Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3260: Rue Paradis, 6 Rue Paradis (Apartment 1)
1bed/1bath apartment in Nice, Provence
December 2007, one week
Rue Paradis is a short pedestrian street, very near Place Massena, containing some of Nice's most upscale shops. The location of the apartment could not have been better -- within easy walking distance of the Old Town, the train station, the beach, lots of good shopping, and many of Nice's major attractions. Or you could catch the tram from Place Massena for easy travel around town.
Several good cafes and brasseries were just a few steps away. We especially liked Le Liber-tea cafe (where Rue Paradis runs into Rue de la Liberte), and the bakery with the green front just across from it on the corner of Alphonse Karr. Rue Maccarini about two blocks west had all the essential shops -- a Spar market (produce and assorted groceries), a fromagerie, and a Picard frozen food emporium, which supplied us with several very tasty dinners.
We like to go out for coffee in the morning, but some of the cafes along Rue Massena can be a bit pricey. The best breakfast bargain we found was at La Coupole on Rue de France just across Rue Maccarini -- €4 per person for cafe creme and croissant.
The apartment is on the fourth (French) floor with elevator, which, incidentally, can accommodate two people and two suitcases, more than many French elevators. The floor plan is one large room incorporating the living/dining area and kitchen, a separate bedroom, and a decent-sized bathroom.
We found it clean, comfortable and very quiet; we had no noise at all from the street or from neighbors. It's not a luxury apartment, but is in a wonderful location and had everything we needed for a very pleasant stay.
The apartment is on a street of shops and does not have a garden. But there is green space (Jardin Albert Ier) nearby, as well as the beach within a couple of blocks. There is a small balcony, but we were there in winter and didn't use it.
In the living room is a sofa, which can open into a trundle bed, two very comfortable lounge chairs, a round glass table with four chairs, and a well-equipped kitchen. Appliances -- washing machine, dishwasher, microwave, cook-top, oven, teakettle, coffeemaker -- all worked well.
We didn't have much success getting the TV working, but that wasn't a problem for us, since we hardly ever watch it. The Internet connection is via a cable (not wi-fi) connection. We brought our Airport Express and were able to set up our own wireless network so that we could use our laptops anywhere in the apartment. If you relied only on the cable connection, it might have been a problem finding a convenient workspace for a computer, since there wasn't a table near the hook-up.
The bedroom was reasonably large, with a closet and dresser. The bed was comfortable, although a bit on the small side for two people -- about the size of a regular US double bed (smaller than a queen).
The bathroom was good-sized, with a full tub and shower. A hair dryer is also supplied. This was the third apartment we had stayed in on this December trip, and one thing we did miss that the other two had was a heated drying rack in the bathroom, for towels and/or laundry.
There were plenty of dishes and utensils, and the kitchen was well stocked with staples and supplies from coffee to detergent. The most elaborate cooking we did was heating up meals from Picard, so I can't say we gave the kitchen much of a workout, but everything we needed was there. The only thing I remember it lacked was a pair of scissors or kitchen shears. The oven and microwave both worked fine, and it was nice to have a dishwasher.
Problems or Bonuses
We had plenty of hot water in the morning, but it seemed to disappear sometime around 8pm. We hadn't been using much hot water for several hours before that time, so either other people in the apartment building had consumed it all, or it was on some sort of shutoff system. One night we never could get the hot water back, and another time we were able to get it running again via the booster. It wasn't enough of a problem for us to contact the owner about it, but I did wonder if it was a chronic situation.
Other than that, we had no problems and very much enjoyed our stay.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We dealt directly with the owner, a British woman who lives in a nearby town. We never actually met her, but she was very pleasant and responsive via email. Since no one was in the apartment just before us, she had mailed us the keys and we let ourselves in. We paid the full rent in advance, in two installments, via wire transfer, although she would also accept PayPal. We paid £440, or about $880, for the Christmas week rental.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, we found that the apartment lived up to its description, and was a pleasant, comfortable, and very well-located place to stay. We would definitely recommend it.
Things to do in this area
This was our second trip to Nice at Christmas, which is a wonderful time to visit. There is so much going on in the city itself -- the Christmas fair and crafts booths, the living creche with live musical performances, and of course the regular market on the Cours Saleya. We also visited Antibes and Biot, as well as a few of Nice's many museums. And we enjoyed just hanging out in cafes. Nice is full of life and activity, with lots going on, but also a great place to sit and relax, whether watching the ebb and flow of the sea from the Promenade des Anglais, or the parade of people on Rue Massena. Most people visit the Riviera in summer, of course, but we found it a great winter escape from icy New England.
We loved the easy access to the tram, which had just begun operation a month before our visit. We recommend the week transit pass, for €15, which lets you ride the tram and any of the buses within Nice and to most of the surrounding villages. Also, we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it is to get a taxi. We tried to reserve one in advance for an early morning trip to the airport and were told to call back when we actually wanted to go. We obsessed about this for two days, worrying about whether we'd have a problem making our plane. But when we called at 6:15 on Saturday morning, we got an English-speaking operator, and the taxi was at our door within five minutes.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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