Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4591: Owner, Jewel Studio (#168257)
Studio apartment in 4th arrondissement, Paris
May 6 to 20, 2010, two weeks
This studio is located up one flight of stairs in an historic building on the Ile Saint-Louis in the center of Paris. There is a total of seven apartments in this building on a very small and quiet street. We loved the area.
Everything we needed was in very easy walking distance. We were 1/2 block from the gelateria Amorino, which is on the mostly pedestrian main street. Two general grocery stores were on the island along with specialty food shops, several art galleries and boutiques. Not far on the other side of the Seine is Picard, which sells exclusively frozen food of all kinds for those who don't want to do any more than put something in the microwave. The Maubert open air fresh market (Tuesday & Saturday) was also a short walk towards the Latin Quarter.
The building was historical and in good shape with excellent plumbing, heat and lighting. The apartment was fully restored with beautifully preserved ancient beams and floor tiles. Workers were completing facade restoration and stairway refinishing during our stay. The landlord had expected the work to be done before we arrived and provided us with additional cleaning service at no charge.
The living/sleeping area faced the street. Large double glazed windows let in plenty of natural light, which was reflected by large mirrors. This area contained a large couch, two wing back chairs, a wicker coffee table, international cable TV(hubby was able to watch the Giro), two chests of drawers and a straight chair. A dining bar separated the living/sleeping area from a nook with a small desk with computer and phone. Behind that was the bathroom and off to the side near the entry door were floor to ceiling storage and clothes closets followed by the kitchen area. Another window here provided natural light. The plan was well thought out and nicely done.
The street was extremely quiet. We overslept most mornings. The occasional click of high heels on the stairs was all we heard from the neighbors except for one fellow who played his music too loud when he came home at 4:00am. A call to the landlord the next day took care of the matter and we had no disturbance for our remaining 10 nights.
None directly associated with the apartment, but we had a lovely outside sitting area by side of the Seine, 1/2 block away. We shared it with all of Paris. There was no pool, and except for a cadre of river police trainees and the occasional Labrador retriever, the Seine did not seem to appeal to swimmers.
Furniture was in excellent shape and comfortable. Apartment, dishes, utensils and appliances were all clean. We had enough chairs to have six people around our dining bar but it would have been pretty cozy.
The pull out sofa bed was very comfortable and spacious. The bathroom was well equipped with prompt and abundant hot water, a shower large enough for two and a lovely heated towel rack.
The kitchen was usable and very well equipped. Dishes, pots, pans and utensils were in good condition. Cooking full meals is quite doable with judicious use of the limited space. Microwave, new four burner quick heat cook top and oven all worked splendidly. The under the counter fridge and small dishwasher fit our needs just fine. We did not use the electric tea kettle or coffee maker.
Problems or Bonuses
Being a lover of fresh greens, I was overjoyed to discover a salad spinner in the cupboard. Then after a few educational visits to a Mariage Freres tea room I realized that the cast iron black teapot in the corner was the perfect vessel for steeping my green tea.
We were very happy with Nicholas, the owner. It wasn't really a surprise because he had such good comments on VRBO.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Nicholas is fluent in English and very responsive by phone and E-mail. We used bank transfer for deposit and final payment the week before arrival with no problem. Contacting him while in France was very easy with the free phone in the apartment and through e-mail. He promptly dealt with any problems that came up and stopped by several times to make sure we were OK.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes, I would stay there again and recommend it to my best friend. You just can't beat the convenient location, especially for a first time visitor who doesn't want to depend on anything but their two feet to get around. The proximity to the major sights of Paris is a perfect combination with the peace and convenience of the Ile Saint-Louis.
Qualifications: For a couple, it does require the ability to get along well in a small space. When the bed is open, that and the chairs take up most of the living room space. However a night owl could read in the computer area with its small overhead light without overly disturbing the sleeper.
Things to do in this area
We were busy visiting museums and monuments, but we loved starting our day by strolling along the Seine. There are benches all along the river and a nice little park at the end of the Ile Saint-Louis furthest from Notre Dame. In the evening the park behind Notre Dame would sometimes have concerts sponsored by the city. Street musicians would often entertain on the bridge between the islands. We liked the vegetarian restaurant La Grenier de Notre-Dame for a quick meal after a day of sightseeing, always followed by a dish of Bertillion ice cream which they serve.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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