Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 726: Chez Vous, Cosmopolitan
1bed/1bath apt on Rue Malar (7th arr), Paris
6-Nov-03 to 13-Nov-03, One week
Ideally located on quiet residential street between Eiffel Tower and Invalides. 3 blocks from Seine. 3 blocks from rue Cler area of small food shops. 5-10 minute walk to either Pont d'Alma Metro or Latour Maubourg Metro stops. Located on second floor (up 2 flights of stairs, no elevator). It's a real treat to have every day's walk punctuated with views of the Eiffel Tower from various street perspectives. The apartment's BR, LR, bath, and kitchen all face the street and look out to a beautiful flower stall, a cafe, and a boulangerie across the street.
The apartment was generally very quiet. We could hear muffled sounds from an adjacent apartment or occassionally from the stairwell, however, these wer all very low-level and at appropriate hours. We were pleasantly surpised that the person in the adjacent apartment practiced opera and piano in the early evening (right after work) and the muted sound added real charm to the stay. One day there was some maintenance work on a nearby apartment that generated some mid-morning hammering, but this was of short duration and seemed entirely appropriate to us.
The block outside was very quiet, even through trough the weekend. There is some morning traffic noise around 7:00 am or so, which would probably distrub a late and light sleeper. It was much less than we've encountered at many top-rated hotels in U.S. cities.
This area abounds in every thing you'd need within a pleasant 5 minute walk. Here are some highlights: * Poujauran -- One of Paris best boulangeries. Exceptional croissant, baguette, and apple tarte. * Bellota-Bellota -- Paris top importer of Jambon Iberique (vintage hams from Spain) * Androuet -- One of Paris best fromageries * Petrossian -- For (expensive) cavier and smoked salmon * La Bellcours -- an exceptionally good and modestly priced, Michelin 1-star restaurant * Grande Vaces de Clichy -- A well-stocked wine store with knowledgeable and English-speaking staff * Several ATMs (the Banque Populaire ATM on rue Cler had very low fee) * Many other shops, cafes, restaurants, etc.
We ate all our breakfasts and 6 (of 7) dinners at the apartment, which allowed us to eat and like royalty and drink great wine for a very low cost. The savings on meals easily exceeded the rental difference from a good hotel room.
This is an older building with charm. The only negative is that the stairwell had a consistent, moderate-level smell of sewer gas. This did NOT affect the apartment, which had no noticeable smell. Of special note: There was NO residual "smoker" odor.
There are four rooms: BR (see below). Kitchen (see below). A very nice, large bathroom with tub and shower. You get one set of linens & towels included in rental (and there's a washer/dryer to clean them for longer stays). A large living room with a large dining table and 4 dining chairs (comfortable seats, but painful backs). There's also a sofa bed of moderate seating comfort, a small chest serving as a "coffee table", and two large, comfortable upholstered chairs. Windows in all rooms open to the street.
There is no outside area associated with the apartment.
The apartment was clean and very nicely appointed with artwork and large, framed mirrors. The large (unscreened) windows worked well and could be opened for fresh air.
The bedroom was A+. A very comfortable King bed (that could alternately be made up as twins). A large armoire and chest of drawers provided ample storage. Two nightstands and reading lamps. Plenty of space around the bed and furniture. Windows onto the street.
The kitchen is tiny, but serviceable for 2 to 4 people. Includes a combination micro/air/"grill" oven unit. We never figured out the "grill" part, but the micro and convection worked fine. There is a 4-burner gas range. There were 4 large, heavy-duty pots and pans suitable for cooking (which we did). Service for 6 (plates, glasses, etc.) There are 6 wine and champagne glasses of cut glass -- attractive, but not really "wine friendly". Likewise, the coffee/tea cups are smaller than we like. We just bought some inexpensive items to use ourselves.
There's a small "breakfast table" and two uncomfortable chairs in the kitchen. We never ate at this table because the LR was so much roomier and more comfortable.
The kitchen also includes a small dishwasher which worked moderately well ("C") and acombo clothes washer/dryer, which is suitable for SMALL loads.
Problems or Bonuses
The apartment met or exceeded our expectations in every regard. The great surprise was how fantastic the location was.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
The agency was very professional from start to finish. The California office was convenient because for calling. When we arrived at CDG airport in Paris, our call was immediately answered by a local agent who met us promptly at the apratment and provided a helpful orientation. Because the apartment had not been rented the previous night, we were allowed to check in at approximately 11:00 am at no extra charge. (Be sure to read the Chez Vous policy on early check-in.)
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
We would give "Cosmopolitan" our highest recommendation.
Things to do in this area
In addition to amenities listed above, you can walk to the Eiffel Tower and Invalides. We also walked along the Seine from Pont d'Alma to Notre Dame. The convenient Metro stops put all the rest of Pairs within minutes of the apartment.
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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