Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2362: Paris Perfect, Kir
Studio apartment 7th arrondissement, Paris
April 2007, 1 week
Seventh arrondissement. Lovely, quiet residential neighborhood with many restaurants, cafes and shops; just a few blocks from Metro.
Rue Cler open-air market streeet is a five-minute walk away -- shops to suit every food-shopping need. Larger grocery store a few blocks from apartment. Restaurants abound in the quarter.
Beautiful old building; typically Parisian (7 stories; wrought-iron balconies). Apartment perfectly quiet. Building residents mostly permanent; another Paris Perfect apartment above ours. Our apartment -- Kir, the studio -- was on the 6th floor; there is an elevator.
No outside sitting area.
The apartment is beautifully furnished -- gorgeous colors and fabrics, very French -- and spotlessly clean! It is a small space, intelligently laid out and well planned; definitely suitable only for one or two people. The sofa was very comfortable, with many pillows -- however, the TV is placed high, near the ceiling, so there was a bit of neck strain involved there. (A small quibble.) There is a small dining area with a table and four chairs. For such a small apartment, there is a remarkable amount of storage space.
There is no separate bedroom. The bed is a trundle bed -- i.e., you pull it out from under the sofa, then lift it up so that it's level with the sofa, thus creating a double bed. It was comfortable for sleeping. It was a bit of a drag having to set it up every night and put it away each morning. (The apartment is not large enough to allow for keeping the bed set up, with the many decorative pillows scattered about, during the day.) This could be a drawback for someone who is less than limber or has physical problems (e.g., a bad back).
The bathroom is tiny and the shower stall is very narrow. No problem for us (I am small and my husband is average size), but this could be a problem for a very large person. Plenty of big fluffy towels. Again, as with the entire apartment, clean, clean, clean.
The kitchen is tiny but remarkably efficient. Pots, pans, dishes, utensils all of good quality. We didn't cook full meals, but we did make breakfast every day and appreciated having a fridge to store our purchases.
Problems or Bonuses
A charming gift basket with wine, bottled water and other goodies awaited us. The owner embroidered a lovely cotton baguette bag so we'd have a place to put our daily baguette -- and the bag was given to us as a souvenir. (I think ParisPerfect does this for everyone -- it's a sweet touch, and we love having that bag hanging in our Philadelphia kitchen!)
The owners also left a large book filled with recommendations for shopping, eating, exploring the neighborhood -- everything from finding a hairdresser to where the nearest Metro stop is.
The trundle bed was a surprise -- we were expecting a conventional sofa-bed.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency is phenomenally helpful and responsive -- if you send an e-mail you have a response within hours (at most). Upon arrival you are met by the very helpful Caroline (she's American), who gives you a complete run-down on the apartment and the neighborhood; she's available via cell almost 24-7.
The apartment looks exactly as it does on the website. (Except -- you really can't see the Eiffel Tower unless you dangle dangerously far out the window! But it's not far away -- you can stroll over to the Champ de Mars in a twinkling, so to speak.)
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we would stay here again and we would recommend it to others. (Although we might spring for a larger, one-bedroom place the next time.) I would say that ParisPerfect properties seem to be more expensive than those of many other agencies, but if Kir is any example (and they do seem to get universally good reviews) the properties are dependably elegant and well-cared-for, and the agency is tops.
Things to do in this area
The Eiffel Tower is just a few blocks away, and we enjoyed the light show every single night -- talk about magic! We roamed the neighborhood; the shops, patisseries and boulangeries on Rue St. Dominque are lots of fun. We shopped at the Rue Cler market -- not a destination, but a perfectly nice little market street, and a great place to pick up the makings for a picnic. (The cheese shop is particularly fine.) The BatoBus stops at the Eiffel Tower; I'd recommend that not as the most efficient way to get from one place to another, but a very pleasant way to do it while enjoying the beauty of the Seine.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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