Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3631: Paris Vacation Apartments, Palais Royale Elegant Two Bedroom
2bed/2bath apartment in 1st arrondissement, Paris
May 17 - May 24, 2008, 7 nights
The apartment is located on rue Montpensier, which is the street defining the western "border" of Palais Royal. It is in the 1st arrondissement, two blocks or so north of the Louvre. It is within a 10-minute walk of Les Halles, rue Montorgueil, and Opera Garnier, as well as the Louvre. The exterior of the building is not much to look at on the rue Montpensier side, but the gardens of the Palais Royal are on the other side of the apartment. Being on the first floor European, it provides easy access (there's an elevator that goes directly to the apartment doors if needed). We loved the area, and the gardens almost felt like they were our personal space, particularly after 5:30 or 6:00pm, when the daytime population left.
There were many restaurants, brasseries, and cafes nearby, as well as a small epicerie (within a block), boulangerie, etc. Within the Palais Royal there are probably five to nine restaurants (including Le Grand Vefour, Willi's Wine Bar) and there are many others close by. We strongly recommend Aux Bon Crus on rue des Petit Champs) - a very pleasant, low-key and delicious menu. We shopped extensively at the market on rue Montorgueil (about five blocks) on Sunday, and a Monoprix was reasonably handy (three or so blocks).
The apartment is in the Palais Royal, originally built for Cardinal Richelieu, and later occupied by various members of the royal family before the revolution. The exterior of the building on the rue Montpensier side is nondescript, but the other side looks out on the Palais Royal gardens. The Palais Royal itself occupies probably the equivalent of eight square blocks; I have no idea how many apartments are in the entire building, but Paris Vacation Apartments manages three or four of them there. Other occupants of the Palais Royal include businesses, restaurants, the Comedie Francaise, boutiques, etc.
The useful entrance to the apartment is to the kitchen, although there is another that opens into the foyer/hallway of the apartment. In addition to the kitchen (small but complete), there is a good sized living room/dining room, and two bedrooms separated by a long hallway. The larger bedroom (facing the gardens) has its bathroom attached, whereas the other bathroom is accessed from the hallway leading to the second bedroom. The bathroom for the larger bedroom is handicap accessible.
You can view the layout of the apartment on the Paris Vacation Apartments website (true for all of their properties), as well as many photos of the interior of the apartment.
You can view the property directly: Palais Royal Elegant.
The gardens of the Palais Royal are shared. There is no pool.
The apartment is furnished very well - almost elegant (at least by my standards). The furniture is in very good shape. You can see much of the furniture in the apartment in the photos for the apartment website.
The two bedrooms and two bathrooms were very nice. We were there as two "middle-aged" couples, and there was plenty of space and privacy.
The kitchen was usable. There were plenty of pots and pans and dishes and glasses (and wine glasses). Everything was of very high quality. Although there was certainly enough equipment to cook full meals, we mostly bought prepared dishes at markets and brought them home. The kitchen includes a refrigerator/freezer, oven, microwave, range/hub, dishwasher, and washing machine/dryer.
Problems or Bonuses
No bad surprises. The good surprises? Being met by a most gracious greeter (Marie Laure), who spent more than an hour with us going over all aspects of the apartment, giving us a bottle of wine, fresh flowers, and bread (the kitchen had many staples already), and talking with us about where everything was in the neighborhood. She also arranged a cab for us and our luggage to go the Gare de Lyon on the following Saturday.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was great, as was the on site person (Marie Laure). They speak English very well. And the actual apartment was at least as good as what we saw about it on the Internet. The price for us for the week was $2350, payable by credit card (very handy).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I strongly recommend this apartment, without any reservation.
Things to do in this area
Walked everywhere, rode the metro, found great restaurants, and simply and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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