Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 1935: Vacation in Paris, Chef's Apartment
1bed/1bath apartment, 17th arrondissement, Paris
Dec. 2005, 1 week
The apartment was located in the 17th arrondissement. It was on a busy street, on the 4th floor (no elevator, very curving steep stairs). I don't think that it was a bad area, but it certainly wasn't close to anything. The apartment itself was on a floor with 3 other apartments, windows were facing the neighbors (we could see the lady next door doing dishes).
The apartment was on a "high street" shopping area. This is convenient if you want to buy clothes, but the nearest place to pick up food was Pizza Hut (just what you want in Paris!). The Arc de Triomphe was 15 minutes away (by foot) - that's where the nearest cafe was.
The building was from the 1920s, the hallway had been maintained, but not the apartment itself. They agency advertised the apartment as being big for Paris standards. Unfortunately, all of the room was taken up by a very large (and need of renovation) bathroom, complete with very 1970s pink (and very dirty) fixtures. There were 3 other apartments on the floor, walls were thin and windows had a view of the neighbors doing dishes.
No balcony or outside area.
The furniture was very old, and not in very good shape at all. The apartment was absolutely filthy, sheets had not been changed, the pink tub and sink and toilet had not been cleaned in ages! It was advertised as a one bedroom, but it was a studio with a glass door through the middle. There was a fold out sofa (it did not work) and a bed. The apartment was so incredibly ugly, that I just turned out all of the lights and lit up the candles provided to make it seem somewhat habitable.
There was a bed in the "bedroom". It was a small double (by US standards) and took up all of the room. We had to jump on the bed to turn off the lights, for example. Again, unclean sheets. At the foot of the bed, they had managed to put a small chair, but you couldn't sit in it, as there was no room.
The living room had an old fold-out sofa (that did not work). There was one chair in this room too, so enough sitting room for 3 people. The bathroom was awful (see about for cleanliness). They had a jacuzzi-shaped tub, which looked promising in the photos, but hot water did not work until 15 minutes after running the water. The had a shower attachment to this tub, but there was no shower door, so when attempting to shower, you would get water all over the floor, which was scary because you had to step down from the tub on to the slippery tiles. Exactly 3 - old, unmatching, smelly - towels were provided (we had three adults in our party). It was really awful.
The kitchen was not good. They had 2 pots, neither had handles. I tried to boil water for tea, but couldn't do so with the pots, as no oven mitt was provided to get the pot from the stove after it was hot. There was old food in the fridge.
Problems or Bonuses
We were looking for a map of Paris, and the only tourist information provided was a guide about bird-watching in the Champagne-Ardenne region (about 3 hours by train from Paris). Not very useful. We found the whole apartment to be a very bad surprise for what we paid.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Vrey badly. We phoned them as soon as we got in and told them about the state of the apartment. They refused to accept responsibility and told us to contact the owner directly! After much pleading with them, they finally agreed to give us another apartment, of course, at an extra fee. We had to wait a whole day with luggage for this other place to be ready. It was better, but upon leaving, they claimed that we had damaged something and charged us 200$ extra. The original apartment was 145 a night, though the whole bill has now ended up costing us about 250 a night. The onsite person was extremely rude. The apartment looked nothing like the advertisement on their website.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Never. We will never do business with this company again. We found them rude (the onsite manager especially) and feel very ripped off. We were expecting a lovely New Year's Eve/Day in Paris. Vacation in Paris basically ruined our entire trip to Paris as well as New Year's celebrations.
Things to do in this area
Arc de Triomphe was a 15 minute walk away. There are shops on the street, but no restaurants or cafes.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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