Paris Apartment Thread

Old Dec 6th, 2008, 06:25 PM
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Paule

I may have mentioned this before, but I will post again. Forgive me if it is repeat information.

We stayed with rentparis.com in the past, in the Marais, and we were very happy with our apartment. In February, we are staying with them again at this apt:

http://www.rentparis.com/appart-en-47.html

I recommend this agency. We thought they were great and are looking forward to our stay in February. Their apartments seem to be less expensive than most.

I spent forever researching our last place, in 2007. I was pretty careful when I picked rentparis.com. So far, so good.

I can post a review after our trip in February, but it will be late for you. In any case, they have several places in your price range.
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Old Dec 7th, 2008, 04:35 AM
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Thanks, Tuscan,
Rentparis does have many apartments in my price range! Thanks for the suggestion.There are several that look like they would be good choices.
Paule
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Old Dec 7th, 2008, 05:17 AM
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bookmarking
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Old Dec 8th, 2008, 09:48 AM
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Paule, that is when we will be there, also. We like the Left Bank but it will be our first time renting an apartment so I don't have any recommendations yet.

Did you already get your plane tickets? I'm wondering if airfares will go down, maybe in January, or if I should just book now.
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Old Dec 8th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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Hi, Cat
I was lucky to have almost enough miles to get off-peak tickets to Europe, and managed to book a direct (!) flight to Paris. Just the 1 week this year. So I don't know about the cost of tickets for that time.

Does anyone have any experience with insurance for apartment rentals? Unfortunately, both dh & I have elderly parents who are not doing well, and who knows what will happen in the next few months.

Paule
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Old Dec 9th, 2008, 09:46 AM
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www.vrbo.com/49273
October 2006

Prodded by AnselmAdorne ;-), here's a long overdue review.

We stayed at this apt, labeled a "Country Cottage in the Marais" for 2 weeks two years ago, so my caveat is that my experience *is* two years old.

The location, for those who love the Marais, is wonderful, right on Rue Charlot, close to the "side entrance" to the Enfant Rouge market and just down from Rue de Bretagne. It's in a very secure building -- you go through an exterior door and then a gate before you even reach your front door, plus they have those French metal security shutters you can use to secure your windows as well.

It's not really a cottage, although the exterior looks like it. It's the ground floor studio apt within an old building facing a pretty courtyard. Otherwise, it pretty much looks exactly like the picture on the VBRO site (except when we stayed there the bed and sofa were swapped) so the apt is very clean-- though there's a faint damp smell no doubt from the stone walls.

From other pictures I've seen of other Paris studios, this apt is pretty large and has quite a spacious feel for a studio.

There's a nice amount of storage space, as well, given that it's a studio, including a space under a kitchen counter that's large enough to store your suitcase.

There's a separate washer and dryer, though the dryer is one of those European condensation ones.

The bathtub is one of those long and deep but narrow tubs, so nice to soak in for someone who isn't above average weight. If you're a tub reader, like I am, I *think* there's a light over the end of the tub against the wall, but not on the other side. (Sorry, my memory's faulty.)

There are two small wall heaters in the living space too, which worked well for us when it got cold.

There are enough floor and table lamps to read pretty well from the sofa or bed, but at night I wouldn't call the apartment really, really bright either.

The host is gracious and even provided a nice binder of maps and local recommendations. There's a small supply of books and CDs in the apt as well.

There's also an alarm clock by the bed, a hair dryer, soap, towels, toilet paper, detergent, and the kitchen is stocked (perhaps by prior tenants) with a decent supply of spices and sundries.

The area is indeed wonderful. Aside from the Enfant Rouge, you also have bakeries, two pharmacies, two or more ATMs, a wonderful cheese shop, a butcher and a produce market, and two small supermarches just down the street on Rue de Bretagne. And you're really close to all the cute boutiques and restaurants of the Marais. The Seine is maybe about a 20 min walk, but it's a 20 minutes that goes really fast.

The cons are that, because it's a ground floor location, you don't need any direct light into the apt. I overslept most days because of the cave-like effect. (OTOH, I don't believe I've slept so well since I was a toddler!) Unless something has changed in two years, if you want to watch TV you also don't get decent reception.

The bed is like a tight American full sized bed, so adequate for a couple if they're used to sleeping closely together but not for a couple that, say, needs the space of a queen-sized bed. I also found the mattress really firm--as firm as some Asian mattresses I've slept on--though my husband had no problem with it.

The recycling bin room is also right outside the door, which means every so often you'll get noise from someone throwing their bottles and cans into one of the bins. Plus, when we were there you could sometimes hear what sounded like a woman walking around in heels upstairs. (You *are* in a ground floor apartment!)

Lastly, if you rent the apt, make sure you get a really good primer on how to unlock the front door. Unless it's changed, it's a bit tricky and you can spend a loooong time cursing the door while trying to get it open. As a I recall, the trick is to unlock the door then turn the key back to exactly the 9pm position before pushing the door open, but my memory might be faulty. Definitely have the owner show you how it works and then *try* it in front of the owner so you make sure you have the knack of it.

Would I stay there again? I loved the location and I found the apartment charming and exactly as described. Personally, I think next time I'll splurge on a one-bedroom so one of us can sleep even when the other one is up, and I think I need an apartment with more natural light. However, if the natural light is not a problem and you're looking for a spacious ground floor studio in a great location I wouldn't hesitate to rent this apartment. The owner is an ex-pat so my email conversations with him were perfect, and he answered all of my questions promptly. I also got my security deposit back very quickly, so I wouldn't hesitate to do business with him again.
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Old Dec 9th, 2008, 10:55 AM
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great thread! bookmarking for future reference.
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Old Dec 9th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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PegS ... =D>

AA
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Old Dec 9th, 2008, 12:41 PM
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We very much enjoyed our stay at this apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis:

http://www.parisaddress.com/paris-ap...php?ref=PONT12

Apartment was clean, beds were comfortable, air conditioning was welcomed on a couple of hot days in June, the folks at ParisAddress were very friendly, and helpful with coming back to show us how to reset the water heater and turn on the oven.

The location was magnificent, with a view across the roofs to the towers of Notre Dame (or into the courtyard which houses the public baths). Turn right and cross into the Marais, turn left and cross into the Latin Quarter, go straight and cross to the Ile de la Cite, or just stay on the island and enjoy the ice cream/gelato war. Batobus and Metro stops within an easy walk. Lively area, but the apartment was very quiet when the windows were shut.
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Old Dec 9th, 2008, 11:26 PM
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Pegs, you have set the bar high for me to come back and report on 5 Rue Frederic Sauton!

DancingBear, although I didn't see the apartment you rented, I am using Paris Address so I'm glad your experience was good.

Francophile, thanks for the additional thumbs up via your friend!
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Old Dec 11th, 2008, 02:37 PM
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topping...
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Old Dec 11th, 2008, 03:11 PM
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I'm interested in the apartment that vedette stayed in

http://www.vrbo.com/133080

which is located in the area of the Marais near the Pompidou.

I remember the area as slightly funky, and wondered what the streets in the Marais were like. Would this be safe and pleasant?

Thanks,
Paule
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Old Dec 11th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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Has anyone here ever stayed in this apartment...
http://www.vacationinparis.com/apts/id_02.htm

We are looking at it for October 2009
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Old Dec 11th, 2008, 06:04 PM
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 02:06 AM
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Still curious about the safety & overall feeling of the area around the Pompidou and near Les Halles. I notice it's often referred to as Le Marais, but it's really not.

I'm interested in an apartment located on (I believe) rue Quincampoix, by Ramuteau. I've looked at photos of the street, and it looks fine, but want to know what it's like around the area.

My husband and I remember the area around Les Halles as a little funky, and wondered what it would be like to stay around here. We've always stayed on the Left bank (5th, 6th, 7th) and want to try the Marais.

Thanks,
Paule
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 07:34 AM
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Progol, when we were their in OCtober, we walked around Rameteau quite a bit and I couldn't wait to get back to the Left bank. I wouldn't want to stay there but I understand that Paris appeals to many different types for many different reasons. I'm just a Left Bank gal!
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 12:07 PM
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Hi, Cat,
I've always been a Left Bank kinda gal, too, which is why we're pushing the envelope here!

I've wanted to check out the area around the Marais and get a feeling for that area, which seems like an interesting area to be in. We just like to experience different areas each time we go.

I'm curious about safety and character of the area around the Pompidou (Quincampoix/Rambuteau, east of Sebastopol).

Thanks,
Paule
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 12:53 PM
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progol, I'll take a stab at describing that area for you. We rented an apartment on Rue des Archives last month and we walked along Rue Rambuteau every day.

Going east to west along Rambuteau from Rue des Archives to Rue Beaubourg: lots of small specialty shops selling cheese, seafood, green groceries, at least one bakery and a couple of butchers, a Franprix, cafés, several jewellry stores, hair salons ... lots of pedestrians in the afternoons and evenings. Vibrant atmosphere.

Rue Rambuteau changes between Rue Beaubourg and Boul Sébastopol. It opens up a bit on the south side, loses its feeling of community (or at least that's the way I felt it). Absolutely nothing wrong with it, it just doesn't feel the same.

I do not remember walking up Rue Quincampoix, although I am pretty sure we did. I do know that we walked up Rue St-Martin (parallel and immediately east) several times; it has a lot of wholesale clothing stores, fewer things like food stores and cafés. Certainly less animated than on the east side of Beaubourg.

So, given a choice, I'd choose east of Rue Beaubourg.

As for safety, we walked throughout that area in the late evening. It felt perfectly comfortable.

Anselm
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Old Dec 12th, 2008, 01:51 PM
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Thanks, Anselm,
That's exactly the kind of info I was looking for.

I'm planning to take the apartment on rue Quincampoix, and at least I'll have a realistic expectation of the area. I did a search with Google's map feature, and found the photos of the area make it look perfectly fine, though I can see where it may be a little bit bland on the street itself.

As long as it's a short walk to shops, I'm sure we'll be fine. And the price of the apartment is very manageable (650 Euros for a large studio).

Thanks for exactly the info I was looking for - safety is really the most important concern, and you've definitely reassured me.

Paule
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Old Dec 14th, 2008, 02:59 AM
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We stayed at a great apartment in Saint Germain last year (unfortunately no longer available ) but found one this year that we just adored on the Ile De La Cité. Here's a link:

http://www.vrbo.com/76952

It's right on the river, and the views by night and day were simply mesmerizing. The owner (a Canadian) keeps it for when she's in Paris herself. It's beautifully appointed, and just so warm, welcoming and comfortable. It was just perfect for the two of us, and felt like our own little home.

There are plenty of shops just around the corner in the Rue St Louis, although we preferred to walk a little further up to Boulevard St Germain. There are markets there every morning, and lots of great cheese shops, patisseries etc. The apartment is only about 50 metres to Notre Dame, and a short stroll to the Metro and many other attractions.

The only downside is that the apartment is on the 4th floor, with no elevator, although with all the eating and drinking we did that was probably not such a bad thing! We simply loved it
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