Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 1622: Rentvillas, Rue de Verneuil
2bed/2bath apartment on the Left Bank, Paris
June 20 - July 4, 2005 , 2 weeks
The apartment is located in a lovely neighborhood on the Left Bank, about two blocks each from the Seine, the Musee D'Orsay and Boulevard St. Germain. Virtually everything we wanted to see and do around Paris was within walking distance, including the fabulous Jardin Luxemborg, Isle de la Cite, Isle St. Louis and the terrific art galleries along Rue de Seine. The Louvre is a short walk away, just across the river. The apartment is situated in the courtyard of one of the old buildings and is very quiet. The neighborhood is filled with wonderful shops, galleries and restaurants. The locale simply cannot be beat!
You needn't burn many calories searching for food. There are bakery shops, convenience stores and good restaurants galore within a few blocks of the apartment. About 10 minutes away along Rue du Bac is a gourmet supermarket that resembles Whole Foods but is even more upscale. There are several restaurant guides in the apartment which supplemented our own. It's also fun just wandering around, looking at menus, checking whether there's a Zagat sticker or other endorsement in the window, and scoping out whether the place has lots of patrons. If all that checks out, then go for it.
The building is one of those old complexes with a half dozen or so apartments ringing the courtyard. It probably was the home of a wealthy family at some point. The apartment was peaceful and quiet. Little children occasionally played in the courtyard during the day. It was fun to hear them chirping away and never intrusive.
The apartment we rented is very classy. The owners have obviously put a lot of thought into the ambiance. You know you are staying in the home of someone with taste. The place has an authentic Paris feel, which was the whole point of staying there. It is furnished with attractive antiques. The master bedroom, living room and one of the bathrooms were pretty spacious. The kitchen, second bedroom and second bathroom were a bit small. The unit works well for two adults there by themselves or for two adults with small kids. I would not recommend four adults staying there. It'd be tight.
The courtyard is private, but shared. It's paved and not really conducive to sitting outside. There is no pool on the premises.
The furniture is in fine shape and much of it is antiques that we'd gladly have in our own residence. The apartment is very welcoming and comfortable. It was clean when we arrived and is cleaned once a week. There were plenty of chairs, sofas and so forth. The hardwood floors are spotless. In fact they're finished with wax. So guests must be mindful not to drip water on them.
The bed in the master bedroom was fine and the bedroom itself is very nice. The furnishings in the smaller, second bedroom were functional. It helped to have two bathrooms, both of which are in good shape.
The kitchen is small, but modernized and well appointed. It's just fine for fixing a light breakfast and lunch. Preparing a meal for a dinner party of a half dozen would be a stretch. It serves the needs of vacationers just fine.
Problems or Bonuses
The apartment exceeded our lofty expectations. Reality proved even more delightful than the tantalizing write-up on the Rentvillas.com website. Since this is a classy place with antiques and waxed floors, guests must be a bit more cautious than normal about avoiding wear and tear. The ambiance was well worth the extra effort in our estimation.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Rentvillas was very helpful. In fact, when we were exploring options on their website, one of their staffers who'd noted our tastes contacted us and recommended Rue de Verneuil, which we had not spotted. That's service. The onsite person was quite nice. Although she didn't speak English, we managed to understand one another. The rental price in late June came to about $2200 per week.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We loved Rue de Verneuil and would stay there again in a heartbeat! And we'd recommend it to friends and strangers alike without equivocation.
Things to do in this area
In addition to the convenient and well-known attractions mentioned above, I'd say one of primary attractions of this location is the scads of art galleries and antique stores that populate the nearby streets, the Rue de Seine and environs. My wife and I delighted in wandering around at our leisure, window shopping and occasionally shopping for real. You can spend hours doing that. Another treat was sitting in the Jardin Luxemborg, just reading books and people watching.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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