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Has any one stayed in this Paris Apartment

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Oct 24th, 2012, 04:29 AM
  #1
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Has any one stayed in this Paris Apartment

Hi...we have just come back from a fabulous trip to Italy and are now planning a short four day trip to Paris from 9th- 12th November. We are hoping that not all tress would have shed their leaves by then and we would still get to see some colour.

I have managed to find an apartment that looks lovely...has great reviews...apart from one small (or who knows it might be a big issue)...they have just one loo but two bathrooms (who would have thought!).

However I am pasting the link here as I am really tempted by all the space, the pictures and the good communication that we have had till now.

http://www.vrbo.com/143981

Is this a good area to be in...does it look like a good apartment...my parents are in their 70s and late 60s...so they need a place with an elevator. Also we need to be at a palce which has bus stations close by. We might also have to take taxis...would there be any available around here.

Last time we stayed in Marais...and really loved the area...is it some what similar?

Waiting to hear from you before I say yes to them...
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Oct 24th, 2012, 07:51 AM
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Anyone please...any comments on the location...the actual apartment?
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Oct 24th, 2012, 08:19 AM
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Looks fine to me, if you like the Latin Quarter. I doubt there will be color on the trees, though, and one loo but two bathrooms is entirely normal. Are you OK with that loft bed?

Here's info about taxi stands in the 5`eme: http://www.taxis-paris.fr/5eme-arrondissement.htm
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Oct 24th, 2012, 08:50 AM
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StCirq thanks a lot for your response. On our last trip to Paris we didn't get to the Latin Quarter...so I don't know if we like the Latin Quarter or not...However we did like Marais...

Also I have just heard back from another property owner...she has two flats...and has given me the choice of choosing one. Both apartments look stunning. I am just slightly concerned about the number of stairs in the first apartment...

Can you please help me choose which one is better. I am so tempted to take one of them...and actually if either of them were in marais it would have been a no brainer...but I have no idea about the location of this one. We need to be pretty central...even though we will eating in half the meals.

http://www.vrbo.com/404489

http://www.vrbo.com/244739

Please help me choose...
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Oct 24th, 2012, 08:53 AM
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Oh about the bunk bed...we wouldn't have to use it as we would only be four adults and thre are two proper bedrooms.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 09:27 AM
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They're both very central, in the high-end part of the business district, which is fine, but arguably less atmospheric than some other neighborhoods. Since they are pretty comparable with regard to space and features and price, I'd choose the one with the elevator.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 10:12 AM
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I think the neighborhood of the first one you listed http://www.vrbo.com/143981 has the charm and atmosphere many first time visitors to Paris want to experience. It would be my suggestion to you and your parents.

The other one http://www.vrbo.com/404489 is also fine and would be a good option.

Both are central locations.

As mentioned above, scratch http://www.vrbo.com/244739 - it has 59 steps and no elevator!!!
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Oct 24th, 2012, 11:00 AM
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I think the neighborhood of the first one is fine, I have stayed there several times. It isn't the "Latin quarter" that most people refer to or even know, as it is down near the bottom and the Censier metro stop. It doesn't have much of anything in common with what people would think of or call the Latin Quarter if they have only been near the Seine, Sorbonne, bd St Michel, etc.

However, I am a little suspicious because they don't say exactly where it is, so I'd want to know. It's probably fine but they claim it is 3 min walk to rue Mouffetard and I think someone else said 7 and another comment said it was "kind of far" to a metro stop with young children. So something doesn't compute as there are two metro stops in that area (Monge and Censier) and if it were only 3 min. to rue Mouffetard it could not literally be far from a metro stop (or Gobelins, for that matter, which is another one down there).

There is a good bus line that runs along rue Monge and another on bd Port Royal (near Gobelins metro) and yet another that goes along Claude Bernard to Luxembourg Gardens, so plenty of buses.

There is a taxi stand near the Gobelins metro stop, but I wouldn't count on immediately getting a taxi if you stand there, they aren't lined up waiting there that often. They have a number you can call, but once I never could get one there, they told me it would be a couple hour wait or something, I forget, but it didn't work. There is also one at place Monge but if anything, I see them less frequently there. That is the norm in lots of Paris that is mainly residential.

The other two look nice and it partly depends on personal taste. They are more in business areas, roughly, but lots of tourists might prefer that or find it fine, and they are closer to the museums. YOu no doubt could find taxis over in that area much more easily if you want to just walk out and find one nearby.

I would not get one without an elevator, either.

None of these are really like the Marais, IMO, but maybe the one near Mouffetard would be closer to that, not sure.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 04:24 PM
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Thanks a lot for your replies...

I am really tempted to choose http://www.vrbo.com/404489 ...simply because it looks a lot nicer than the one near Mouffetard.

StCirq thanks a lot for your candid feedback...however I am finding it hard to under stand what you mean by less atmospheric...we live in London and the business district here (the Canary Wharf area...or even the City) are definitely not places that I would suggest to a tourist. The city specifically is all right during the day...but some parts of it become absolutely dead over the weekend. Would it be kind of similar?

Bardo you really helped with my Rome queries as well and I really appreciate it. My parents use the apartment quite often as they usually come back for a rest in the afternoon...that is why I am trying to look for nicer apartments this time around...When it it G and I, we would go with a much simpler apartment. Just by looking at the pictures I feel there is a lot of difference between the two apartments. Is that not what you feel?

Christina thanks for taking the time to respond in such great details...you have raised some really good points...however the one reassuring thing with the Mouffetard apartment is that it has 48 positive reviews. If they were not honest in their description then I am sure more people would be complaining about it. But what you say about taxis is really important as in Rome we did end up taking quite a few taxis...

I am really confused and finding it really hard to decide!!
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Oct 24th, 2012, 04:38 PM
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Yes, the first is somewhat like the city (I live in London too). It will be quiet on sunday, but there are still cafes and some restaurants open closer to les halles especially...we stayed there a few years ago and liked the first for Its convenience. It just won't be as lively with open cafes etc and is more sedate and businessy than the Latin quarter or marais. It's not like canary wharf, I think la defense area is more like cw...so more like the city with a bit more going on after hours and weekends.

Hope this helps!
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Oct 24th, 2012, 07:20 PM
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I noticed in the description of #404489 this: "...apartment is being fully renovated..." and "...apartment will deliver the comforts...." Could this mean the apartment is undergoing renovation now? If so, when will it be finished? Just asking.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 07:47 PM
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<>

I mean that it's more of a business/shopping district, without all the old, "quaint" attributes so many people go to Paris to seek out. That said, I really don't like the Quartier Latin much at all, but that's a district that innumerable tourists find really appealing.

None of the apartments you've posted here, though, will be in an area anything like the Marais.
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Oct 24th, 2012, 08:50 PM
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I have 143981 on my short list also. The only reason I am hesitating is that there is only one toilet and we will have five adults and a baby. I do like the look of the apartment though.

I like 404489 because it has an elevator and only 2 blocks to the Louvre and the Seine, but is looks like there is only one couch, which for four people might be a little uncomfortable if you were spending some extending time in the apartment.

244739 has a circular stair case which I find more difficult to climb than normal stairs, so that would be a deal breaker for me.

Hard to decide, but I am in the same situation myself planning my January trip.
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Oct 25th, 2012, 01:48 AM
  #14
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I just typed a response...and then lost it. It is so frustrating.

Jamkins thanks a lot for your clarification, it really helps. I think if there were more cafes and restaurants and people in the city over the weekend...it would be quite a nice place to stay.The fact that it would give us easy access to museums is going to be a huge plus as we do plan to visit the Louvre, Orangerie, D'orsay etc. That would save us some money in taxi fares.I am seriously considering going ahead with the apartment.

crckwc1 I am constantly amazed t how carefully people on this board look at requests and try to help. Thanks a lot. I just checked with the landlady and she has confirmed that the rennovations have been completed in February.

St Cirq thanks for trying to clarify what you had said earlier...maybe we will get a chance to go back and live in Marais again some other time. After all we are in London...and I keep telling myself that we can go back to Paris whenever we want.

Itr I was also slightly worried about the single toilet situation. I think we can manage the one couch situation...one of the easy chair looks really comfortable. Though honestly I don't think we would have even noticed that. Thanks for pointing it out.

The apartment with the stairs is definitely out..

I will let you all know how we got on and which apartment we went with in the end...right now the one near Louvre seems to be winning.
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Oct 29th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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Quick question please...

We have decided to go for the Louvre apartment. The owner has just emailed me the terms and conditions. She is asking for a full payment (which I don't have a problem with)...either through VRBO credit card (we will incur a fees of about $50 for this)...or a direct bank transfer.

Even though we have rented apartments in the past...save one apartment most other rentals have agreed to take cash on arrival. However the one payment that we did do in advance was through paypal.

I asked the owner about paypal and she said it doesn't work with her bank account or something. Anyways what I am asking here is...is it worth it to go through VRBO or a direct bank transfer is fine too? She is also asking for $1000 cheque as security that would be given back to us depending on the condition of the apartment. She says she has never had any problems other than a lost key once.

Could you please help me here...is this standard procedure?
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Oct 29th, 2012, 04:39 PM
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Don't know where you're located, but a direct bank transfer from here in the USA normally costs right around $50, unless you do them often and have a special arrangement with your bank.

I don't understand the VRBO arrangement, sorry.

Here's something else you can do if it won't take a lot of time. Open a new checking account and deposit $1,000 into it (actually, deposit a bit more to account for fluctuating exchange rates); get an ATM card for it, and mail the ATM card and the PIN number to the owner so she can withdraw the money herself.

Or ask her if she will accept an "international draft" and go to your bank and get one in the exact euro amount she wants and mail it to her. At my bank, these usually cost about $7.50. She may incur a fee at her French bank for depositing it, but it shouldn't be much - probably less than the $50 you're looking at otherwise.
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Oct 29th, 2012, 04:42 PM
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Oh, and yes, it's standard procedure to ask for a security deposit well in advance. I have always asked for one for my house in France. I asked for $500 at least 45 days in advance of the rental, and full payment at least 30 days before the rental. What is an owner supposed to do if someone just doesn't show up? You lose the potential income, and it's too late to do anything about it! It's a contract - both sides have to have responsibilities and liabilities.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 06:02 AM
  #18
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Oh we don't have a lot of time left...though I think opeing the bank account is a really good idea...we will have to wait for the new pin to come in t he post...it will be long.

I thought with the bank transfer there was just the conversion fee that we would loose...if that is around $50 too then we might as well go with the VRBO option of paying through credit card and give the additional 3.75 %...
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Oct 30th, 2012, 06:39 AM
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I believe the VRBO credit card reference is simply that VRBO has a payment service that is similar to Paypal, that's all. I don't know why you would prefer Paypal to that if you would pay both by credit card, they would be similar. And the costs should be about the same, also. The fee you mention given the costs of the apts you listed is a typical credit card processing fee of about 2-3 pct, it sounds like, and many small owners do charge the renter for that fee. Personally, I would much prefer to use a credit card than pay a similar fee for a bank transfer. Not only is that more trouble, you don't have the same security arrangements of a credit card. You were looking at apts that cost around $500 a day and you don't want to spend $50 over 4 days for a CC processing cost?
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Oct 30th, 2012, 03:42 PM
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Christina first off I am not paying 500/ day as it is off season and a last minute booking. I am getting a very big discount. Secondly I would rather save $50 if it doesn't make much of a difference than spend it.

However if we pay a fee with bank transfers too then as I said earlier we will go with the VRBO option. I have never used either of these two options...so didn't know how it works...and you feedback from people here.

Anyways the owner is being slightly awkward about keeping our bags after checkout time. She says she can't do it and maybe we should ask a bistro on the same street. I found that odd.If this is an arrangement that other guests have used in the past then we are happy to do so. However she was vague about it and did not give any name or number. I understand that we need to leave the apartment at the given time. However at most other places either the owner has kept it in their office...or at some other place. She hasn't given us any specific option.

If that is the case then we might just go with the first option.
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