Vacation in Paris

Aug 4th, 2007, 08:23 AM
  #1  
lmf
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Vacation in Paris

Hello,

I am thinking of renting an apartment through a NJ-based company- www.vacationinparis.com for our trip to paris. We've never rented an apartment on vacation but the idea seems so charming, like you really get to know the city and the people. Before I pay the deposit, has anyone used their services?

Also, we are going in December, and I am prepared for the cold, but any suggestions on how to stay warm but still Paris chic?

Thank you!!
lmf is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 08:44 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 529
Dark colored coat and buy a colorful long scarf and fold it in interesting ways. Winter Paris Chic. Boots as well...

I haven't rented with that service; but have done the apartment thing. Love it.
SuzieCII is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:10 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 182
Imf,

There are quite a few threads regarding vacationinparis......suggest you type in their name in the search box at the top of the page (no spaces), click on FRANCE, hit search, and a number of previous threads will appear.

Good luck, an apartment is loads of fun! If you find a couple that look promising for you and there is no feedback on them in other threads, post back with links to each apartment and ask for opinions....
lindall is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 09:51 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
I am renting with them in the spring. There are lots of positive posts on this board about this company. They have been wonderful to work with, and even gave me e-mail addresses for people who have stayed in the apartments I was considering renting. The posts seemed honest with pros and cons about the apartments. All were pleased with vacationinparis.com and would rent from them again. Let me know how your apartment rental turns out as we are not going until the spring.
teach905 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 10:10 AM
  #5  
lmf
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Thank you for all your help! I found more posts on the rental company and most people seem satisfied. I am excited for our very own Rue Cler apartment: http://www.vacationinparis.com/apts/id_115.htm

I will definitely post our apartment rental experience when we return. And any other suggestions for dress are greatly appreciated!

lmf is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 10:11 AM
  #6  
lmf
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Join Date: Aug 2007
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Oops...the link was http://www.vacationinparis.com/apts/id_155.htm
lmf is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 10:43 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 52
hi lmf-
I'm using them for our Oct. trip to Paris. I just finished paying the final deposit yesterday. They have been easy to work with and responsive via email and phone and have sent all papework/info quickly. You shouldn't have any problems with them.
I'm renting the Champs/Elysee apt. #109
lpsmith is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 01:17 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
"..you really get to know the city and the people.."

I think this is a bit of a 'romantic' notion. Parisians are private people and it's doubtful being in an apartment is going to make your neighbors immediately befriend you. You will actually have less interaction, not more, since there will be no reception or fellow guests to make small talk with. It has no impact whatsoever on how you 'see the city' - it's a place to shower, sleep, maybe eat. It might provide more space than a hotel room - that's about it.
Travelnut is offline  
Aug 4th, 2007, 01:46 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 52
travelnut-
so true- as part of our instructions they mention that "the Parisians are more private and reserved, respect that, keep the noise level down and don't take it personally if your 'neighbors' don't greet you. You are only a temporary guest- enjoy Paris and go about your business."

lpsmith is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 06:36 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,507
That's true, it really won't have anything to do with you getting to know the people. Maybe you'll like it fine, but just don't have unrealistic expectations about what this is. It's just a place to stay like a hotel (only with no services), and some space for you to keep food or cook a little. If you don't even know French, you really aren't going to get to know the people, but you wouldn't anyway, although you might frequent a few stores or shops for supplies that you wouldn't if staying in a hotel. Don't expect to be friends with neightbors or anything. You're just a vacationing tenant, and they may not even be that crazy about you being there.

I had some dealing with VIP but didn't like the terms and some of their conditions, nor that they wouldn't give me complete photos of the apt. I was interested in (they refused to supply me a photo of the bathroom or the bedroom, and neither was shown on the internet). They claimed they didn't have one. Well, maybe not, so go get one, that was ridiculous. This was unacceptable to me, completely (I don't like that whole mailing the key business, either). But if you like your dealings with them, they've been in business a long time.
Christina is online now  
Aug 5th, 2007, 09:30 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 368
Fortunately in my case, I've seen all the pictures of the apartment. Also, I've heard good things from people who have dealt with them. Also, I think we've all had hotels that have not lived up to expectations either. I've even been stuck with one because of a major holiday week end and nowhere else affordable to move.

I think when you travel you just have to roll with it. I had a friend tell me once that if you want it just like home when you travel...stay home. Some of our most memorable stories are of the funny things that go wrong when you travel.

Also, as far as living like a Parisian...when we have stayed in apartments vs. hotels...which we have only done a few times...I think what we mean is that you are often not surrounded by tourists...you are frequenting stores that people in the area frequent. In hotels we do not do that because we eat out all of our meals. There's just a different feel with staying in an apt vs hotel.. some may like it...others may not. That's why there are choices. It's not for everyone. Some people like their holidays totally arranged...others love to meander with no real plan in mind. What this board does is pair up like minded travelers not saying that any one perspective is correct. It just lets each of us feel knowledgable when we get to the city of our dreams and we are able to hit the ground running rather than waste time trying to figure thinks out. We may still make mistakes...but maybe not as many.

I have been very lucky with the info I have gotten from this board. No one professes to have all of the answers...it's just knowledge that I can use.


teach905 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 10:34 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,605
We aren't 'surrounded by tourists' and we 'frequent stores that locals frequent' by staying in hotels that aren't next door to Notre Dame
Travelnut is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 04:23 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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That's great travelnut. Like I said, this board gives information for everyone and we can each do with it what we want. It's given me the guts to do things that I would never do from reading a guidebook. I like hearing from people who have actually done it.
teach905 is offline  
Aug 5th, 2007, 05:09 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,602
I've rented from different agencies and private parties. We rented twice from vacationinparis and both time they were very easy to deal with. The fact that you can pay in dollars and if you like, with a credit card is a huge plus. You also receive your apartment keys before you leave in most cases. This eliminates the possibility of not meeting up with the apartment contact. We have never had a problem renting any apartment that we couldn't deal with. We enjoy the privacy and having more room to spread out and having a kitchen. We don't really cook, but we use the coffeemaker, microwave, refrigerator, etc. We have rented in Paris and Rome and continue to do so. On our upcoming trip to Rome in March we are renting from sleepinitaly.
opaldog is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 12:12 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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My family stayed in the historic apartment in February 06. The service was great from the NJ company. We rec'd the key the week before we left, and the instructions to entering the building and apartment were simple and accurate. When we arrived, (unbeknownst to us until Sunday a.m.) the hot water heater wasn't working. I called the local agent ( I beleive Rene) who apologized for the trouble and assured that someone would be there first thing Monday to fix the problem. They arrived at 8:15 and were gone by 9:45.
The apartment was in Montorgueil, so we were regular visitors to the market shops. The charcuterie/boulangerie there had two men working who did not speak english, but recognized and greeted me and/or my wife with a good morning each time we entered. The cafe (more of a small coffee shop) at the end of the street was the same way. My oldest son enjoyed the cafe so much that he plans on returning to hopefully visit with the owner when he returns with his fiancee in January.

As for the cold, dress in layers, and certainly bring or buy a winter scarf, it was amazing how much warmer we felt with one than without.

Enjoy your trip no matter where you stay!
apersuader65 is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 04:48 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,886
I have paid my $300. confirmation deposit with them for spring 2008. They have been very easy to deal with. They answered my e-mails promptly and when I called them, they were great on the phone. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 05:04 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 12,886
It's true that Parisiens, the French in general, are private people and I respect that. In the 30+ years of vacationing in Paris and Beausoleil, I haven't met the tons of people like I have in other countries. I have a very close Parisien friend who invited me a couple of times to stay at her father's and her apartment up in the 18th. She figured why should I pay to stay at the hotel she managed down in the 6th when she and her dad had a huge, 3-story apartment with a rooftop guestroom.
However, it took many years after I had known her before I got invited over although I had invited her to my place in L.A. area not that long after we had been friends and many of my friends hit it off with her right away and showed her around when she came for a visit. It was a huge three story apartment with a sunroof room. Even though her father owned the entire building, the neighbors really didn't chit-chat too much when we would see them. They'd greet us and go on by their business. And this is a building that her father has owned for over a decade. Other Parisiens that I've met have basically been through her as I was introduced to them. The same in the south of France where my best friend here in L.A. area lived for 25 years. I met people through introductions...not just on the street or in ways that I've met people in tons of other countries. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 05:07 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Excuse my above post. As I was editing, I accidentally hit something and it got posted before I finished editing. When I have time to reread it, I'll re-edit it. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 6th, 2007, 05:11 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Delete.."It was a huge 3-story apartment with a sunroof". And also add, "where my best friend's uncle here in L.A. area lived for 25 years". I think that's all the editing. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Aug 7th, 2007, 01:19 AM
  #20  
lmf
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Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 17
Thank you for all the helpful insights. Although I don't have any delusions about making lifelong friends with the Parisian in our building, I do hope to live like the Parisians do. To have the baker recognize us when we go to buy our croissants in the mornings and so on.
Regardless of other opinions, I'm confident it will surpass all our expectations and be a truly memorable trip.
lmf is offline  

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