Michael Osman

Apr 19th, 2005, 11:56 PM
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Michael Osman

There is no such person as Michael Osman, living in Paris, otherwise he would have returned my emails.
Jim01 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 12:44 AM
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He is probably busy giving tours each day..hey we all have to have a life outside of work . Keep tryoing as most say it takes a while to get a response. If you are PO'd try someone else.
SiobhanP is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 03:45 AM
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Yes, I too have given up on Michael Osman. I'm going to do PARIS WALKS instead... much cheaper and a variety of different tours for 10 euros a pop.

bettyo70 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 05:32 PM
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Yes we are doing the Paris Walks, hope they're not too crowded. I thought it was just wierd that Monsieur Osman has had computer problems on and off for the past fifteen years. The emails, however, don't seem to get rejected. I just wanted to hear that he was too busy or not interested.
Jim01 is offline  
Apr 20th, 2005, 07:01 PM
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It's April in Paris, folks. Michael is probably too busy to tell people he's too busy.

He needs a reservation engine on a web site.
Robespierre is offline  
Apr 21st, 2005, 03:42 AM
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He could be polite and send a standard mail.
MyriamC is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 07:11 PM
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We recently returned from Paris where, during our stay, we spent a Friday and the following Tuesday with Michael Osman. We could not have been more pleased. I would not describe him as a "private tour guide", per se. More an incredibly valuable person to have along, while exploring, for efficient use of your time (he is expert with the bus routes), and ensuring you do not miss anything along the way. He showed us places - gorgeous flower filled courtyards, hidden courtyards with amazing landscaping and fountains, the (stunning and breathtaking) interiors of buildings, fabulous shops we'd have walked right past (more for their history, style, quality of merchandise and amazing displays than shopping...), and a multitude of other places we'd have walked past without noticing or known were only one street over) along our travels. I, personally, adore all things "fin de siecle" and "Art Nouveau" (which I mentioned when booking) and Michael knew of many, many interesting and gorgeous places not mentioned in any of my shelves of tour guides (and I do believe I have every volume ever published on Paris) or anywhere on the web.

In addition to being exceptionally knowledgeable about all of Paris (and, in particular, the museums), he could not be more interesting and delightful.

He will take you wherever you want, and is chock full of more fabulous recommendations than you'll ever have the time to do.

I am not making excuses for what many feel is his apparent unresponsiveness to requests, but he did explain that, during busy times (even this February he was quite busy), he is often out with visitors from early breakfast until midnight or beyond (his daily fee includes as much of the day and night as you care to spend with him, and many take full advantage of same).

Michael told me that he attempts to answer e-mails first thing every morning, for as long as possible, but often he meets folks early in the morning, and doesn't finish with them until very late at night, day after day. In France, often web connections are unreliable. And, given little time to respond when busy, he does prioritize responding to requests, based upon dates of travel, so that when he does respond, it is with a personal, leisurely written, and very thoughtful response. Often, though, days and days go by where he hasn't the time each day to check his e-mails.

I first e-mailed Michael many months ahead of our trip. It was a while (though I cannot recall exactly how long) before I received a very nice, and very long response, whereupon we exchanged (prompt) e-mails back and forth for a few days. Then, I heard nothing further until just a few days before we left, when I received a long and delightful e-mail confirming all our plans.

Once in Paris, and going all about with Michael, we could not have been more thrilled to be out and about with him. On both days, we included him for dinner with us, and could not have been more delighted with spending the additional time with him and gathering more and more suggestions and recommendations. In fact, both evenings, we enjoyed after dinner coffee and drinks way late! (All the while he noted, gosh but I do have to meet people at 7AM tomorrow, and he was NOT encouraging us to cut the evening short...) Not that we wished to maximize his fee (which we definitely did not), we were just so enthralled, we just weren't ready for the evening/experience to end...(even though we had to be up the next morning quite early as well).

If you are lucky enough to book Michael Osman during your trip to Paris, well, you could not be more lucky.

There are any number of reasons (no excuses, real reasons) your emails were not returned.

I would encourage everyone to be patient and persistent. Believe me, Michael is absolutely fabulous. With more requests than he can possibly accomodate, well...

I would just mention here that, over many trips, we've gone on several organized "Walks" (Isle St-Louis, Opera, Montmartre), all more standing around that walking...with a "huge snooze" of-a-guide. You'd do better (and not be confined to a timed schedule or huge group/parade of more than 40 people, while your guide delays departure hoping for even more partipants) with your own planned walking tour photocopied from any number of fabulous printed walking tour guides, even the Access Guide to Paris.

So, if you're interested in exploring Paris with an incredible "insider" Michael Osman, well, if you're lucky enough to "get through" and book your dates, he's absolutely fabulous.
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2005, 08:17 PM
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Thank you djkbooks. There has been a lot of up and down on this board about Michael Osman. Although anyone who has actually used him, raves about him. We won't be going until next March so I will wait awhile before contacting him. We will be in Paris for a week with our two kids (age 10 and 13), how do we decide what to do with him (i.e. museums, sites, etc.) and what to do on our own? I assume he can help us organize that as well.

We used private tour guides for our visits to the Forum and Vatican in Rome, which we thoroughly enjoyed. However, we followed Rick Steve's guide to the Uffizi and read all his comments about the art along the way. My daughter really enjoyed that and said next museum she wants to do the same thing.
jgg is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 03:16 AM
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Your kids will absolutely LOVE Michael. He took our family (grown children and their spouses) touring for 2 days. His ability to "teach" without being pedantic is excellent. He integrates so much knowledge into his guiding. Donna pretty much said it all, but Michael is a great guy and an excellent guide. I haven't done Paris Walks--I'm sure they are good, but it is not the same thing, in my opinion.
Gretchen is online now  
Jun 4th, 2005, 03:24 AM
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jgg, I also enjoyed renting the audiotours in museums. Everyone can listen to descriptions of works of art that appeal to them.
starrsville is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 05:08 AM
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The day after we bought tickets for our October trip, I e-mailed Michael, and heard from him in a few days.

djkbooks, your days with Michael appear to be just the kind of guidance we want.

Counting the days already..

Byrd is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 01:06 PM
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Yo, Michael!

Instead of answering the same questions over and over again by e-mail (which you don't seem to have enough time to do), why don't you just blog the answers somewhere, and point your prospects to your previous writings on the blog? As each new question arises, you can answer it once and for all.

Unless, of course, every situation is unique (which I doubt).
Robespierre is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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We too had a wonderful experience with Michael. We emailed him several months before our trip and waited for an answer, but it was soo worth the answer. He took us to tons of places we woultnd have seen otherwise and encouraged us to take the bus too...gave us the courage to try! Keep trying, he is so worth it!
jamikins is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 10:09 PM
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For jgg: I would recommend booking Michael for at least two days if you wish to do museums and other things. You could do quite nicely on your own with Rick Steeves guide for Musee d'Orsay (huge) and the Louvre (overwhelmingly enormous) if you just want to breeze through and do all the highlights. I think Michael would make any museum much more enjoyable for the kids (you, too). We especially enjoyed visiting Musee Carnavalet (history of Paris) with him. I would have breezed right past a lot, had Michael not slowed me down to show me magnificent things. (I walked right past a painting, tucked in a dark corner, of one of my favorite artists.)

If you schedule more than one day, you can plan outdoor activities (neighborhoods - for a first visit highly recommend Montmartre, markets, and other outdoor activities, as these are best enjoyed with nicer weather and you'd probably not want to spend a nice day indoors, unless it's nice every day during your visit!

Also, highly recommend planning for two day passes on L'Opentour, the hop on/hop off buses (route is much better than the Red Buses). The commentary is only adequate, but seats on the open air upper decks are one of the very best ways to enjoy the magnificent architecture and scenery all about Paris. Great photo ops, too. Routes have stops conveniently located to all the major sights and attractions, notably a stop right at the bottom of the finicular to Sacre Coeur (awkward to reach by metro or subway).

Also highly recommend Musee Grevin (wax museum). Lots of celebrities, but best are the historical (in chronological order) displays. Amazing. Breathtaking is the hall of mirrors (actually a huge round room). To explain further would spoil the surprise.

You and the kids would also enjoy ParisHistory (a multimedia presentation, film, video, stills, amazing music). This is a fabulous first stop, as having seen this, you'll know what will most appeal to you during your visit.

For Robespierre: Michael offers a totally personal service. He does have pre-prepared responses for inquiries not related to touring (e.g. how to get from CDG to the hotel...).

When I booked, we e-mailed back and forth several times considering all sorts of options (time consuming for him), yet didn't determine our final plans until we actually met with him, which he didn't mind a bit.

He told me last week that his cable was out (internet connection, he was answering inquiries at at internet cafe, slowly with a French keyboard, and TV, so he couldn't check weather reports), but he was doing his best to keep up, even though he had only one day off from touring over three weeks.
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 10:16 PM
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Another note: Michael is in huge demand, especially during the nicer weather.

There are many other excellent personal guides available in Paris. Check out www.parisphototours.com I happen to be personally acquainted with Christiane and Linda. Both are delightful and exceptionally knowledgeable. They offer pre-designed tours, along with customized itineraries (which do not have to emphasize photo ops). Christiane, in particular, knows all sorts of amazing spots with incredible views and is quite the photographer herself. When they're both busy, they have one or more associates they recommend, Barbara, for one, who also receive raves from everyone.
djkbooks is offline  
Jun 4th, 2005, 10:47 PM
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I had a fantastic day with Michael in February. It took a while to contact him (or at least for him to get back to me) but once arranged he was completely reliable and arrived at my hotel at the time announced. If you are desperate to contact him (try emailing him again first) he might respond to a message on his chatsite http://groups.msn.com/DestinationParis
He is parisfind1.
Faux is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 06:26 AM
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Thank you all, especially djkbooks. Your list of things to see and do will be very helpful as it included some more interesting things, rather than what is always mentioned.
jgg is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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Posts: 306
I was in Paris over Memorial Day Weekend with my two college age sons and we hired Michael Osman for the day. My kids were a little skeptical but it worked out GREAT! We all agree it was money well spent and I wouldn't hesitate to use him again. He was prompt in responding to me the first time but I had to chase him a bit with subsequent e-mails. A very minor inconvenience compared to the wonderful day we spent with him. Don't give up on him. He's a better guide than businessman.
Jeangail is offline  
Jun 5th, 2005, 08:50 AM
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Well, hi Faux! How you doin'?

I just e-mailed Michael last night for my trip in February. I would love to use his guide services. While I've read many great things about Michael, djkbooks sold me on him.
Beatchick is offline  
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