Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 3718: Paris by Heart, Monge #321
1bed/1bath apartment in the 5th arrondissement, Paris
March 2008, 5 nights
The apartment was on rue Monge right on top of les Arènes de Lutèce. Rue Monge is great because there's lots of shops for things you need during the day, but it's quiet at night. There are three nearby metro stations to choose from (Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu, and Place Monge). Oh, and you're also close to rue Mouffetard which is enjoyable.
It's central Paris, and so everything is nearby on foot.
The apartment was located in a typical Haussmannian building from the 19th century. It was clean and well maintained. The elevator was lilliputian in scale, but that's no different than 90% of the elevators in Paris as most of them have been retrofitted into their respective buildings.
There were two apartments per floor. Never heard or saw any of the other residents. The apartment itself was very quiet. It wasn't on the top floor (which is what I usually prefer in order to avoid noise), but I never heard a footfall nor any other noise from other apartments. On my last morning there, I heard the most beautiful woman's voice singing opera, but I could definitely live with that.
You can view the property directly: Monge.
There were no shared common areas.
The furniture, while your basic Ikea level quality, was in good shape and comfortable enough for a vacation. There was a good size table in the living room where one could enjoy meals. The apartment felt clean.
The beds were comfortable and the linens, while again not luxurious, were clean and fresh smelling. There was a separate and tiny WC room next to the kitchen. It was fine, although I'm not a fan of carpeted bathrooms as I don't think that they can be properly cleaned. There was a shower room that was en suite to the bedroom, which contained both a large shower stall and a sink that had a lot of surface space and side shelving. There were plenty of clean, fluffy towels for two people.
We didn't use the kitchen, but it was roomy enough and seemed equipped with everything one would need to cook full meals.
Problems or Bonuses
Good: Very quiet. Our sleep was never disturbed. Also, the small balcony that runs along the whole length of the living room looked like fun to hang out on during nice weather.
Bad: The television stopped working on the second day of our stay, and was fixed only to konk out again. Not a biggie, because I'm not on vacation in Paris to watch TV, but it would have been nice to catch up with the world via CNN or BBC at the end of the day. I'm told that this has since been fixed.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency, Paris by Heart, was terrific. Ken V., who's located in California, was very forthcoming, honest, efficient and a pleasure to work with each step of the way. The on site person, Maurice, who spoke English was likewise a total gentleman and very helpful. The apartment's web page accurately reflects this apartment. I paid $285 a night, but the price has recently gone up to $315 per night. That's a year round price.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would recommend this apartment to anyone without hesitation if the priorities were to have a good amount of living space, complete quiet, lots of natural light, good cross ventilation, and a central location. If you're looking for glamorous decor or a really high-end feel, then this place would probably not be for you.
Things to do in this area
The closest sites to visit would be les Arènes de Lutèce, le Jardin des Plantes, and la Grande Mosquée de Paris (all fun, and not overun with other tourists). Most of the restaurants I visited on this trip were in other neighborhoods, but I did manage to have very pleasant breakfasts nearby at both Le Petit Cardinal (rue Monge and rue du Cardinal Lemoine) and Cafe Delmas (place de la Constrescarpe). There is an organic and all natural food shop across the street called Naturalia, which I found to be well stocked. There was also an Internet cafe across the street.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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