Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 1956: Owner, Pierre Lescot Penthouse
1bed/1bath apartment in 1st arrondissement, Paris
February 2006, Eight nights total
This wonderful little flat is located smack dab on the border of the Les Halles and Marais neighborhoods on rue Pierre Lescot (about a ten minute walk north of the river). This is a pedestrian street, and so it is free of any traffic noise.
There are several neighborhood restaurants located directly on the square in front of the building. The nearest supermarkets are located a three minute walk away on rue Montorgueil. However, good take out pastries, bread and coffee can be had from the Paul bakery located across the street from the building.
The building is one of those Hausmann type buildings, and I'm going to guess that it's about a hundred years old or so. Very well maintained, clean building. The apartment was on the American 7th (top) floor, and I believe that there are two apartments on each floor. The elevator worked well, and could accomodate three people or two with luggage.
Layout: you walk in and the bathroom is immediately to your left. Then, you continue through a hallway which also contains the galley kitchen. This leads to the small, but well appointed, livingroom. Keep going after that and you come to the bedroom. There are windows in the bathroom, livingroom and bedroom which afford the apartment with a lot of natural light. Also since you are on a high level, the views are unobstructed.
Noise level - this is perhaps my favorite thing about this apartment. I think it would be difficult to find a more quiet apartment in central Paris. First of all, the street is zoned for pedestrians only so you don't get any traffic noise. Secondly, the modern windows block whatever minimal noise there is. Finally, since you are on the top floor, you will not hear a single foot fall above your head (a pet peeve of this Manhattanite), and the bedroom walls are completely isolated and do not touch another apartment. Our sleep was never disturbed.
There was neither public nor private outdoor space.
The place was clean and overall the furniture was comfortable (although one of the dining room chairs needed to have a seat cushion replaced). We had three people at one time in the livingroom for breakfast, and I'd say that was the limit in terms of real comfort for eating.
The queen bed was very comfortable, and the bedroom was a good size. Bed linens were of good quality. Closet space was plentiful for two people. There was an iron and ironing table in one of the closets.
The bathroom was BRIGHT (a window and a skylight) and had plenty of counter space. The towels are probably due for a change, but they weren't threadbare. The shower had one of those French half stalls which I'm not crazy about, but it just means you have to reign in your splashy shower habits a little. No biggie. Big plus: hot water was immediately available every time I took a shower. Love it.
The kitchen was small (galley-style, and located in the hallway that leads to the livingroom) but was great for storing food purchases, and for breakfast set up. There's a microwave oven as well as two burners, and a half fridge. Lots of good quality plates, cutlery and glassware. Probably not a kitchen for huge meal preparation (simple stuff, like pasta would be OK) but that did not affect us at all.
There was also a combo plate washer/dryer in the kitchen next to the fridge. The instructions were a little tricky at first, but we got the hang of it.
Problems or Bonuses
Good: everything in this apartment works perfectly. The heating system, the flat screen television, the high speed internet, the hot water, the windows, all the appliances, even the elevator NEVER LET US DOWN ONCE during our entire nine day/eight night stay. For all of you that have rented more than one apartment, you know what a HUGE statement that is. It was just great to NOT have to call anyone even ONCE to deal with something that was broken. Hallelujah!!
Bad: no matter what, every apartment (regardless of price) has its issues, and since I'm a full disclosure kinda guy, I'd be remiss if didn't mention a couple of small glitches. First, both the internet connection and the phone are located right in front of the television which makes them both a little awkward to use. In all fairness, I believe Paul (the owner) said that a wireless router was coming soon, so that should take care of the internet issue. Secondly, one of the dining room chairs needs to have its cushion replaced. That's it for the bad. Not so bad, considering everything else, right?
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Paul (the owner) owns two other apartments which together comprise his business: Maraisflat.com. From the beginning, Paul was upfront and clear about everything. He was quick to reply to my questions, and was friendly from start to finish. He also arranged for our taxi pick-up at the end of our stay.
We paid 1,260 euro for the eight nights (we booked just before a recent price increase).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would stay at this apartment again in a flash. From the central location, to the quiet ambiance, to the good working order of everything - this place is hard to beat at this price point.
Things to do in this area
There are several restaurants located right on the small square in front of the building. However, the biggest draw for us was the fantastic market street, rue Montorgueil, which is about a three minute walk away. Everything, from fromageries, wine shops, boulangeries, butchers, supermarkets, dry cleaners - you name it - can be found on this street. Not to mention the very best gelato in Paris, Amorino!
The metro stop, Etienne Marcell (number 4 line), is only two blocks away, however those that love to walk will also appreciate the easy access to several major attractions (Pompidou, Marais, Hotel de Ville, Louvre) that can be reached easily on foot.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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