Monday, August 24, 2015

Renting an Apartment in Paris

Today's post is about the place we stayed in Paris. We rented an apartment this time around, which we have never done before! You see, our favorite hotel has closed down and we had to look for an alternative place to stay. Le sigh. So the search began. I have read about staying in gorgeous apartments in Paris, but I was a little iffy on how it actually worked. Well, truth be told, it was pretty easy.
How to Rent an Apartment in Paris - a guide and review!



Now, there are a bunch of different websites that rent apartments in Paris. We actually tried to rent an apartment from both Paris Perfect and Haven in Paris but the apartments we were interested in weren't available at the time of our trip.

When choosing a hotel vs an apartment, there a *few* things to consider:
Apartment upsides:
- You have your own kitchen so you can prep a few of your own meals
- There is a dining table, so you can grab things and take them to-go and eat at home. It's a big way to save money.
-Some apartments have their own washer/dryer, so you can do laundry
-You can stay for extended periods of time for cheaper
-If you are traveling with more than 3 people in your party, it is more economical to rent a big apartment then several hotel rooms (That's why we went with an apartment)
-It is usually much more spacious than a hotel room
the beautiful antique oil paintings in the apartment we rented!
Apartment Downsides
-There is no concierge, which can be helpful if you need directions or reservations
-Luggage store could potentially be a problem: If you arrive early and the apartment is not available until 5pm, you will have to have somewhere to store your luggage. There are luggage storage locations in most train stations in the city, but it's such a nuisance!
-Some apartments require you to bring your own linens, towels, and shampoo/conditioner. Go with a reputable place!
-Look to see if it's on the 5th floor. 5th floor means its hot. And a lot of places don't have elevators. So every time you go home, you have to hike 5 floors up to your place.
the beautiful antique oil paintings in the apartment
Things to Consider When Selecting an Apartment (or hotel, even!)
-Is there Wi-Fi?
-What floor is the apartment on?
-Is there an elevator?
-Is there a bathroom located in the apartment or is there a shared one down the hall?
-Is there air conditioning? (unlikely)
-Is there heating?
-Where is the apartment located? LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION.  Before we went, I google street mapped where we were potentially going to stay to see if the neighborhood was going to be safe.
-Is the rental company reputable?
-Which way does the apartment face? If it faces the street it could be super noisy
-Is the apartment no-smoking?
-Is the requirement for length of stay?
-How many beds are there AND what size are they? It might say 3 bedroom BUT they are 3 TWIN beds.
-Is there a washer/dryer?
-Is there a kitchen?

The reason we chose to stay in apartment this time around is we were traveling in a group of 4 and it was cheaper to rent a bigger apartment then rent multiple hotel rooms (at least in the hotel-price range we were looking at). The other reason is that we wanted to be able to prep a few meals at home to save some money on dinner. We didn't want to spend 60 Euros per person every night on dinner!
the view into the main room
Now onto the apartment we rented... We rented this very large and spacious apartment located near the Palais Royal. Our closest metro stop was a 5 minute walk and it was Pyramides.

Renting the apartment from this company was easy and done online.

To get the keys to the apartment was a little bit trickier: we had to call the management company once our plane landed from the airport in Paris. Only one problem: our phones don't work in Europe. I know you can buy a sim card for your phone to work over there but we did not. The payphones over in Europe require a special phone card that you have to buy... they don't take coins. Eventually the French lady at the help desk in the airport just made the phone call for us. And everyone keeps saying the French aren't nice... I have *never* had a problem with the French. I think if you're nice to people they'll be nice to you, Kindergarten 101.

Then we met the lady in front of the apartment. Did a quick check in and went over the rules. Super easy!
more of the antique art!
The apartment looked into a courtyard that was quiet.

I don't know if you can tell, but these curtains are made from Fortuny fabric!! Wow!! The old wood floors were a problem - they were so incredibly squeaky and you had to wear your socks or shoes while walking around because the wood and old nail heads would poke you a little.
Checking out was a breeze. You just... leave the keys in the door and close the door. Done.

Here are some of the professional photos of the apartment we rented:
It had a nice kitchen with a stove, oven, dishwasher, microwave, espresso maker, and refrigerator!
One of the bedrooms...
The other bedroom...

My overall review of the actual apartment we rented:
-I liked the location, it was easy to get to. It was safe. The Metro was a short walk away. The apartment was clean with new sheets and towels. They provided toilet paper, shampoo, soap. This apartment was also huge! It also felt French to us, which was important! We wanted to stay somewhere that felt French! There were also 2.5 baths here! This place could sleep 6 people!
-My dislikes were the wood floor. It was really squeaky and you couldn't walk around at night without waking the other person up. I wish we were a little bit closer to some of the areas we preferred to shop and eat, but that's okay, all and all this was a great location.

Would I stay in this apartment again? Yes, but I think if I were to stay in an apartment again I would want to stay somewhere in St. Germain, just to try something new!  So, yes, I do recommend this apartment if you're headed over there. An honest unpaid review here.

Where do you stay when you go to Paris? Leave me a comment, I will need a place next time I go!

If you've missed a Paris trip post, catch them ALL RIGHT HERE on my new Paris Trip Round-Up!

Written at http://peoniesandorangeblossoms.blogspot.com
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15 comments:

  1. Thanks so much for this review, Angelina. I'm pinning this. I might have missed it but did you mention how you found/booked this apartment? Was it through an agent? I really love the idea of staying in apartment next time we go to Paris but wouldn't have a clue where to start looking!

    That apartment looked amazing by the way!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha.

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    1. Oh I don't think I said.... I found his apartment randomly on the internet... I just kept looking at websites until I found an apartment that "looked French", was located where wanted, was the right size, and was available! That's how I narrowed down my search big time. Then I started looking at prices of things and comparing after that! I hope you find it useful, I think renting an apartment seemed more scary than it actually was!

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  2. Apartments (or houseboats in Amsterdam!) are definitely a fabulous way to do Europe, if you're able to keep a home base for long enough! You get to feel like you're really experiencing what it's like to live there, which is a big highlight for us. And I definitely agree that the French are nice - I don't blame them for not treating "obnoxious Americans" nicely, when I see how obnoxious some can be!

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    1. Oh neat! Houseboats in Amesterdam! Yes, keeping a home base long enough may difficult for some people... That's why you need to choose a place with lots of stuff to do! I have seen some very obnoxious people, more recently from Chinese tour groups than Americans! Those groups just push and shove and hit you. So rude!

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  3. What a beautiful apartment. My husband and I rented an apartment when we stayed in Paris, too, and it was the best experience! I loved coming "home" every night, cooking a few meals, and getting to know the neighborhood (Montmartre). I would definitely do it again the next time we visit. :)

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    1. I enjoyed going to our local little neighborhood market and picking out foods for dinner! I think next time I want to stay in another neighborhood.... To mix things up a bit!

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  4. We rented an apartment when we were in Paris as well. It was fantastic and when we go back we will try and get the same place. It was on Rue St Michel in the Latin Quarter, diagonally opposite Notre Dame, a two minute walk to the Metro and RER and heaps of winding little cobblestone streets behind us with all the food you could eat. The windows opened up and you could sit there eating or playing on the internet and watch the boats go down the Seine right in front of you. Little supermarket right down the road. It was fantastic and was cheaper and bigger than a hotel room. Link in case anyone is interested.
    http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/VacationRentalReview-g187147-d1809310-The_Best_View_in_Paris_on_Seine_River_amp_Notre_Dame-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

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    1. Oh, odd, I replied to this comment earlier but I guess it didn't save! Sorry! I looked at the place you stayed... What a nice view!! A good location, too!

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  5. What a great place to stay! Thanks for sharing this tip. Thanks for joining Home Sweet Home!

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  6. We used to travel to Paris every year for business ( sometimes twice a year ) and always stayed in hotel ( one for many years and then another for many years ) I always wanted to rent an apartment for the 8 days or so we'd be there and never did !
    This apartment looks like a dream come true - omg - it's just gorgeous !!!
    Great post !

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    1. I liked the hotel we stayed in when I was younger and my mom and I would tag along on my Dad's business trips... Renting an apartment was so fun! I felt less like a tourist!

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  7. How much was this apartment compared to a hotel? How much did you save?

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    1. We saved approx $1500 for a week stay... It was cheaper because we traveled in a group so we would have had to rent two hotel rooms.

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  8. Great blog of renting apartment What a beautiful apartment. My husband and I rented an apartment when we stayed in Paris, too, and it was the best experience! I loved coming "home" every night, cooking a few meals, and getting to know the neighborhood.Thanks for sharing........

    IQ Sheffield | All inclusive student accommodation in Sheffield

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