Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4095: Owner, Paris vue sur Seine
studio apartment on Ile de la Cite, Paris
May 5-12, 7 days
Our apartment windows overlooked the Seine on Île de la Cité in the middle of Paris. We could watch the boats on the river and had a perfect view of Hotel de Ville.
We entered through a secure electronic door, then another interior electronic iron gate, then up three flights of spiral stairs. There were other apartments in our building, but it was very quiet. Our neighborhood was perfectly safe. In fact, the mounted police force rode by our windows most mornings on schedule!
We loved the neighborhood! It was perfect for us.
Ile Saint-Louis was just across the pedestrian bridge and became our favorite (walking) destination for groceries, ice cream/gelato, bread, pastries and restaurants/cafes. Everyone was so very friendly and kind. We got along great by speaking enough French to order without using English and carry on simple conversations without using English.
The apartment was newly remodeled with all modern conveniences in an historic building. There were the historic timber beams and none of the walls were square due to the age of the building, but the studio was truly beautiful and perfect for us!
No outside garden -- walk one block to the gardens behind Notre-Dame or 20 minutes to Luxembourg gardens. With a view of the Seine from the apartment, no need for a garden!
The apartment was spotless! The owners provided all of the paper products and cleaning products that we needed for the week. There were stacks of clean towels and extra blankets if needed.
Being small, this is only suitable for 1-2 people - a romantic petite studio for a couple. There were two chairs at a small table and a leather love-seat that was comfortable for sitting to watch the Seine, watch TV or read.
This was a petite one-room studio with a Murphy bed that was very comfortable -- my husband and I had no problems sleeping. The pillows, mattress were wonderful -- the linens were exquisite and pristine white with embroidery! We didn't close the Murphy bed since we were okay with walking around it. Raising it would really open up the floor space. The mechanisms are electronic, no heavy lifting of the bed.
The bath featured a great, tiled, large shower, a nice sink with a spacious medicine cabinet storage and drawer below. The toilet was the latest as were all of the fixtures. The shower was spacious, had a shelf for toiletries. There was a towel warmer. The only improvement would be an additional towel hook.
The one-wall kitchenette included a small fridge, a washer/dryer combo, a small oven and two burners and sink. Everything was new and modern. Granite counter tops, stainless sink.
We didn't try to cook full meals due to the great cafes/restaurants around, but we had coffee (Senseo maker), juice, fruit, and pastries there for breakfast most days. I'm sure I could have cooked there had we wanted. There were plenty of dishes and looked like a nice assortment of pots and pans.
Problems or Bonuses
There were a few warped floor boards from a previous leak problem. The owner apologized, but we weren't bothered by it. He was having a carpenter come in right after our departure to fix the floor. There was a beautiful oriental carpet on the oak wood floors.
Land line calls (even to the US) were free.
There is Ethernet (cable, no WiFi -- go across the bridge to Ile Saint-Louis to the Saint Regis Cafe for great omelets and free WiFi).
Flat screen TV with American, British and French channels.
We loved the location and all the wonderful amenities provided by the owners. We never had to buy any products for the apartment, compared to past rentals.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The owner, Marc, greeted us at the apartment right on time. He provided large bunches of fresh grapes, fresh strawberries, a fresh-baked bread loaf and a great wine!
Marc is a well-educated academic, now retired, but teaching physics at the university. He speaks perfect English and is a delightful man!
The studio looks exactly like the photos on the website, which were taken by a professional photographer. The photos are so true-to-life that I didn't even take photos myself.
We wired half the payment in advance and took enough euros to pay the remainder upon arrival. We left a security deposit and it was returned in full upon departure.
All email correspondence was easy and prompt.
I can't think of better folks to rent from than Marc and Marie-Christine (we didn't meet her, but she handled the emails).
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I absolutely wouldn't want to stay anywhere else if it is just the two of us (my husband with me).
Space would be the only consideration for other folks. For us, no worries! It is a petite studio, but we each had two shelves for our clothes. The closet included enough wooden hangars for our clothes... we do travel light. Someone with several suitcases may want a one-bedroom rather than a studio. It fit us perfectly.
I would recommend this studio to my best friend. It was perfectly outfitted with everything that we needed and exceeded our expectations. The amenities and location are the best!
Things to do in this area
We were one block from Notre-Dame.
One block from Marche aux Fleurs (six days of flower market, one day pet birds).
Lots and lots of wonderful restaurants! We dined well! Incredible, in fact! I must send separate restaurant reviews. Most were on Ile Saint-Louis, literally just five minutes away -- across the pedestrian bridge from our apartment on Ile de la Cite.
We also dined in Marais and the Latin Quarter -- just 15 minutes of easy walking.
Being on the Seine, we used Batobus for 90% of our transportation with five-day, hop-on/off passes. Cruised to the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Invalides area, Jardin des Plantes, and it stopped at both Notre-Dame and Hotel de Ville, so we could easily (by being on the island) get to the Batobus stop for each direction in just a few minutes from the apartment.
We easily walked to Marais, Latin Quarter and even to Monteparnasse; back from the Louvre; back from the Eiffel Tower.
We took the Chatelet Metro to Gare Saint-Lazare to take the train out to Giverny and back. Easy.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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