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Need Suggestions for Paris Trip Apr 26 - May 10th

Need Suggestions for Paris Trip Apr 26 - May 10th

Old Jan 27th, 2023, 08:47 AM
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Need Suggestions for Paris Trip Apr 26 - May 10th

We are planning a trip to Paris and are looking for recommendations and suggestions.

We will be flying out on April 25th and returning to Central New York on May 10th. It has been about 7+ years since the last time we traveled abroad. We usually leave the first (1st is travel day) 2nd day as relaxation days as well as the day before we leave (more low key). We will have our adult son with us on this trip. He has never been to Paris. We have been to Paris before. Usually it is for 3-4 days before heading to a different part of France. Normally, we would travel by TGV down to the destination where our Walk & Wine Tours would start but sadly they have since stopped. Most of our stays in Paris were at a hotel near Gare de Lyon (Le Quartier Hotel in the 12th arrondissement) which was quite nice.

We are planning on taking some organized tours of Paris to get an overview and then possibly going back to visit again for a more in-depth look. We are looking at all options - considering - large tours, private or small group tours to get the most out of our visit. My husband doesn't hear as well which is why we are looking at small group tours (still open to all options). Any suggestions on tours?

Hotel pick up for tours might be a problem staying in the 12th arrondissement. The hotel we usually stay at has a maximum stay of 8 days (some other hotels as well). Any suggestions which arrondissement might be the best for touring Paris? There are 3 adults needing 2 rooms or a suite.

Hotel suggestions preferably one with a/c??? Any suggestions on hotels, apartment rentals? Or Abnb?

We will purchase a 6-day museum pass for convenience sake. Is it better to buy it when we arrive or purchase online? Paris Pass vs the Museum Pass?

All the normal tourist places (first time for our son)
Hop On/Hop Off Bus Tour (our first day)
Eiffel Tower and Trocadero Gardens
Arc de Triomphe and Champs de Elysee
Notre Dame Cathedral (closed)
Saint Chapelle
The Louvre Museum (guided tour in English)
Garden of Tuileries
Sacré-Cœur and Moulin Rouge
Luxembourg Gardens
École Militaire and Rue Cler
Rodin Museum
Palais Garnier Opera House (tour)
Panthéon
Marais Walk
Secret Passageways
Cooking Class and/wine tasting - any suggestions
Galleries Lafayette
Versailles - Kings Apartment & Gardens - Suggestions for possibly staying overnight in the village before heading to the castle? Private or small group tours. Recommendations? Best days to go (except Monday)?

Monet Gardens at Giverny if time permits
Any suggestions for restuarants?

Thank you.
CherB

Last edited by CherB; Jan 27th, 2023 at 09:16 AM.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 09:07 AM
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Hi CherB,
Strongly recommend Paris by Mouth tours. They offer small group tours of markets, tasting tours of shops, and wine & cheese tastings. I've done their wine & cheese tastings three times -- there is almost nothing better than sitting with like-minded folks, eating sublime cheeses paired with wonderful wines for two hours. Take a look at their website and check out the reviews.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 04:47 PM
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Best way to see Paris is too walk if you can. Hop on bus tour a waste as you could be in traffic a lot of the time. If you search for walking tours of Paris there are so many wonderful easy to follow walks without the need of a tour guide.
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 06:40 PM
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swandav2000, We will be looking into those - sounds fun. Thank you.
Cherie
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 06:44 PM
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We are only doing the HopOn HopOff Bus the day we arrive to acclimate ourselves to the city. We will be very tired hence riding the bus. I'm in the process of looking at walking tours (the problem is knowing what is good and what isn't). Thank you for your input.
Cherie
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Old Jan 27th, 2023, 07:30 PM
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My first suggestion: take me with you!!

You may do well to contact Michael Osman, an American expat who does custom tours in Paris. Tell him your interests and needs, he'll give you some proposals.

A favorite resto in Paris is Le Cosi at 9 rue Cujas near the Pantheon. Lovely menu, great service, reasonable prices.

We also like to head down to the 13th to hit Tricotin at 15 Av. de Choisy, 75013 for good Chinese food - the place is filled mostly with Asian folks so you know it's good! In no way posh, food is great and ambience feels like sitting in a Hong Kong joint. Easy to reach via metro line 7 to Porte de Choisy.

Overnight in Versailles is a great idea, it is a charming place to wander around town. We stayed at La Residence du Berry when we attended a midnight masked ball one year and it was lovely.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 05:36 PM
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"Seamus;17433030]My first suggestion: take me with you!!

You may do well to contact Michael Osman, an American expat who does custom tours in Paris. Tell him your interests and needs, he'll give you some proposals.

A favorite resto in Paris is Le Cosi at 9 rue Cujas near the Pantheon. Lovely menu, great service, reasonable prices.

We also like to head down to the 13th to hit Tricotin at 15 Av. de Choisy, 75013 for good Chinese food - the place is filled mostly with Asian folks so you know it's good! In no way posh, food is great and ambience feels like sitting in a Hong Kong joint. Easy to reach via metro line 7 to Porte de Choisy.

Overnight in Versailles is a great idea, it is a charming place to wander around town. We stayed at La Residence du Berry when we attended a midnight masked ball one year and it was lovely."

LOL!! Thank you. We'll be definitely contacting Michael. What I forgot to mention is in the original post is that we are FOODIES!!! Thank you for the restaurant suggestions.

I'm impressed with you attending a midnight ball in France!!! Did you write up a travel report including the midnight ball? I would love to read it.

We have been looking at apartment rentals and making sure they are legit using the following books: Michelin, Rick Steves and Fodor's. Timing is late for doing this but couldn't do it sooner due to a health issue. Maybe Michael will have some suggestions. Right now we have a couple of back up plans for hotels if that is all we can find. Our priorities are mostly on food/dinner.

Thank you again.
Cherie (CherB)

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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 05:37 PM
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Has any one stayed at the Victor Hugo Hotel or surrounding area? It is not my preferred area to stay in. We will keep looking.

Last edited by CherB; Jan 28th, 2023 at 05:49 PM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 05:57 PM
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Double recommend le Cosi. We have eaten there on our last two visits to Paris. https://www.restaurant-le-cosi.fr/en/ Don't miss the beignets de courgettes (zucchini fritters). One plate serves at least two.

Last edited by AJPeabody; Jan 28th, 2023 at 06:00 PM.
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Old Jan 28th, 2023, 07:29 PM
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Cherie - the trip report that included the masked ball is at Paris & London July 2011

This year's ball info is posted here.

Have not stayed at the Victor Hugo, looks OK but not my favorite location in Paris. Why would you think a property in the 12th would present problems for tour pick up?
A quick look at AirBnB for your dates showed several 2 bedroom places, all with license number displayed. Booking.com also shows several options for your dates.
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Seamus
Cherie - the trip report that included the masked ball is at Paris & London July 2011

This year's ball info is posted here.

Have not stayed at the Victor Hugo, looks OK but not my favorite location in Paris. Why would you think a property in the 12th would present problems for tour pick up?
A quick look at AirBnB for your dates showed several 2 bedroom places, all with license number displayed. Booking.com also shows several options for your dates.


Thank you for the quick response. My husband and son choose the Victor Hugo Hotel. It wasn't my location of choice either. I will look into AirBnB (thank you).
I don't particularly care for Booking.com. We got stung by them by their overbooking leaving us w/o a room for one night. Those type of surprises I don't care for. We prefer to contact the hotels directly now.
We like the 12th arrondissement and usually our stay would be at Hotel Le Quartier (safe and quiet location). The issue is that they don't take reservations longer than 8 days. We may trying calling or emailing to see if they would over ride it.
One of our favorite restaurants nearby that we enjoyed was Au Trou Gascon. Food was memorable as well as the service. However, I have read that they had closed down a couple of years ago and then reopened (possibly under new management - the person was either retiring or selling, don't remember).

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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by AJPeabody
Double recommend le Cosi. We have eaten there on our last two visits to Paris. Don't miss the beignets de courgettes (zucchini fritters). One plate serves at least two.
Thank you! We will be adding it to our list.

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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:25 AM
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A suggestion for dining near Giverny is the restaurant at Auberge du Prieure Normand. We enjoyed our post-Giverny lunch there tremendously. If you go I will share a tip we got here on the forum....the next day head to L'Orangerie to see the Monet canvases after seeing the real thing at Giverny (pair with with your visit to Tuileries. I'd encourage you to put Giverny on your itinerary.

I also highly recommend Paris by Mouth tours. We have done 2 tours (one in the upper Marais and one in St Germain. Our favorite Paris by Mouth "thing" is the cheese workshop with Jennifer Greco. Not sure the current specifics but we met in a space at a wine shop and tasted several wines and I think 12-14 cheeses. We learned a ton and the cheese was all heavenly (we even took some back to apartment afterwards). It counts as lunch.

It's been several years since we have been to Paris but have always loved the Sole Menuiere at Allard. If you do go to Musee Rodin, lunch at nearby Cafe Varenne is a suggestion. One of my favorites!
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by denisea
A suggestion for dining near Giverny is the restaurant at Auberge du Prieure Normand. We enjoyed our post-Giverny lunch there tremendously. If you go I will share a tip we got here on the forum....the next day head to L'Orangerie to see the Monet canvases after seeing the real thing at Giverny (pair with with your visit to Tuileries. I'd encourage you to put Giverny on your itinerary.

I also highly recommend Paris by Mouth tours. We have done 2 tours (one in the upper Marais and one in St Germain. Our favorite Paris by Mouth "thing" is the cheese workshop with Jennifer Greco. Not sure the current specifics but we met in a space at a wine shop and tasted several wines and I think 12-14 cheeses. We learned a ton and the cheese was all heavenly (we even took some back to apartment afterwards). It counts as lunch.

It's been several years since we have been to Paris but have always loved the Sole Menuiere at Allard. If you do go to Musee Rodin, lunch at nearby Cafe Varenne is a suggestion. One of my favorites!

Thank you for the suggestions. We will be definitely looking into the Paris by Mouth Tours and wine & cheese tours. We will try and make it to Giverny.

Cherie (CherB)
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:13 PM
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Does anyone know anything about HavenIn.com Vacation Rentals? Has anyone used this company before? We have found an apartment in the st germain arrondissement (everything seems very nice and reasonable).
I had gotten the name from Rick Steves books. It seems legitmate. However, I want to make sure it is.
We were reading the Cancellation Policy and it concerned us that this could be a bate and switch. The following statement about cancellation is the from the contract which states:

"12. Cancellation by Haven In
12.1 In the unlikely event that Haven In is unable to provide the Renter with the Property originally reserved, Haven In reserves the right to offer the Renter:
12.1.1 A Property of equal or greater value in exchange. If the New Property is of greater value, the Renter will be asked to pay the difference between the New Rental Price and the Original Booking Price.
12.1.1.1 If this is unacceptable, the Renter will be issued a 100% refund.
12.1.2 If the only available Property is of lesser value, the Renter will be given the choice of reserving the New Property with a refund for the difference in price from the Original Booking Price.
12.1.2.1 If this is unacceptable, the Renter will be issued a 100% refund.
12.1.3 If Haven In does not have any other properties available for the Rental Period, Haven In will cancel the Renter’s reservation and immediately issue a full refund"....


Is this normally stated in most contracts? Has us very concerned.
Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

Cherie
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Old Jan 29th, 2023, 10:58 PM
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Hi again,

No, I haven't ever seen such language in a rental contract, and I would also be concerned! Some other options for finding rentals are--

Plum Guide -- I recently inquired about one of their properties. I didn't end up reserving it, but I was very impressed with the staff and their care for my reservation.

Paris Perfect -- very expensive these days, but still very popular, and with good reason. Their customer care is top.

Cobblestone Paris -- I've never rented from them, but I've seen the name come up often here on this forum.

VRBO -- the old standby. Requires doing a lot of research and scrutinizing, but you can net a gem. I would avoid any apartment with a review less then an 8.2.

Have fun as you plan!

s
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by swandav2000
Hi again,

No, I haven't ever seen such language in a rental contract, and I would also be concerned! Some other options for finding rentals are--

Plum Guide -- I recently inquired about one of their properties. I didn't end up reserving it, but I was very impressed with the staff and their care for my reservation.

Paris Perfect -- very expensive these days, but still very popular, and with good reason. Their customer care is top.

Cobblestone Paris -- I've never rented from them, but I've seen the name come up often here on this forum.

VRBO -- the old standby. Requires doing a lot of research and scrutinizing, but you can net a gem. I would avoid any apartment with a review less then an 8.2.

Have fun as you plan!

s

Thank you. Your input is very much appreciated. May have to go back to the search again. Sigh!

Cherie
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 08:16 AM
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Happy to help! Hope you find something good!

S
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 08:50 AM
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There is nothing unusual about those terms whatsoever, lots of apt rental agencies have such terms. I'm not sure what you expect, they say if you don't like the new one, you can get a refund. No agency can guarantee you an apt will absolutely be avilable, what if it has a fire just before?

As for the upgrade cost, that isn't unusual either, you are given the choice to cancel. Parisperfect, for example, has the exact same terms, if they cancel, they'll try to find you something and you have to pay more if it is an upgrade. If you don't want to, you get a refund. Some agencies just don't specify what happens if it is an upgrade, but that doesn't mean you get it for the same price.

If you only want an agency that specifies you get the upgrade free, you may have a long search but can do that. I would worry more about reviews of the agency and if there are a lot of cancellations for no reason.

I think Guestapartmentservices specifies you wno't pay any upgrade fee if necessary, they are the only one I know that does. I don't know if they rent legal apts or not.

Cobblestone cited above has the exact same terms, they will try to find you a new one but are not responsible for any increased costs if it costs more.

Last edited by Christina; Jan 30th, 2023 at 09:01 AM.
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Old Jan 30th, 2023, 10:29 AM
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Yes totally agree with a visit to Le Cosi - we went there on our last trip to Paris. Another great restaurant (for the interiors as well as the food!) is Le Train Bleu!
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