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Which one of these Paris apartments would you choose?

Which one of these Paris apartments would you choose?

Nov 17th, 2011, 04:21 PM
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Which one of these Paris apartments would you choose?

Hi all!

Thank you for assisting me in my selection of my 2012 apartments, all done, all set.
We are in the Layon apt by Paris Perfect for 2 weeks followed by the Hyacinth apt by Guest Apartment Services for the 3rd week.

Sooo... believe it or not, I am planning for 2013!

And the reason I am starting this early is this will be a most special trip as DH and I are treating our 16 yr old niece to her first trip to Paris!

She is a lovely, quiet girl and already has a list a mile long that I gave her as "homework" ( it's all fun) to help her prep herself for the trip including 5 things SHE wants to do. Anyway, we are making it a journey and most fun!

This will be for the third week in June 2013.

Even as a 16 yrd old, Addy loves nice things and nice surroundings. She is a delightful "little princess", all in a good way. She's like DH and I in that we like a comfy apartment too. So no fold out couch and sharing a bathroom with us. I'm only interested in a proper 2 bedroom/ 2 bath.

Now, if you recall from my last post, the one area DH and I have not stayed as of yet to our many trips to Paris is the Marais, which we love, and in 2012 we will not be staying there as well. We were suposed to and then Paris Perfect who I am renting from in the first part of the trip, the second part was going to be in the Marais in one of their apartments that is likely to be sold by then . PP let us know way in advance of June 2012 and I decided to go with Guest Apartment Services for the second half of 2012 trip on St Louis.


A few choices for this 2013 apartment are in the Marais which I think is a fine for Addy and would be an opp for DH and I to finally stay there. But I also have 1 choice on St Louis and 1 choice in St Germain ( which we have stayed in many , many times).

So here are my choices and you let me know your thoughts. I will list out my pros and cons of each myself and your keen eyes are what I am relying on if I missed something .

Choice 1: Marais

Cecile Apartments: http://www.cecile-apartments.com/par...-apartment.php

What I like:
Good size: almost 800 sq ft
Most beautiful bedrooms, that master bed looks yummy
Beautiful bathrooms and a toilet in each bathroom so 1 complete bathroom for Addy which I love
Love, love, love the St Paul area of the Marais.
Love the courtyard entrance, always very French in my mind
Her terms seem reasonable, the price is fine


There is only 1 couch and no visible other seating the living room. Not necessarily a deal breaker as there are dining chairs available, but I was hoping for another living room chair.

The kitchen while it looks lovely, looks small. Not a deal breaker as I do cook in Paris, but this visit will be only for 1 week, so mostly eating out.

The entire living area looks bunched up, but at almost 800 sq ft, maybe I'm wrong

Read pretty much great reviews about Cecile and her apts, except one that disturbs me a bit: You all prob saw the post on TA ( I don't know if the OP posted here). She rented the Luxembourg apt of Cecile's and while it appears that the apt was lovely, there was major scoffolding on the apt and it was really dusty and dirty.

I know anything can happen in Paris but the since Cecile only owns 7 apts and prob knew this was happening the OP said she was not told. When the OP complained to Cecile, seems that Cecile's compensation was so poor and pithy, that the OP was just beyond unhappy. Yes 2 sides to every story, but for anyone who might have read about this, let me know your thoughts. Here is the link


Seems that Cecile does not meet you at the apt and there are instructions for key pick up according to her website. I'd rather have someone show us apt, I like that as Guest Apartment Services and PP does. Not a total deal breaker as we know Paris well, I just like someone to show us in. Seems though she is pretty available. If anyone has first hand experience of this, let me know!

Choice 2: Marais


A VRBO apt: Normally I'm not keen on vrbo, but this was a reco by a wonderful Fodors poster, Judy. I had considered them for the 2012 trip, but then I hesitated and lost the apt. This is an apt owned by Pam and Cheryl of California and they are extremely responsive. I know the apt is well received.

However, they have 2 apts located n the same building ( coincidentally its the same exact bldg of the PP apt that that we had to give up for our 2012 apt) and I really like the Tournelles 2 apt better than the Tournelles 1 apt , and its Tournelles 1 that is available ( yes, would you believe that as far as 2013 is that Tournelles 2 is already rented). So let's look at the pros and cons

Things I like:
Like the owners very much, had 2 dealings with them, couldn't be more helpful

Love Rue des Tournelles and the bdlg is at the end of the street before it turns so it feels very exclusive, I like that.

The apt looks lovely, full 2 bathrooms, looks like at least 1 toilet is in the bathroom, don't see where the other toilet is in the larger bathroom, but that's not a deal breaker if it is in a separate closet. At least there is one full bathroom for Addy

Price is fine, terms are good

Has air conditioning

There is someone to meet us and explain all

good size: 700 sq ft


There also appears that its just a couch with a formal looking chair in the living area. Not a deal breaker as I mentioned above for the Cecile apt, but more chairs would be nice

Kitchen looks small, again, not a real deal breaker, but it looks kinda cute, has more character than the Cecile one.

Bedrooms look nice, but I don't think as bright or nice as the Cecile one above.

Choices 3&4 : Marais. both by Paris Deluxe.

I contacted Paris Deluxe when looking at 2012. Very nice people, prompt in getting back to me. Didn't end up using them, but have re-looked at them.

There are two I am considering

1st Paris Deluxe;

I'm giving you the vrbo link, but this is run by Paris Deluxe: http://www.vrbo.com/350235

Things I like:

Love the living space. Comfy looking couch, extra chairs

Pretty cheerful decor

Great kitchen.

Bedrooms look nice, but not my very first choice, still like the looks of Cecile's better.

Air conditioning

Full two bathrooms, 1 toilet is in a separate closet, not a big deal

Like the courtyard

good size; 70 sqm


Not really a con, but I prefer the areas of the Marais in Village St Paul or directly behind Place des Vosges such as Rue Tournelles, etc. I've haven't spent much time up on Rue Charlot and I'm sure its lovely as I googled it and have know there are some lovely shops around there.

I'm used to be closer to the Seine and was thinking Addy would like being closer too for her first visit. But honestly, she doesn't really know the difference and anything with a lux feel we know she would like. Please chime in your thoughts about the Rue Charlot area.

Like I said above, the bedrooms look nice, but not as nice as Cecile's appear.

Price is good, but I read somewhere in their website that the security deposit was to be given in cash. Not crazy about that, will have to verify, but if anyone knows off hand that would be great.

2nd Paris Deluxe Apt:


This one is also on Rue Des Tournelles which looks a bit down the road from the vrbo Tournelles 1. So we already know I like this street

Things I like:

Appears that the living area is cushy

Air conditioning

Bright and sunny

Bedrooms look inviting

good size 70sqm


Kitchen looks really small. Again, not a deal breaker, but looks the smallest of them so far

While there are two full bathrooms, I like the looks of them least as compared with the others above.

Again, not sure about their security deposit details. Price is fine.

Choice 5: Marais.

This is also a vrbo but run by Absolute Apartments ( or is it Apartments Absolute??)

Owned by Australians. This is another apt on Rue Charlot, so like I stated
above, I have not spent time on Rue Charlot, so opinions needed.

Things I like:

Love the bright airy decor. Looks the brightest of all the apts so far ( but pics can deceive)

Living area looks large and very cushy

Love, love the kitchen

good size: 77sqm

Bedrooms look beautiful

Bathrooms look beautiful


There is only 1 shower, one bathroom has a bath which none of us will use. So we all three have to use 1 shower. Not a deal breaker, but I'd like Addy to have all her own space if we can. But I love the shower itself, looks yummy!

Can't tell if there is only 1 toilet and if it is separate. Can anyone decipher?

Choice 6: St Germain. Paris Perfect

Ok, so this brings us back to St Germain, but this is one of my fav areas of St Germain and its with Paris Perfect who I am already dealing with for 2012. I met them this past summer when I was in Paris and so know them, been to their offices and know how they do business. Very comfortable with it all.

I decided against using PP 7eme for the trip with Addy( as you all know PP specializes in the 7th). The 7th is great for us, but for Addy I wanted something more central for her first time. So I selected the St Germain Marsanne apt:


Things I love;

I do really love the area that this apt is in St Germain

Beautiful apt and the largest of all the apts thus far

Two bathrooms

Great kitchen


There is only 1 toilet, not crazy about that, but its not necessarily a deal breaker.

It's not the Marais and we thought since we know we are going, we could finally stay in the Marais, but it's not like we will never be back. Just thought since this is a done deal, we can go for the Marais. But certainly this is no hardship to stay in St Germain and this apt!

Choice 7: St Louis. Guest Apartment Services: Lys

What can I say about GAS? I love these guys and we had a most splendid apt this past summer ( Snowdrop) and are renting Hyacinth for our 3 weeks in Paris 2012 after we stay in a PP for 2 weeks. So I know these guys, love doing business with them. Very very French ( if you know what I mean!!)


Now this apt has an entirely diff decor than the others. It's formal. And here are my thoughts on this: I really do love the old world look even though I am usually a contemporary gal. In giving Addy a complete French experience, this apt looks more authentically French to me than the others (you know what I mean, i.e: oil paintings instead of framed contemporary pics like in the Cecile apt)

Things I love:

The living area is the cushiest of all the apts above. More seating even though there are only 3 of us, but it looks most inviting.

I love the library area for computer use

Both bedrooms have a most elegant feel with the fireplaces

Addy could experience the Seine from the window and feel like she is indeed in Paris. Not that any of the apts would not give her the feeling, but you all know there's nothng like the Seine.

I love the entrance way to this apt, so residential

I love St Louis, but will have stayed there already and I'd like to get to other areas. But do love the convenience on being in the middle of both banks.

Very large, same as the Marsanne from Paris Perfect

Price and terms are all fine. This is the upper limit of my budget at 2730E. All the other apts range from 2200E to 2650E.


Like I said, its not the Marais

I read a lovely review of this apt on TA and while they loved everything about it, they said the 2nd bathroom is tiny and the separate WC is a bit cramped. The 2nd bathroom has its own toilet. Addy is a tiny girl and would prob not mind, but I want to make sure she likes it.

The kitchen is not my fav compared ot the other apts. Again for a 1 week, we won't cook too much, but we will go market shopping as part of Addy's education and so we will cook at least 1 night.

Whew. So there you have it. I am open to suggestions of other apts as well, but I think this gives you a good idea of my thoughts.

I'd like to get this settled at least in my mind for now and yes, I am always astounded how fast apts go in advance. But I know there are repeat visitors year after year to one apt, so while I am astounded, it is also not unusual.

All thoughts are welcome!!!

Thanks a mil........
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 04:22 PM
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tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 04:48 PM
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I rented a fabulous 2 bedroom 2 bathroom apartment from .
PARIS VACATION APARTMENTS this spring.The apartment was in the MARAIS.
The location was great, right in the Place des Vosges. We overlooked tne park from the apartment.
The building was great, there was an elevator, the apartment was meticulous, great linens, cooking equipment etc.
We were met at the apartment by a representative of the firm who showed us how to use the washing machine, set up the WIFI ,etc.
There was a lovely basket of croissants and some wine to welcome us.
The company was very easy to deal and the fact that they were located in PARIS was comforting.
All in all it was everything I could ask for a home away from home.
tdk320n is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 05:10 PM
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Thanks RD

I looked at the apt, and here are my thoughts about the PVA Marais apt

All The windows throughout the apt are not floor to ceiling. It looks dark to me and looking at them made me feel trapped

There is only 1 shower, one bathroom has a tub and as I mentioned in one of the apts above where this is also true, I'm not crazy about this arrangment

The couch in PVA apt looks uncomfortable

Other than that I also have had contact with PVA when selecting 2012 apts and they couldn't have been more professional or nicer

I agree though being on Place DES Vosges itself is lovely and the description of this apts entryway sounds really inviting.
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 05:12 PM
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Any other thoughts about my 7 choices above?
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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I'll just comment on Rue Charlot since they all look great except the one with the white sheet covering the couch. For that price I wouldn't want that. And the last one just looks a little too old fashion and hard for my taste, but still lovely

It's just a great street, especially the Australian one near Brentegne. You are not exactly close to one metro stop, but you are close enough to about 5 of them, so you will have to walk about 5-10 min max. The second bedroom faces the street but it doesn't get much traffic.

Rue Brentegne has great food shops, cheese, bakeries, etc, the marche enfants rouge is right there, but I haven't really had a great shopping experience there

You also have very easy access over to the Bastille area, the 11th and 12th arrondismont and the Canal Martin area, a bonus for me.
susanna is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 05:53 PM
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Thanks Susanna

My preferred market shopping is the Bastille Richard Lenoir. Just love it!!

I know alot of people say "meh" about Enfants Rouge

So if you had to choose 1 of the 7, your choice would be the Australian owned Rue Charlot apt? Can you decipher the toilet situation in that apt?
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 06:27 PM
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Try Paris Vacation Apartments for the Palais Royal Elegant 2 bedroom apartment. Here's my Guest Comment:

"Dates: May 08-22, 2011. Our two week stay in this apartment in May of 2011 was very enjoyable. The location, if you wish to be in the center of activity, is ideal and well worth the rental price.The Louvre and a Metro stop are a five minute walk away. Nearby, a wide choice of bus routes on both rue de L'Opera and rue Rivoli connect you to anywhere in the city.

Also, a few blocks down rue Etienne Marcel is the Montorgueil pedestrian-only market street, where you can shop for groceries, baked goods, flowers, or sit at your choice of outdoor cafes. Also on rue Etienne Marcel is a large post office (open 23 hours a day!) where you can buy sturdy, pre-paid boxes in which to safely mail home some of your belongings or purchases to avoid overweight baggage fees at the airport.

The apartment overlooks the tree-lined Palais Royal garden. Below, is a cafe and it can be interesting to sit inside and listen to the conversations down there, to watch the diners enjoying their meals outdoors. Their noise is not intrusive, it just makes you feel a part of Paris from the comfort of your living room sofa. The apartment is clean, spacious, and well furnished. The washer and dryer are separate, efficient appliances, not the endless combined washer/dryer found in other accommodations.

The kitchen is extensively stocked with cookware, crockery, and lots of utensils. You'll find a good supply of dish and laundry detergents, paper towels and toilet paper. There is an elevator to the second floor floor apartment, but the stairs are easily negotiable, being wide, carpeted, and shallow. There are wall mounted air conditioners in the living room and each bedroom for individualized temperature control.

The bedrooms and baths are at opposite ends of the apartment for total separation and privacy.

There's a computer and free phone calls to land lines in the USA. We were met promptly on arrival by a member of the PVA staff, a friendly, knowledgeable woman named Dominique. When minor problems arose, we were able to call her at at any time of the day or night and she went immediately to work on resolving them. All booking contacts by email received prompt and informative responses. I highly recommend both the agency and the apartment."
Croque_Madame is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 06:31 PM
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Thanks Croque

Yes I know PVA is a wonderful agency

Just not crazy about the location of apt you had with them

Glad you had a most enjoyable experience.

Care to comment on any of my choices?
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 06:48 PM
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I don't think that you can tell because they are only showing one of the bathrooms, unless the bathroom is split and they are calling this TWO bathrooms....I'd ask and ask for a couple more pics too.

I rented an apartment once that said it had 1+1/2 bathrooms, we were 4 so that was going to be good...turned out one had the shower and sink and the second had the toilet and another sink...not my idea of 1 1/2 !!

I"d tell Addy that everyone in France just takes baths and that she needs to bathe like a frenchwoman!!! Buy some of those great bath salts for her. ( I always lie about stuff like that to my nieces and nephews, they know I'm lying but it helps them do something different!!)

Yes, I'd pick this one especially if you like the Bastille market. It's probably a 10 min walk there. There are so many fun places to shop over there, great restaurants and bars, I find myself in that area more and more.
susanna is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 06:55 PM
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Hi Tripgirl -

Lucky Niece - I'm sure you're introducing her to a life long love affair with Paris!

I can give you first hand experience with Cecile's Apartments.

Last year, I rented the same apartment as the tripadvisor poster above (sans scaffolding - lucky me!).

Because I used Cecile's driver for pick up at the airport (Mercedes Sedan, 90 euros, he was waiting outside baggage claim with a sign, and then just a few steps to his waiting car),he knew where the key was kept in the apartment building, got the key, opened the door and let us in. He walked into the apartment with us, but I don't recall him "showing" us around the apartment. He did lug my suitcase up the five flights.

There was a binder available in English that indicated how to operate things in the apartment. But, I still had slight difficulty with (1) the range hood -- pull it out and THEN the fan just starts automatically! and (2) operating the electric stove top (all symbols) - eventually I figured it all out. If those are the sorts of operational details you are hoping to get when you are "shown" an apartment.

Have fun deciding - I sooooo love looking at Paris Apartments!
davispeets is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 07:17 PM
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Thanks Davispeets

Sounds like you had a good experience with Cecile

It's funnyn about the stove: in the GAS apt this past summer( Snowdrop), even tho Christophe showed me how to use it when it came time, I fumbled, but I got it!!

It's not a deal breaker if Cecile doesn't meet us, I just love the attention GAS showers in you, it's just a nice touch

Would you rent from Cecile again, did the apt turn out like the website indicates? Any probs
with her personally? Did you meet her or have need to contact her during your stay. Was your presence acknowledged by her in any way( she called you, left a note, sent wine or flowers?)
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 07:59 PM
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I would rent from her again - but there are so many apartments to choose from and I want to experience different areas of Paris -- so far I stayed in the Marais twice (4th) and the 6th once. I didn't have any problems with her, but then I didn't have any problems or complaints- it was all via e-mail and I never spoke with her. It was an easy rental process. We were not showered with attention - maybe an e-mail or a note? But, no flowers or wine.

I think I'm leaning towards your choice #5 Rue Charon - that has the look of a "cecile" apartment - but the living area looks more comfy then your #1- but if it only has one toilet that would be a concern for me with 3 people.. I also like #7 - I like the common areas.
davispeets is offline  
Nov 17th, 2011, 09:37 PM
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Of all of them, I really like #5 the best also. It's so bright, clean and uncluttered, and I love the kitchen with that window and the windows by the eating table. It just looks more comfortable and welcoming to me.

While the Cecile one is beautiful, that couch cannot hold three and after a day of sightseeing, I would not want to sit on a hard chair. It wouldn't lend itself to relaxing in the evening, discussing the next day's plans, etc (IMO).

As far as the toilet, it looks to me like there are only pictures of one bathroom (the one with the shower) and the toilet is in that bathroom on the opposite side to the shower. If you look at the middle picture of the sink with the built-in shelving on the wall, and then look at the picture of just the toilet, those are the same items on the shelves. In the picture with the toilet, it shows the whole length of the wall. Now look at the picture with the just the sink; it has been cropped to end right at the end of the shelves. But if you look in the bottom right-hand corner, right where the "m" in the vrbo.com logo is, you can see the corner of the toilet.

I would see if they can send you pictures of the other bathroom, both to see if there is a toilet in that one, but also maybe the tub is wonderful and your niece will love it.
amamax2 is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 04:39 AM
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Thanks amamax

Anyone else have any opinions of my 7 choices?
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 09:16 AM
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Surely others out there want to go "Paris Apartment Shopping" with me!!

I'd love your thoughts on these 7 apts!!!
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 11:11 AM
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It's kind of hard for me to relate to a lot of your concerns, so I'll have to say that up front. I don't understand why you are so picky about the kitchen, nor a bathroom being too small for a 16 yr old, nor that the security deposit is in cash (what difference does that make, they either return it or not, I don't understand your issue on that), etc., and some other things, also.

But I think you are overestiming how big a 755 sq ft 2-BR apt is. That is not large for a 2 BR apt (the Cecile one, it isn't 800 SF but 755). I've had many apts in my life, and I've had 1 BR apts that are 800 sq ft. That is a good size 1 BR apt, but 755 SF is not large for a 2 BR apt.

Anyway, the thing that hits me since there are 3 of you (would differ for 2) is the seating arrangements and comfort of living room, as you've noted. That would rule out a couple of them right away, I'd go for the ones that had at least one quasi-arm chair in addition to a sofa. I think the PP ones (extra chairs)don't look very comfortable, but better than a stiff simple chair.

So I think I'd rule out the first two for that reason, I think they are the ones with only a sofa and some straight-back chair. The last one is the most attractive IMO. The only drawback is the kitchen, which is really the worst of the bunch, it appears. It is rather surprising given how nice th erest of the place is. That wouldn't bother me in the slightest as I never cook on vacation, but it sounds like that is a dealbreaker to you. I'd forget about the bathroom size, I think that is not even worth thinking about as a concern, as long as it has two and they both have toilets.

As far as location, I can't tell where that one in St Germain is, it doesn't seem to give an address. But my only issue with one of the ones on rue Charlot (which is a perfectly nice street) is that if you are in the middle of it, you aren't that close to a metro stop. And there is a bus that runs along the bottom on rue des 4 FIls, but it doesn't run late at night (ends around 9, probably, I forget exactly) and may have some other limited schedules, you'd have to check. I can't tell where the other one on rue Charlot is. But that's why I was wondering where the one in St Germain really is, because it could be just as far from a metro stop.

I like the one with 2 bathrooms where you aren't sure if they both have WCs or not. I think you have to just ask, you can't really tell from the photos or description.

I also would rethink your concerns about the one that has a tub but not shower in one bathroom. If it is like 99.9 pct of French homes, it will have a tub with one of those sprayers attached to the faucet so you can rinse yourself off. That is no different from the GAS one, that bathroom that is off the 1 bedroom just has a tub with sprayer, also. Many Paris apts are like that, I've been in very traditional French hotels like that, actually. YOu have to be a little adaptable on some of these points, so I'd choose on the comfort of the living room and location, myself, and I guess then general attractiveness. And bigger is better with 3 adults.

As for the PP, one toilet isn't really toot bad as long as it is separated from the bathrooms IMO. In fact, in this case, it is good it is in a separate closet. But two full bathrooms would be better, sure.
Christina is online now  
Nov 18th, 2011, 12:48 PM
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Thanks Christina

But if you read through my concerns I'm actually just pointing out what I see in the bathrooms, kitchen. None is a deal breaker at all, perhaps you misunderstood.

Just want to weigh everything, so thanks for your contribution.
tripgirl is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 01:40 PM
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I am also looking for a 2 bedroom in the Marais for next May. Found this place in my quest for a terrace-http://www.vrbo.com/161069#photos. It seems to be booked for coming year, but you may have more luck in 2013. We have also used www.parisautrement.com. All their apts are in the Marais.
macdogmom is offline  
Nov 18th, 2011, 01:59 PM
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Thanks macdogmom

That terrace is lovely, the color scheme of that apt would drive me a bit crazy. The angles of the kitchen are a bit strange to me. It looks too cluttered as well. But everyone has their own tastes and I do indeed respect ever ones wonderful choices!!
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