Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 4953: A la Carte Paris Apartments, Left Bank Pantheon
1bed/1bath apartment in 5th arrondissement, Paris
April 2011, 1 week
Not really near the Pantheon, but that's OK. In the 5th, on rue Monge, directly across from the Censier-Daubenton metro station. We found this to be a perfect location. A 15 minute walk to the Seine, immediate access to cafes and shops, and steps from the metro for longer journeys. At the same time, it's off the beaten track enough that you're not surrounded by tourists.
There is a grocery store about five doors up the block. Walking two blocks will take you to rue Mouffetard, with all kinds of specialty shops. Several cafes and restaurants within easy walking distance.
This apartment is on the fourth floor, but has a lift. It's in good shape with hardwood floors. The apartment is in the building's "acute" angle, overlooking the street -- the living room has windows on three sides, providing nice views. The windows open making it easy to get a nice cross breeze. The WC is separate from the bath, which is nice for getting ready in the morning, though you have to walk through the bedroom to get to the bath.
Only heard other neighbours when out in the hall or in the foyer. Didn't hear a sound (other than from the street) when in the apartment.
There is no terrace, but the large windows open all the way and have railings.
No complaints here either. There is a sofa and a couple of chairs in the living room. The dining room table could accommodate six people, but four would be more comfortable.
Bed was very comfortable. Plenty of blankets and pillows. Bathroom had a tub/shower, sink, full length mirror and sufficient storage. It's obviously recently renovated and quite modern. Separate WC also had a sink, but isn't as modern and is quite small. No problem though.
Kitchen was very well stocked, with all appliances expected, including dishwasher and washer/dryer. The coffee maker takes pods, but we didn't see that brand at the supermarket. Fortunately there was also a coffee press, so we used that.
Didn't try to cook a full meal, but there is a four-burner stove and an oven, so I think it would be possible.
Problems or Bonuses
Arrival logistics didn't go according to plan. The instructions provided told us to take the key from a specified mailbox and go from there. Well, the outside door locks, so there is no way to get to the mailboxes. I phoned the emergency number provided (with my North American phone -- that will be expensive). Things were quickly put right and we were given a complete tour and instructions. I'm going to inform A la Carte about this, so hopefully they'll fix this.
Also, the information provided in a binder about local amenities (grocery, etc.) seemed completely wrong. Stores mentioned didn't exist, street names were wrong, etc.
None of this would prevent us from renting again, or suggest that others look elsewhere. Other than these documentation issues, we had no complaints.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
All representative treated us very well. The on site people were great -- their weekend rep gave us a good introduction to the apartment and spoke English well. The cleaner was the first person I met (he came down and opened the door when I called the weekend rep) -- he doesn't really speak English, but that's OK.
The website provided plenty of pictures as well as a floor plan, and the apartment was exactly as expected.
I think we paid €1100 or so for the week (in April). We found this a fair price considering the amenities and location.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Would definitely stay here again. In fact, we'd probably consider this apartment first when planning a return trip. That said, we'd want to make sure the arrival logistics are sorted out.
Things to do in this area
A great tapas bar is just down the street -- Dans les Landes. We also ate at Marty's on Avenue des Gobelins -- a great upscale brasserie.
Rue Mouffetard is the place for shopping. Not only souvenirs, but also local/regional produce.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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