sorry so many questions!!

I too miss the pain du chocolate, I've been trying to tell my girlfriend about them, oh...they're so good, my favorite!
Old May 2nd, 2002, 01:39 PM
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Hi Travis,

I am more than happy to answer any questions you have - it is fun to relive it in a way, know what I mean?

I honestly can't remember if there was A/C or not, but it was not particularly warm while we were there so it wasn't needed. As far as traffic noise, I also don't remember it being a problem since it is not on a main street. But again, we probably didn't have the windows open while trying to sleep since it wasn't that warm. Sorry if that is no help at all!

The views are almost 360 degrees from the terrace, don't remember what is blocking the part towards the Eiffel Tower - but that would have really made it perfect! There were some construction cranes in the distance, but luckily they weren't blocking anything major. I forgot that you can also just see the tops of the bell towers of Notre Dame as well. Your main view is rooftops, but there are those gems out there in the distance (Notre Dame, Opera House, Sacre Coeur) that remind you where you are and give me a warm, fuzzy feeling just thinking about it!

The spiral staircase leading to the terrace is one of those tightly wound wrought iron ones, it's a squeeze, but it's not very tall so you can bear it for a minute to get to the top.

We did feel quite safe walking at night since the apt is just a block or so off of the Ave de l'Opera which is well-lit and busy. It was nice to feel like we had a place to come "home" to as opposed to a hotel room.

I am actually not one to ask about restaurants unfortunately. Breakfasts from the boulangerie, picnic lunches (economical actually I thought - Monoprix was not expensive in my opinion), etc. Most dinners we just happened upon while we were out sight-seeing, so hopefully others on this board can help in that respect. I'm sure there are restaurants in the area near the apt, I just don't have specific recommendations!

I had been to Paris a couple times, but my fiance had never been there. We combined it with a week in London and he was convinced he would like London more. He was amazed at how much he loved Paris (how you could not love it is beyond me!!). Everything right down to the pain au chocolat was exactly as I had described it - better even! It was so fun to see everything through the eyes of someone who had never been there. He too planned to propose at the Eiffel Tower since he knew how much I loved Paris, but once he saw the terrace, his plan fell into place! Not that you are going to propose this time Just another tidbit for ya.

Time to go home. I'll check in periodically to see if you've got more questions!
Old May 3rd, 2002, 10:38 AM
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It sounds like you are really going to enjoy this, so good luck. I think apartments are not always best choice, but I am not that interested in cooking when traveling. It's fortunate you have references from Courtney as I had a little trouble dealing with that firm myself (I never rented from them, I couldn't get a contract or apt info out of them).

Just a note on the shower as many people have commented on Fodors that they don't know how to use these. You do not need a shower curtain with a tub and handheld nozzle attached to a hose (which is often hung on a hook near the faucet/spout) because it is not a shower--one is not supposed to be spraying it in the air or on the floor so should not need a curtain. It is simply to rinse yourself off with while you are standing or sitting in the tub. I have had these a lot and have never gotten a drop on the floor, and I've never had a curtain because they aren't a shower, you don't need one. I find them quite easy to use and very efficient and ecologically preferable (they save a lot of water). I think they are also a common choice in older renovated buildings because you do not need to redo the plumbing so much (I think, I don't know plumbing much). Some places that have a spot for you to attached them high on the wall to mimic a shower should have a door or curtain, I would think.
Old Sep 19th, 2002, 05:26 AM
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Paris Apartments
We tried an apartment two years ago and were delighted with it. We rented it from an American woman who owns several near the Eiffel Tower. Info is at www.parisperfect.com.

We liked it because the neighborhood was so typically French and the apartment was restful after a day of touring.

She's a wonderful decorator and so we
felt we were living quite elegantly
altho the price was less than what we
would have paid for a hotel to house
our extended family.

As to cooking, we mostly went to a place nearby where they have really wonderful meals and/or ingredients frozen, ready to bake or microwave.

I think one of my best Paris experiences
was putting together a meal at the
nearby Rue Cler where they have and
display the best of everything. If
you love strong French cheese, try
St Marcellin or ask what they recommend
at the cheese shop that must feature
1000 different cheeses.

The neighborhood is safe. I let our
preteens wander around exploring by
themselves. They mostly explored the
relative costs and tastes of chocolate
at all the stores.

If you have little kids, the Champs
de Mars is perfect.

I'm going on too long. Check it out.
Old Feb 27th, 2003, 04:59 PM
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Hi Travis
did you stay in the apartment?
Can you advise the name and did it live up to your expectations?
clbc is offline  
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