Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3544: I Love Paris, St. Andre des Arts
1bed/1bath apartment in the 6th arrondissement, Paris
May 25, 2008 - May 30, 2008, 5 Nights
Our apartment was located at 52 St. Andre des Arts. This is a perfect location in the 6th and close to every need you could possibly want. About one block from the Seine and a few short blocks to either the Odeon or St. Michel Metro stations.
There are numerous restaurants and pubs nearby, along with bakeries, sandwich shops and a small grocery store.
The building was built in 1740 and is beautiful and in good shape. It has many apartments and a very large hair salon taking up most of the ground floor. The Salon is named Marianne Grey and is beautiful inside. Our apartment was on the second floor and very small, but with beautiful windows.
I think there may have been about ten other apartments in the building, but a major renovation was going on, which became a real problem for us. We were NOT warned about this work.
As you enter the apartment, there is a closet in the entrance way for your hanging clothes. You then enter the living room with the bathroom on one side and bedroom and kitchen on the other. There are two floor to ceiling windows in the living room and one floor to ceiling window in the bedroom.
You can view the apartment directly: St. Andre des Arts.
I don't know if we could have used the courtyard, but it would not have been private. There was no pool.
The furniture was in very good shape and quite lovely. The apartment was spotless. The living room had a small couch and two chairs. Also, a tiny TV, with cable and several English speaking channels. There was a very small table in the kitchen with four stools for eating, but we found it much too confining to use.
We had a Queen sized bed and it was very comfortable. One small cabinet with a lamp and telephone/Fax machine, which no one knew how to use. There were no nightstands or lamps near the bed, which we felt was a small inconvenience. There was plenty of overhead lights which could be switched on at the door when entering the room, however. The walls were padded to match the bedspread and beautiful heavy drapes, which also matched the drapes in the living room. There was a small alarm clock in the bureau drawer.
The bathroom was small, but did have drawers underneath the sink. The shower was small but efficient and the water pressure and hot water was terrific. One problem was that there was no place to put soap or shampoo containers while inside and since the shower was so small, everything had to be placed on the floor. There was a large frosted window in the bathroom, so there was plenty of light. Oh yes, there were plenty of extra towels.
The kitchen was very small, but had everything you need for a short stay. Pots, pans, plates, wine glasses, flatware and a good wine opener. Everything was of good quality. There was a very small refrigerator, two burner built in hot plate, dishwasher and washer/dryer. Thank goodness, there was a sky tube in this room, or it would be very confining. There was plenty of dish soap, toilet paper and even Kleenex and paper towels, which we felt was nice.
Problems or Bonuses
I'm afraid that we had many problems with this apartment, which we should have been told. I rented this apartment a very long time in advance and there would have been plenty of time for the rental agency to bring the issue to our attention. There was a huge amount of construction going on in the building. When we walked in the two very large wooden doors from the street into the courtyard, we were faced with every inch stuffed with a construction shed and scaffolding from floor to the roof. Every inch of the courtyard was full of construction equipment. The girl who met us at the apartment asked if we had not been told about this and we replied, "NO." She said she was sorry for that, but thought it wouldn't be too bad.
Well, it was and we really never got a good night's sleep the entire time we were there. First of all, the workers usually arrived around 7:30am and started their actual work at 8:00. Many evenings, they worked until 8:00pm. Their ladders where directly outside our windows and many times the workers looked into our apartment. Several times, we closed the drapes, but really needed the windows open for air. We don't do well with a tightly closed up room of any sort. There was hammering and thunking all day and it was really much worse than we expected when we first walked in on a Sunday morning. Of course, no one was working that day, so we thought it wouldn't be too bad.
The other problem was the noise inside the building itself. We had been given instructions on being very respectful the other apartment owners because the French are very careful not to disturb people around them. Well, I guess these people didn't get that information, because they would come in as late as 2:30am, laughing, talking and slamming doors. As they went to work in the morning, they would take their trash to the little room just inside the two large street entrance and dump everything, including wine bottles. We were jolted awake numerous times during the nights and mornings. We actually couldn't wait to leave this apartment, but realize it probably will improve when this construction is finished.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency and Porter Scott was very easy to work with and the young English girl who met us was very sweet.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would not rent this apartment or from this agency again, just because they didn't warn us about the construction. We should have been allowed to make the decision to move to another apartment when they became aware of this situation.
I know many people love Porter's apartments and I am reluctant to give this company and apartment such a bad review, but we paid a lot of money and were really miserable.
Things to do in this area
Our favorite restaurant was a little Italian place called Pizza Cesar at 76 rue Mazarine nearby. It seats about 38 in the dining area with a few tables outside. The place is owned by a wonderful Italian fellow, along with two front workers who were wonderful. The entire place feels like one big happy family. The food was terrific and our most memorable evening during our stay in Paris.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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