Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 2900: Owner, #74506
1bed/1bath apartment in 4th arrondissement, Paris
June 2007, 2 weeks
Located in Rue le Ragrattier on Ile St Louis. This was a narrow quiet one way street that did not have much traffic as it did not cross the river at either end. The garbage truck arrived about 6am most mornings and as the apartment is on the street level it sounded as though it was in the room with us. We became used to this and it didn't worry us after a few days.
The apartment was on two levels as the ceiling was tall enough to have a mezzanine floor (aka loft). The apartment was in an old building built straight on to the street.
The entrance was a security door on the street, then a security code to get through another door before using your key on the front door. There were steps down from the front door to the living area, and more steps up to the bedroom and bathroom.
Rue Ile St Louis was a just a very short walk away and had all the shops needed for daily living. Not too far away towards Ile Cite and Notre Dame there were several cafes open long hours for breakfast, lunch and dinner. My husband visited the local patisseries/boulangeries each morning for our Pain de Parisian & Pain Chocolat - a minutes walk away. The butcher has great looking meat too although we didn't buy any.
There is a supermarket, although a little expensive. We were advised by the owner that the cost of food and general living items was much cheaper in the Marais - only a short walk away.
A walk across the Pont Marie to Rue Rivoli and there are several supermarkets. We liked the butcher along Rue Rivoli who sold rotisserie chicken with delicious potatoes.
There are many restaurants in the area and we ate at several as well as walking to St Germaine and the Marais areas.
The apartment is in a 1600 building and has high ceilings. The beams in the ceiling had just been renovated and had brought back to the original patterned design. It was larger than I expected from the website photos. The lower level had lounge, dining and quite large kitchen.
The paintwork in the kitchen and dining area was not done in the renovation of the beams and there was patches of paint peeling.
The bedroom is on a mezzanine floor with floor to ceiling windows/doors. There are bars on them as they open onto the street. Passing people are about head height as they go by.
The bed is a king, quite hard but not unpleasantly so. This is done with two singles together.
The bathroom is spacious and has a small glass shower cubicle but with a good shower head with good pressure. There is a washer dryer and a dryer that was not working while we were there. I am familiar with washer dryers so was not a problem to me.
There was plenty of cupboards.
The living room had two windows, both with bars on them, the bottom of which were slightly below ground level. The window in the lounge area was large and allowed light in. You could see peoples feet and legs going by.
There were 15 letter boxes but we hardly heard anyone coming or going. Most noise came from people passing in the street.
There was no outside area.
The owner took advantage of a week without tenants and had the ceiling beams renovated and a few walls in the living room painted and it wasn't finished when we arrived. We were booked into a hotel around the corner until the room was cleaned the next day. The owner did the cleaning himself and we found the place a bit dusty due to the work.
There was a large couch (could be a single bed) with cushions in the living room which was very comfortable. There was also a tub chair. The dining table was glass topped with two chairs. There were extra folding chairs in the cupboard.
The king bed (two singles together) was quite hard which could be a problem if you like soft beds. There were small bedside tables with lamps. I liked the bedroom as it was light during the day, and at night the curtains gave good privacy even though we slept with the doors open and this let the street noise in. The linen was OK - not luxurious but reasonable quality. Towels were OK too.
The bathroom was clean although I would say the owner had done some handy work on the toilet seat fitting and it looked pretty awful. The shower was clean but could have done with a scrub around the tap fittings.
The couch in the living area could be a single bed and would have been firm but comfortable.
The kitchen was large with plenty of cupboards. There were pots and pans but very basic. We only cooked a few times so this didn't worry us. The fridge was a good size and worked well, as did the dishwasher. The microwave was not working and not sure if it was going to be replaced. The cutlery was OK, but crockery needed to be sorted out - lots of plates but few matching. Glasses were a bit scarce, especially wine glasses. The owner did bring two more around but that was after us pointing out a broken one. That made three and I think there should be more than that. An easy kitchen to cook in if you wanted to cook most meals.
Problems or Bonuses
The first surprise was not being able to move in the first night but Giancarlo the owner booked us into a nice hotel very close. He was very apologetic as he had expected the work to be finished on the Friday.
There was a lot of junk in the cupboards which we have suggested they sort out and remove - old light fittings, old cleaning products and old pantry items.
The nice surprise was how spacious it was. The high ceilings in the living area probably helped make it feel bigger. The lower ceiling in the kitchen and dining area didn't feel too low - the mezzanine was above them.
We had asked about Internet access and had our laptop but Giancarlo had changed Internet servers and it wasn't working till the day before we left.
We loved the location. A short walk to everything including the Metro. It was crowded with tourists at the weekend but during the week it was much quieter and had a village feel about it.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We booked this on VRBO and had contact with the owner, Giancarlo, who was very prompt in answering our emails. We signed a contract but he did not ask for a deposit. At first we worried about this but as he was so good at answering our questions we hoped that there would not be a problem and there wasn't. Giancarlo is a doctor and has a busy professional life as well as managing his apartments. He did his medical training in America so his English is very good.
He met us on arrival and we also saw him a few times during our stay when he tried to get his Internet sorted out. He was keen to please. The price was €800/week. This was good value for an apartment on Ile St Louis.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would stay there again although I would hope that the cupboards were a bit tidier. I would like to see the kitchen with different crockery and glassware too.
It is such an ideal place to walk to the different areas of Paris. We used two metros (Pont Marie and St Paul) both on different lines which meant not too many train changes to get anywhere.
We noticed that all apartments opposite kept their windows shut at night, probably due to the street noise. We did hear people passing at times, and one night a man was serenading an apartment across the road from in front of our open window. Good voice though and we found it amusing. Light sleepers may not enjoy this aspect of the apartment.
Things to do in this area
Ile St Louis is a good base as it is a tourist area during the day but calms down at night. There are lots of restaurants on the island itself as well as Ile Cite. A short walk to the Marais on one side, and the Latin Quarter on the other side brings you to many cafes and restaurants.
The fromagerie around the corner is hard to pass - we had many picnics with cheese and sausage at the apartment after we had eaten at a cafe for lunch. The Bastille market is within walking distance and Monge market a short metro ride so everything is close.
The tour boats are fun to watch from any of the bridges especially around 10pm on a warm night. There was always musical entertainment on Pont St Louis the bridge between Ile St Louis and Ile Cite.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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