Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4946: Frenchy Rentals, Fontaine Modern
1bed/1bath apartment in 9th arrondissement, Paris
April 1 to April 11, 2011, 10 nights
This lovely apartment was situated on rue Pierre Fontaine in the Montmartre area of Paris. It has become my most favourite area of all when I visit this city. I could walk the uphill cobbled street to Sacre Coeur in less then 20 minutes and sit sipping a glass of wine as I took in the breathtaking view with the Eiffel Tower in the far off distance. The apartment location was superb as it was very close to two metro stations and on several bus routes. I had to only walk one minute from the apartment to the local grocery store or walk another three minutes and walk to a Mono Prix which carried everything and anything ! This area had bakeries, a chocolate shop, a wine shop ... you name it, it had it! Every other day I walked up to rue Lepic where I shopped for fresh fruits, vegetables, cheeses and meat. If you want to visit a unique attraction that is only a 10 minute walk away on Blvd. de Clichy, be sure to visit "Musee de l'Erotisme." I found it gave a culturally historic approach to erotic art from the time of Ancient Civilizations to present day. I found it both entertaining and humorous, from the artistic to a tad graphic, but well worth the €10.
This area was chock full of cafes and restaurants that would fit all types of pocket books. Just up at the corner of rue Fontaine and Boulevard de Clichy was a very popular Starbucks, but I preferred the more intimate, rustic cafes on my strolls up to the top of Montmartre. I also tended to go to the little grocery store just five buildings north of the apartment to purchase inexpensive food stuffs for my almost daily picnic lunches. I noticed numerous people drinking in the open so I think if you were discreet you could easily pick up a bottle of red wine to take with you. The same little grocery store where I bought my bread, milk, eggs and fruit juice also carried inexpensive and quite "drinkable" wine and liquor. On two evenings I just crossed my street to a neighborhood cafe to listen to a "Live" musician playing his sax while I sipped a glass of wine .
The building is a typical, well-maintained apartment you would find anywhere in Paris. I had to punch in a four-digit code to open the main entrance. Once in, I had to use a key to open the second door that led to the elevator and the stairs. The elevator is typical of those found in Paris. It is only about 22 inches wide and four feet deep so it provided just enough room for me, my knapsack and my carry-on suitcase. It can hold three people but it will be a bit of a squeeze! I only rode the lift once as I preferred to climb the winding, spiral staircase that had lovely refinished natural wood steps to my fourth floor flat (fifth floor in Canada).
Once outside my apartment door I used my other key to gain entrance. There seems to be only two apartments per floor, and only five floors with apartments. In the 11 days I only met my neighbor and her dog once, and I passed only three people on the stairs. It was a very quiet building and I always felt safe in both the apartment and the area.
One of the reasons I chose this apartment was because it had a small four foot by 10 foot terrace that overlooked the back of neighboring apartments. You accessed the terrace through a door in the bedroom and it appeared to be the only terrace in the entire "courtyard" except the small one just below my flat. It was an incredibly warm April so I often had my morning coffee sitting at a cute bright green table. If you happened to be home between 10:45 and 12 noon the small deck was basked in glorious sunshine! At night I would eat my evening meal outside. The "backs" of other apartments that were in my view were quite a distance away so it still felt very private.
The very modern, tastefully decorated apartment was immaculately clean and had everything the intrepid traveler would need. I am a 62 year old woman who travels with only carry-on luggage so I love all the amenities that are provided and make my packing a breeze. All the furniture is in good shape and both the large bed in the bedroom and the sofa bed are very comfortable. Although I didn't sleep on the sofa bed, I did set it up and try it out.
When the windows, facing the street, are closed you will find the apartment to be fairly quiet, but if you also close the outside shutters the living room becomes both darker and quieter so a good nights sleep would be assured. Since the bedroom faced the courtyard it was not only quiet but in the morning you could hear chirping birds.
The living room had a couch that provided seating for three, a TV and the dining table had four chairs so a family of four would find this this a perfect fit. I set up my lap top at the dining table because I usually ate out on the terrace since it never rained in my 11 days I was there! (I think the weather was unusually great for April).
As I said earlier, the bed was very comfortable and I was able to unpack my bags and put everything in the large cupboard where I could also find the iron/ironing board, extra towels, bedding, etc. I absolutely loved the very large bathtub where I was able to take long hot soaks after a day of endless walking. A real plus was that you could enter the bathroom from the bedroom without going into the hallway since it had another door. That means, if you are traveling with another couple you won't disturb their privacy. The washer and dryer are also in this large, modern, "spic-and-span" clean bathroom. These appliances are easy to use and reduce the need of things you need to pack. The agency even provides the detergent needed in doing multiple washes.
The very modern kitchen would easily provide the cooking and dining needs of a group of four. There were plenty of pots, pans, frying pans, oven mitts, a lovely set of dishes, absolutely everything! And best of all ... a dishwasher! This was a real treat for me even though I was traveling alone I made numerous meals fit for a queen and every other day I had enough dishes for a load and put it on so it would finish its cycle by the time I returned. Again, the owners and the agency had left the required dish detergent, dish towels, kitchen cleaners and garbage bags in the cupboard below the sink so everything was at your finger tips. What was also a pleasant surprise was that there was also tea, coffee, some condiments and cooking oil also available. I made sure to shop for some special balsamic vinegar and olive oil to help contribute to the communal kitchen supplies.
Problems or Bonuses
This is the third time I have rented from Frenchy Rentals and so I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. I was pleasantly surprised with the brightness of the apartment and how quiet it was once the windows were closed. This time I was able to have a short visit with Paula and hear more about how Frenchy Rentals came about. I am an avid walker so I walked from my flat to the Louvre in 40 minutes. The bonus to staying in this area is that there are lots of things to see and do and it is now my most favourite areas to stay in.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
When I first discovered the Frenchy Rentals site I could not believe my good fortune. As I said before, this is my third apartment I have rented form this agency in the last four years. I have always dealt with Paula and each time you arrive at your apartment she is there to meet me. She is an American, living in the Montmartre area, so if you speak very little, or no French, she is able to go through everything in English. Although I have never had a problem, I always felt secure in the fact that I could call her if a problem did arise. The photos of my Fontaine apartment were exactly what I saw on my arrival. I paid €1150 for my 10 night stay in April and I paid a €200 refundable damage deposit which they returned to me literally one day after I returned to Canada. I would return return to this apartment in a heartbeat! Paula makes the renting process so easy !
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
I would absolutely stay here again and I would definitely recommend it to my friends and family. One of my dreams is to eventually rent everyone of Paula's available apartments over the remaining years that I am infected by the "Travel Bug!"
Things to do in this area
Don't miss dining, or just having having afternoon tea, at Musee Jacquemart Andre at 158 blvd. Haussmann. Gorgeous decadent setting with tapestries on the walls and a wonderful painting on the ceiling ... and desserts to die for! Be sure to take in the Dali Museum that is only about a 15 minute walk away from the apartment. I also took the train from Paris to the charming town of Chartres so I could visit the famous Notre-Dame Cathedral. It took only one hour and 10 minutes and cost €28 for the return trip. I decided in order to walk around the historic areas and take in the museums, galleries and shops, and enjoy the educational and enlightening tour given by the renowned Malcolm Miller, I needed more then just a day so I decided to stay at a B&B. Be sure to check out Les Conviv'hôtes. I stayed at Sylvie and Fabrice Menard's lovely, quaint home on rue du Pot Vert only a five-minute walk to the Cathedral.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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