Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 560: Paris Perfect, Bordeaux
2bed/2bath apartment in 7th arrondissement, Paris
August 2002, 5 days
This apartment is located in the 7th Arrondissement (The Eiffel Tower neighborhood) of Paris. It is literally a few steps away from the tower as you simply have to step out of the apartment, cross the street, and you are in the Champs de Mars park, which is the park in which the tower is located. Apartment is located on the 5th and 6th floors (European) of the building. It was a very quiet aparment with lots of light and an excellent view of the tower from the balcony.
Of note was the fact that while you were in one of the most popular parts of Paris with access to some of the finest restaurants, you still were able to go into the apartment and withdraw without hearing any noise or the hustle and bustle of the streets below.
There were SEVERAL neighborhood restaurants, some of which we recognized as having been featured on American cooking TV programs. The nearest grocery store was a few feet away from the apartment. One only had to come out of the apartment, make a right turn and walk about 15 yards to get to the grocery store, which stocked just about everything - food, toileteries, whatever. There are also two pharmacies within walking distance.
I don't know if the building was a historical one. However, it was in good shape. In fact, during our stay, it was undergoing some remodeling in the lobby area, but that did not affect the beauty of the apartment itself. The apartment is absolutely lovely.
There is a balcony area. By American standards, the balcony may be considered small, but it was very typical of the balconies that one sees in Paris or in other European cities. It was a private balcony. There is no pool.
The furniture was in excellent shape and was quite comfortable. The apartment was also quite clean. When we arrived, the cleaning crew, a lovely couple, were in the final stages of cleaning up after the previous guests, and we left our luggage and went off to explore for a bit.
There were four people in our group - my husband, his mother, my mother, and me. There were more than sufficient chairs in the living and dining areas to accommodate all of us as we watched TV or ate any meal. There was also a CD player but we didn't have any CDs to play.
The beds were quite comfortable. We slept in the master bedroom which was a king (2 twin beds joined together as they sometimes do on cruises) but the quality of this bed was far superior to that found on a cruise ship. The linen was of the highest quality as well. I am very picky about my bed linen and do not sleep on bedding with less than 300 thread count. This bedding was of comparable quality to that which I have in my own home and it made for very restful nights.
Our mothers' room, which consisted of two single beds, was also quite satisfactory. They had enough space between the beds to move about comfortably in their room.
The kitchen area was outstanding and a very pleasant surprise. From the pictures at the website, one is not really able to tell that it is as big as it is. It is, by any standard, a very modern and well-equipped kitchen.
All four of us were sometimes in the kitchen preparing different portions of a meal and we were able to move about freely without bumping into each other. The appliances were of the finest quality, mostly German name-brand items. There was a fridge which was larger than that typically found in European apartments, and every type of utensil that one could imagine he/she would need.
Problems or Bonuses
The best surprise was the quality of the apartment for the money spent. In making reservations, I had searched LONG and HARD before finally deciding on this apartment rental. One of the main determining factors in my decision was my communication with the owner, Madelyn. She was extremely helpful and went way beyond what was necessary, even to the point of returning a phone call to me in Texas after I'd left a message on her home phone in London. She is VERY eager to please her clients, and wants to make sure that they have the best stay possible. As an American, she is very aware of what the American traveler may be looking for in an apartment rental, and goes out of her way to make sure these things are provided. You can call her ANYTIME, ANYWHERE and she is ALWAYS WILLING TO HELP.
Besides the comprehensive information that is provided after you've booked the apartment (info on how to operate the various appliances, water heater, washer/dryer, even details on how to use the keys in the door as the keys were a bit different from a typical American door key) she even provided me information on which might be the best compartment to ride on the Eurostar over to Paris from London. On one occasion, I called her London home for information and got her answering machine. I was pleasantly surprised (as I had told her that I would be checking e-mail from time to time) to find that she had responded to my voice message via e-mail WHILE SHE WAS IN GREECE VACATIONIING! Madelyn was eager to ensure that her guests had a fantastic stay while in Paris, and she does anything she can to help make your stay a pleasure.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
We did not have reason to contact the local manager during our stay. The information provided by Madelyn prior to our arrival, the information packet sent to us at the time of our booking, and the many brochures, books, and general information on transportation left by the owners and previous guests in the apartments, were more than sufficient to help us get around Paris.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Not only would I stay there again, but I have been back since my first visit in August of 2002. I returned in March of 2003 with another family member, stayed in another of Madelyn's apartments, which was just as lovely as the Bordeaux, and have been encouraging friends and family to go to Paris - just so they they can have the Paris Perfect experience. The apartment literally helps make your stay in Paris complete as it provides a safe (one can only enter the building with approved codes) and inviting experience. It is literally a home away from home only with the finest quality antique furniture to enjoy while you are there.
Things to do in this area
The apartment is very centrally located. Besides the Eiffel Tower which is just across the street, the Invalides (the place where Napoleon's Tomb is located) is only a few blocks away. One can walk (15-20 minutes) or catch a bus from across the street. Bon Marche department store, Pont De L'Alma (bridge where Lady Diana died), Louvre and Orsay Museums are quick bus rides away. All the best restaurants are in the area. Several great open air markets in the area as well. Bus station is across the street by Champs De Mars Park for easy access to other parts of the city such as Notre Dame Cathedral. We even took the metro and transferred to a train which took us directly to Versailles with little effort.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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