Vacation rentals in France (farms, cottages, gites, apartments)
Review 893: Paris Perfect, Beaujolais
1 bed/1 bath, 400 sq ft, apartment in 7th arrondissement, Paris
May 3 - 12, 2004, 9 nights
The apartment was located in the 7th arrondissement - a very nice residential area of Paris - and it was VERY quiet. We didn’t hear any of our neighbors and, because of the courtyard separation from the busy one way street below, there was very little traffic noise - even when all the windows were open. We loved coming back to this cozy little apartment after spending a full day in the busy city!
Wonderful restaurants, cheese shops, grocery store(s), patisseries could all be found within easy walking distance of the apartment - in fact, some were literally steps away. On lazy mornings you could just walk downstairs to the adjoining café and pick up hot coffee and pastries to go if you wish!
The apartment building was built in the 1800's. The apartment itself is located on the 5th floor and can be reached by using a small elevator.
Large windows which swung open in the living/dining room, bedroom, and kitchen gave the unit a more spacious feel and offered nice views of the courtyard below, the Parisian buildings and rooftops nearby, and (if you crane your neck out the kitchen window) there's a pretty good view of the Eiffel Tower too!
From the main street you enter the apartment building through a private courtyard. There is a small, reflecting pool in the middle of the courtyard but no sitting area, per se.
This apartment has been renovated so it was in very good shape overall. It was cleaned right before we arrived and was spotless. It has wood floors with a few throw rugs here and there and is decorated with simple but nice furniture.
The living room has a pull-out couch, satellite TV, a DVD player, and a stereo .... all were in excellent condition. The owners have a small collection of DVD movies, books, music and TONS of info about Paris and the neighborhood available to guests (and check out the guest book for even more comments and recommendations about the area).
The small dining table was beautifully set for us when we first arrived. There were 4 comfortable, well padded blue chairs that were part of the dining set but there wasn't room for all of them at the table - plus us - so we set 2 aside in the living area (which shares the same room as the dining area).
The bedroom, like the rest of the apartment, was bright and cheery and decorated in muted yellow tones. The queen sized bed was new and very comfortable -- no sagging in the middle so we both slept great! There were 2 side tables, one had a clock and a phone on it. The lighting was good and the small closet was fully stocked with wooden hangers (thank you!!!). In the apartment there were a couple of fold up wire hanging racks for drying clothes on and hooks for hanging jackets, etc. on every door of the apartment. Good thinking!!
The bathroom was small but had some
The kitchen was quite small but still fairly easy to work in (one person at a time though!). It had a microwave, small refrig/freezer, toaster, coffee maker and was fully stocked with plenty of pots, pans, dishes, glasses, etc. -- all clean and in excellent condition. I made dinner twice during our stay and the stove, while small, worked quite well. The kitchen was stocked with paper towels, toilet paper, soap, liquid detergent, basic condiments and spices, etc. when we first got there – and the owners only ask that you restock some of what you use when you leave.
Problems or Bonuses
The only real blemish was in the bathroom and that was basically cosmetic. Some of the plaster above the mirror had badly cracked and was peeling due to some previous water damage that had come from an adjacent apartment. The leak was fixed quite awhile ago but we were told that the owners plan to repair and repaint the wall once the plaster completely dries out. The unfortunate thing was that the bathroom was the only room in the whole apartment that did not have a window so it's more prone to retaining moisture. That said, since there was no sign of leakage while we were there and the rest of the apartment was in great shape we do believe this "problem" is temporary.
Agency and Representatives (and price)
Before leaving for Paris, Philippe
Their manager, Carolyn (who is American), met us at the apartment shortly after we arrived and familiarized us with the apartment and all of the appliances. She is very nice, lives close to the apartment, and was always available to answer questions. We also had a brief opportunity to meet Philippe, the owner, who was very personable and welcoming.
The apartment was a bit pricey compared to some others we had looked at on the internet, but because Paris Perfect came so highly recommended and because this was our first rental in Paris we decided it was worth the peace of mind .... And, it was! As it turned out, we did get a bit of a break on the price because of the amount of nights we needed the apartment - so, considering the flawlessness of the transaction and the great neighborhood we were staying in, we felt their fee was fair.
Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?
Yes! My only hesitancy in recommending this particular apartment would be if you had more than 2 people (even though the website says it can accomodate 4). It was a perfect size for the 2 of us but I personally think more than 2 people (adults) sharing this apartment would feel way too cramped .... esp sharing just ONE small bathroom!
Things to do in this area
This apartment is within walking distance of so many sites, and because there are so many things to do/see nearby the list is almost endless (Rodin Museum, Invalides, Eiffel Tower, Bateau Mouche, rue Cler, etc). Two metro stops, several different bus routes, RER, and the Batobus are all nearby so you can easily get anywhere in Paris from this wonderful, safe location in the 7th.
Restaurant recommendations: We never had a bad meal on this trip. We love French food but unlike previous trips to Paris we decided to pass on the more upscale restaurants and concentrate on more 'local' spots -- were not disappointed.
We also tried several restaurants that weren’t French, as well. Our favorite meal on this trip was actually dinner at La Taverna (22 rue du Champ de Mars). La Taverna is run by a young Italian couple who really know how to run a great restaurant. Some of the outstanding dishes were an unbelievable appetizer: artichoke hearts that were layered with fresh parmesan cheese then baked onto a very light, flaky pastry; wonderfully prepared gnocchi; and some of the best risotto we’ve EVER tasted (even in Italy!).
Another place we tried for a change of pace was a Japanese restaurant called Toyotaka, conveniently located right across the street from our apartment. The sushi was great – very, very fresh – and they had several different items listed on their menu. For for those who prefer 'cooked' Japanese food (like tempura for example) they offer that as well.
And of course there's that wonderful crispy but oh so moist Rotisserie chicken you find everywhere in Paris! One afternoon we walked over to rue Cler and picked up a fresh cooked chicken, some fresh veggies from the veggie stand, bought a nice bottle of Beaujolais, then went home and had it for dinner... YUM, it was such a simple dinner but boy, was it delicious!!
This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.
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