My Paris Apartment Dilemma

Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:20 PM
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My Paris Apartment Dilemma

Ok, ever since I first started dreaming of going to Paris last fall, I have been reading these boards religiously. Because of this site, I discovered the ParisPerfect apartments. I was immediately enthralled by their beauty and their views. Since we are planning on being in Paris a full week, renting an apartment seems to make sense as we can make some meals there. I have looked at other apartment websites and haven't found anything really as nice and as charming as the ones on the ParisPerfect website.

This is for our belated honeymoon and we don't mind spending the money, but I have to admit these apartments are on the top end of our budget. And it seems as though they just raised their rates (the 1 bedrooms I was looking at today are now $2723; I could swear just last week they were $2523!), meaning $389 a night.

My dilemma is this: If I'm going to spend that amount of money on an apartment, I want it to be as close to perfect as possible. The things that are necessities are a bathtub (so I can relax after a long day of walking) and a comfy bed. Things that are not necessary but are highly desired would be a balcony on which we could eat our breakfast, a view, and a comfy couch area. The thing is, all of the ParisPerfect 1-bedrooms have *some* of the amenities we are looking for, but not all. And none of them have air-conditioning, which hopefully won't be an issue since we are going in early June.

Is it crazy for me to spend this amount of money on an apartment, when there might be luxury hotels that I could get for about the same amount of money? Or does anyone else have any fabulous apartments they could suggest for me?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:26 PM
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You need to write to Pascal Zytomirski. His email address is [email protected]. He is generally cheaper than the large agencies. I have used him. He is honest and speaks fluent English. I would use him again if I were going to Paris. The last time, I rented a studio from him. You have to write him for prices. Prices are, obviously, reflective of supply and demand, so what I paid in 2001 might be higher now.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 07:47 PM
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As an FYI my favorite ParisPerfect apartment right now is Volnay.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 09:00 PM
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Hi Jenblase,

It dependends on how many nights you are planing to stay, if it's only few...you could save the cooking time to somthing more valuble like sites, etc. but if it's say a week or more you could defintly enjoy the many benefits an apartment can have. However I would strongly recomend to check the slowtravel.com reviews on apt. in Paris there are some dreadfull expirences you defintly want to avoid. If you click on my user name you'll find my not so lucky one too. I would also be cautious to contact someone who has just an e-mail address, i.e. no web site with pic. and ref. Especially for a honeymoon you want to make xtra efforts to have all your "Murphy Law" possibilities out of the way.
Happy Honeymoon to you both, have fun!
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 09:06 PM
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I am not sure at all about air cond in June ! In the last years I was two times in Paris in May and it was very hot.

I am also not sure that you will use the balcony. If the apartment is in an old building, the balcony are small, every body can see you sitting there.

For me, the most important things are location (to be very central and in a safe area) and air cond.
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 09:08 PM
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Hi

I would look into getting a cheaper hotel. After all you will be in Paris so you will not spend most of your time at the hotel or flat anyway...you will be out checking out the amazing city My wife and I went there in April for a week and I have posted a trip report with links and pictures on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com/Paris_France.htm . Maybe you can find some useful info there. Have a great trip.

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
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Old Jul 10th, 2006, 10:31 PM
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I've never rented from ParisPerfect, though I have read a lot about them on this board and agree that their apartments sound lovely. But, I did want to offer a word of advice about renting an apartment for your honeymoon - from my own experience. I, too, had the honeymoon dream of waking up in our own flat, cooking simple meals from market-fresh produce, drinking wine on the balcony (except we were in Italy; my fantasy was inspired by the Talented Mr Ripley)... So, my husband and I rented an apartment in Positano for a week. It was as beautiful as it looked in the photos, but... I never cooked a single meal as the kitchen wasn't stocked with basics (no olive oil, salt, pepper, no coffee) and I didn't want to buy large amounts for just two or three meals. And I really missed having a maid come in to make the bed and tidy up everyday, give us fresh towels, take out the trash, etc. Oh, and someone to take care of the burgeoning ant problem! And the flat didn't have a telephone (and no concierge) so we had to use a payphone in town to make dinner reservations using our broken Italian. Also, we ate mostly at the restaurants our guidebook suggested because we had no front desk to ask for advice. And thank goodness I brought shampoo with me because they didn't supply soap or shampoo. These are all little things and they might not bother you, but in retrospect we really would have been happier in a hotel. It would have cost the same amount of money, but offered us a true pampered experience... Anyway, congratulations on your marriage and I hope you have a perfect honeymoon whatever you choose!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 12:00 AM
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Jenblase,
We rented the Pinot apt from Paris Perfect last year. We were very happy with our choice. Yes it was expensive but having that extra space, separate lounge, separate toilet area etc made a difference for us. We were ahead of you in the marriage stakes, celebrating our 20th anniversary!! I too longed for the whole balcony thing and that is the main reason we chose the Pinot apt. As someone has already mentioned the balcony was really tiny and we only sat out there a couple of times, but it was good!! I think next time I wouldn't be so fussed, but at the time wanted to get the whole Paris fantasy happening. some of their other apartments have lovely french windows and you can almost get the same feeling by sitting by the open french doors, their apts seem to all have views of the E Tower which is a must!! The bed wasn't fabulous, nothing uncomfortable just not super comfortable, not king size, which we were used to. It did have a tub. (not the bed - the apt) We didn't cook much but did buy some cold items from the fabulous deli in Rue Cler and had a picnic style lunch and supper a couple of times. The aprt. did have some basics which we appreciated saving the large supermarket shopping thing. ie. dishwashing liquid, washing powder, coffee machine, garbage bags, paper towel etc, they also gave us a welcome basket with juice, wine, hmm can't remember what else. There was a supermarket a few hundred meters down the road where we bought butter, milk, tea bags, jam etc.

The linen wasn't changed whilst we were there and I did mention to them when we left that a mini service would have been a good idea, they thought so too, but don't know if they have implemented this idea. There is a phone in the apt which you are welcome to use, TV music dishwasher etc.

the thought of being cooped up in a hotel room doesn't appeal to me, quite frankly I think the accommodation is very much part of the whole experience. I know some folk on this forum think you are out all day and it doesn't matter, it matters very much to me!! The apt had a lift which was good as it was on the 6th floor!! They are delightful to deal with, prompt and efficient. Can you tell we thought they were great, expensive - yes, position fantastic -yes. Any more details just let me know, I have rabbited on for too long now as it is!! Congrats on the wedding!!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 12:25 AM
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You should get air conditioning because if you get a heat wave, which can happen in June, you could end up miserable.

I think $389 per night for a Paris apartment is a lot of money and more than you need to spend to get your fantasy. I had a good experience renting for a week from this agency, which specializes in the Ile St. Louis

http://www.guestapartment.fr/

But I'm also going to echo those who are warning you that you may not want to grocery shop or cook when you are actually in Paris on your honeymoon, and that Paris balconies are not necessarily all that great (noisy). I gave up on eating breakfast in the apartment we rented, since it proved much more fun to go to the cafe at the corner and I didn't have to wash the dishes afterwards. And I didn't have to worry about weather I'd remembered to turn off the toaster!

That said, I enjoyed the greater feeling of privacy, the added room (I had a large studio with a separate kitchen) and the view of the Seine out my window. But I got all that for well under $2000 for a week.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 05:12 AM
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We stayed in ParisPerfect's "Montrachet" in May 2005 and enjoyed it so much we are returning this September.

We just loved the balcony with table for two with its view of the Tour Eiffel. (Splendid views of the Tour Eiffel from all three windows, including while lying in bed.)

The kitchen was well equipped and included all the basics. Even a shopping cart with wheels was provided. A welcome basket included bottles of orange juice, milk, wine, etc.

Everything you could possibly need was available within blocks - nice grocery stores, along with those ubiquitous Parisien specialty shops for coffees, bread, pastries, chocolate, cheese, poultry, fish, everything! You don't need to do a lot of cooking as there are numerous places to pick up preprepared foods within blocks. And, if you don't care to shop for fresh food every few days (or will be out and about when the shops are open), there is an amazing frozen foods store around the corner (not what you would presume) with amazing offerings (all with easy to understand cooking directions and times).

ParisPerfect sends a booklet ahead of time chock full of food shopping, restaurants, see and doing...in the neighborhood.

In an apartment, you have room to spread out, a living room area, and you can have coffee without getting dressed up and going out and a light meal late at night when all the restaurants are closed.

If you are interested in a ParisPerfect apartment, I would urge you to see which ones are available for your dates, as they book up far in advance quickly. They also have a rather liberal cancellation policy (if you cancel several months ahead).

We thought being able to enjoy that view in our pj's with our coffee every morning and watching the Tour Eiffel sparkle every night from the bed just before falling asleep worth every penny.

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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 06:07 AM
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I personally would rather spend less on an apartment or hotel and have more money to eat at nicer restaurants or buy a few things to take home. You really aren't going to be in the apartment or hotel that much so I would look for something nice in the location you want to be in and save some of the money for going out and having fun.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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Also I was going to say that sometimes it is nice to be in a hotel where you can have a drink at the bar or get some help making restaurant reservations.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 06:11 AM
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I rented through parisbestlodge.com and had a great experience. I rented the Studio Rivoli and loved it. Its not luxurious but has everything you need and the location is perfect!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 06:51 AM
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I'm with petitepois. If there is just the 2 of you, why not stay in a hotel where someone ELSE makes the bed, cleans the bathroom, puts out fresh towels, etc.? For $300 per night, you should be able to find something lovely. By the way, no one tell my husband that it is possible to rent apartments in Europe! I'm a hotel girl all the way!!!!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:14 AM
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Like nessundorma, I also had a very good experience renting from guestapartment.fr. Their apartments are elegant, and you can, should you desire, get daily maid service (though this will increase the cost), reservations, masseuse to visit you in the apartment, etc.

I like apartments, so that is always my first choice. But think about whether you might prefer a hotel.

And have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 07:36 AM
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I can see your dilemma! You want a hotel standard apartment but somewhere with charm and comfort and inexpensive. This is a challenge in Paris. I like the look of this place in Montmartre (about $175 a night) - very cute and sexy and the shower room looks great:

http://www.i-escape.com/hotel.php?hotel_key=PA009

It lacks a tub and it isn't massive but it is half the price of the place you are looking at and you could spend that on meals?? Personally, I have given up the need for a tub as I always intend to have a soak and then I never do. I realised that after 5 days spent at the Hotel Giraffe in New York: I didn't use the bathtub once.

Here is the proper website for Swell Apartments (check out the others in Seville and England). It also has online availablity:

http://www.swell-apartments.co.uk/paris/apartment/

Good luck - let us know how it goes
 
Old Jul 11th, 2006, 09:48 AM
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Thank you for all of your opinions and insight so far. It is very interesting to read some of the cons of apartment rental, because I usually just read the pros. Even after reading all of this, I'm still pretty convinced that an apartment is right for us. I don't really care about having the linens changed every day. From what I've read, PP apartments have enough towels in them to last more than a week, so even if we wanted to use a new one every day we could, which we wouldn't. And I understand what everyone's saying about "illusions" of cooking all these meals in the apartment, buying fresh produce and whipping up a gourmet meal, etc. Truthfully, I do not have those aspirations (and my husband is well aware of this). Ideally if we could eat a few breakfasts in, I believe it would be worth it to have a small kitchen. My hubby is a big breakfast eater and I'm a sleep-in type of gal, and never the twain shall meet... so it would be nice for him to have the milk and cereal or eggs and bread at his disposal so he can make his own breakfast. Also I am a big snacker and I would love to be able to grab something at 11 p.m. and not get crumbs in my bed. : ) And then there is the whole issue of having a glass of wine in your apartment before going out for the evening.... sure you can do that in a hotel, too, but sitting on a couch with a view of the Tour Eiffel just sounds so much more Parisian.

Petitpois, I like your comments about having to buy large sizes of spices or olive oil, just to make a few meals. I hadn't thought about that before. But from what I've read, PP does supply their apartments with the basics, so those things usually aren't necessary to purchase.

As far as using a tub, usually when I go to hotels I'm a bit skeeved about "bathing" rather than showering, and I don't do it, but it seems like the ParisPerfect tubs would be clean enough that I wouldn't have these reservations. Plus, I want to say I had a bubble bath in Paris!!
Schnauzer and djkbooks, thank you for your reassuring reviews of the PP apartments. Schnauzer, we too are used to sleeping in a king size bed, so their queens might take some getting used to.

My only main concern now is the air conditioning. Technically we will be in Paris from May 26 to June 2nd, so I'm really hoping it will be cool enough at night. Day temps aren't a big deal since we'll probably not be in the apartment all that much during peak sunny times, but we want the place to be cool for sleeping. I have emailed ParisPerfect several times already and on this issue they assure me that there are several fans in each apt - one in the living room and one in each bedroom - and if we need to move an additional fan into the bedroom we can.
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 09:53 AM
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Oh, djkbooks, what is the name of that frozen foods place? I have read about it on other threads before, and it sounds so neat!! Where is it located too?
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 12:11 PM
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My husband and I have stayed in a wonderfully elegant and well-equipped flat that we found through vrbo. Super location near Musee d'Orsay. We certailnly didn't pay anywhere near what you are paying. The owner's website is www.wewillalwayshaveparis.net
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Old Jul 11th, 2006, 02:28 PM
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The name of the frozen food place is Picard (they have a website in French). The one in the 7th is at 195 rue de Grenelle (just opposite rue de l'Exposition). Right across the street (on the corner) is a wonderful market with fresh vegetables. A few doors down and across the street is an amazing cheese shop. Etc., etc.

Our apartment was stocked with oil, vinegar, various herbs, coffee filters, etc. We were advised to please restock if we used anything up (but not if we only used a bit of this and that). There were plenty of clean linens.

About air conditioning: (Just my thoughts.) You are not likely to need it it late May/early June. If it does get hot (and it could), there are blackout shades for all windows and a powerful oscillating fan. Our windows all faced west toward the afternoon sun - and sunset is quite late that time of year.

Note: You can map any Paris address at www.pagesjaunes.fr

It's especially handy to print a map of your address (hotel, apartment...) to give to the taxi driver at the airport, or on any occasion you happen to be going there by taxi.
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