Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3301: Chemouni, Chevreul
2bed/1bath apartment in 11th arrondissement, Paris
August, 2007, 1 week
It is a two minute walk to the metro (Nation) which is a hub for several lines. This was a great plus for us. The street is quite quiet but you can hear the noise from the Nation rotonde (but I think that's the same anywhere in Paris). The downstairs neighbor enjoys saying, "Hi" (doesn't speak English). We never saw or heard any other neighbors. With the metro, it's about 15 minutes or less to most attractions in Paris.
Nation (2 minute walk) has at least one grocery store and several restaurants and bars, bakery, wine store, etc. Parking is on the other side of nation (the concierge/local contact directed us). Another bakery is at the end of the street (30 second walk). It really feels like a neighborhood and it provides you with the actual Parisian flavor. Not very touristy.
The apartment is older and well maintained. It's on the fifth floor. Never heard or saw the neighbors except an older man on the ground floor who loved to say 'hi' but does not speak English. It has an air conditioning unit in the living room, which we did not need. It also has a dryer, washer and dishwasher. I don't think there were any other rentals in the building. It is a typical neighborhood.
There is a little courtyard to dump the trash, but we could not use it.
The furniture was a little older (it seemed typical French, a little artistic), and in excellent shape. There are hundreds of books (mostly French; some English).
The living room/dining room is quite large and has a pull out couch, small dining room table. Bedroom one has a good queen size bed (queen size in Paris is apparently smaller than US queen size but it was fine for us; we are 5'11" & 6'5"). Both living room and bedroom 1 have doors/windows that can be opened; no balcony. Sleeping with window open during the weekend can be loud. Bedroom 2 is quite large as well with a queen bed. Bathroom is not big but will suffice; restroom is separate and small.
Kitchen is small and is only to prepare food and get out again. We did cook full meals in the kitchen for our family of six. I would say no more than two people at a time would fit in the kitchen. It has more than sufficient cooking utensils. Big fridge, dishwasher, microwave and a little kitchen table.
Problems or Bonuses
No bad surprises. The local contact arrived 10 minutes after we did and provided us with a key and code. We had already received a code to get in the court yard to wait. He gave us an excellent and helpful tour of the place; told us where to park, where to get groceries, bread, and assured us to call him whenever necessary.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
I would say that one of the greatest advantages of this apartment was the owner. He lives in San Fransisco. We paid in US Dollars. He returned our security deposit timely, and it was a pleasure dealing with him. We paid $900 for five nights (I think we got a deal because we booked last minute).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
When searching for an apartment (and we looked at hundreds) our main goal was to get an apartment for a decent price, nothing fancy, but no hole in the wall, and no big surprises (such as horror stories of no keys, etc.) We accomplished that goal with this apartment. It made our vacation with four children (13, 11, 9 and 5) unforgettable. We would recommend this place to anybody. Especially, if you are looking at an authentic, not touristy, visit to Paris.
Things to do in this area
In light of four kids, we visited everything. We had 10-plus hour days visiting everything. I have argued long and hard with my spouse that we could have done this economically. Our downfall was our afternoon breaks. Even though we packed lunches, we had to sit down at a restaurant and take a break (which always ended up costing around $100, and did not include a full lunch). We loved getting groceries in the corner grocery store and bakery and fixing semi-Parisian meals. (Nothing like getting your nine-year old started on baguette and pate for breakfast). In sum, I would highly recommend this apartment or any other apartment from this owner.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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