Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3259: ParisRentAparts, 54 Rue Madame
1bed/1bath apartment in 6th arrondissement, Paris
December 2007, One week
In the St. Germain area of the 6th arrondissement, just a couple of blocks from the Luxembourg Gardens and a few blocks south of Saint-Sulpice. The attached screen shot from Google Maps shows the location of the apartment (the blue marker).
A wonderful bakery is just a few steps away, and across the street from that, a great cheese and wine shop. Both provided delicious and easy takeout food for meals at home. A 8 ŗ Huit (mini-market) is just around the corner about a block away. A great range of shops, cafes, and markets are well within walking distance.
The apartment is on the fourth (French) floor of a rather nondescript building on a narrow residential street, with some offices, a few non-retail shops (e.g., an upholsterer), and one elementary school near the apartment. It doesn't feel particularly "Parisian" vs. any other major world city -- i.e., no cute sidewalk cafe on the corner where you can sit and watch the world go by. However, there is a large cafe on the north side of the plaza in front of St. Sulpice, a couple blocks away.
Most off-putting aspect of the apartment is the entrance pathway from the street door to (and including) the elevator. All this area is pretty grubby-looking (not really dirty, but in considerable need of cosmetic repair). So the apartment comes as a nice surprise -- open, clean, modern (it is fitted-out like an Ikea showroom), very well equipped, and reasonably spacious.
The photos on the web site are accurate in their depiction of the apartment's appearance.
You can view the apartment directly: 54 Rue Madame.
No garden with the apartment ó but it is a short distance away from the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens.
The apartment has mostly standard Ikea-type furniture, which was comfortable and serviceable, and is well-equipped with appliances. In addition to a washing machine, there is a dryer ó not common in European apartments ó and a dishwasher. The wi-fi connection worked very well (you need your own laptop). There were instruction manuals for all the appliances, and as I recall most of them had English versions. We had no problems with any of them, once we deciphered the instructions.
Everything was clean and in good condition.
The bedroom was a decent size, and had a good-sized closet running the length of one wall. The bed was very comfortable. It was made up as a large double, but I believe it can be split into two singles on request.
The bathroom was also reasonably large for an apartment, with a shower in the bathtub ó including a shower curtain. Plenty of hot water, and no problem with water pressure.
One strange thing about the apartment, especially given the way the French pride themselves on being well turned-out, was the lack of mirrors. The only full-length mirror was on the wall behind the tub ó not an optimal place for checking your appearance. There was a big mirror in the living room, but it was there more for style than function, since the glass was very smoky and you couldnít see much in it.
The kitchen had the basic equipment, but I donít think itís a great choice for someone who wants to do much cooking, as there isnít a real oven, just a microwave and cook-top. It was fine for us, as we mostly just heated up takeout items. There was also a toaster and an American-style drip coffeemaker.
Problems or Bonuses
There isnít much of a view from the windows, but the street and apartment are very quiet. We never had any noise from outside and only occasionally heard neighbors coming and going, never at a time when it was annoying.
We were there in the winter, and the heat worked well, but if you are looking to rent in the summer, I donít think itís air conditioned ó at least the web site doesnít indicate that. We had no problems with any of the facilities or anything else while we were there.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We had originally booked a different apartment through another agent, who was unable to supply it at the last minute and turned us over to the agency we ultimately dealt with -- ParisRentAparts. We didn't have much contact with them beforehand, but found their representative in Pars quite professional and competent. Also, they readily answered a couple of questions via email after we were in the apartment.
We felt that the apartment (at Ä900 a week) was a good value for the pricey St. Germain area.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we liked the location very much, and the apartment worked out well for us. I would not hesitate to recommend it.
Things to do in this area
All of Paris is at your feet ó the only problem is choosing among so many wonderful options!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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