Thursday, April 11, 2013

Where we stayed in Paris

The biggest challenge we faced when planning our trip to Paris was the decision where to stay. When we have gone before, we stayed in the outer arrondissements. We did this because a) it was the cheapest b) we didn't care about how small the room was and c) it wasn't important to us to be close to everything because we could walk/ride anywhere we needed to go. But this time, with kids, we had a different mind set about where we should stay. We wanted to be in the heart of the city and we wanted some space to move around in. Of course we still needed to stay in a budget but we saved for a long time for this trip so we could get exactly what we wanted! I like the idea of a hotel...breakfast ready for you in the morning, someone that cleans up behind you and of course the concierge that can help with directions and reservations. But when looking for a hotel with space (at least 2 rooms) in the heart of the city that was sort of similar to what we are used to staying in at home...it was way out of our price range.

So we looked into the idea of staying in an apartment. Some things to consider on renting an apartment to stay in...read the reviews! A few we had picked out because of the pictures, after reading the review we realized that the apartment was on top of a nightclub and was loud at all hours of the night. An apartment is going to have thin walls (and floors)...there is no getting around this in Paris, everything is old. If something happens (water is turned off, lock yourself out, etc.) you have to wait for whoever you call to drive to you to help you out. BUT, we thought that the idea of space was a higher priority for us. We went to a couple of different apartment rental agencies (again, read the reviews) and finally settled on Loving Apartments Paris. They seem to have the best communication, answering every question and sending emails promptly. They assigned a greeter whom we called when we landed in Paris so he could be waiting to show us around and give us our key. I was prepared for the apartment to be a lot smaller than the pictures showed because isn't that how it always goes? We were so pleasantly surprised when it was much larger than we thought and that we had a view of the Eiffel Tower that wasn't even shown on the apartment's website...talk about a bonus!!!



We were always thinking about security but there were two access doors into the building and each of them required a code or key fob. We were in a very residential neighborhood which made us feel less like tourists. We saw almost all of our neighbors throughout the week, mostly families our age or really old couples. I never once worried about security once we were inside.
There was a courtyard on the inside of the building and a place to store children's scooters and to bring your trash down.

 We were on the 3rd floor of the building. There was a beautiful staircase that I tried to take every time because of all of the sweets I was eating...but the 2 person elevator (see picture below) was how the kids like to go up. And when I say 2 person elevator, I am being very, very generous. It was convenient when we sent our luggage up in the elevator then met it on our floor! It looked like a closet door, the kids thought it was awesome.
Our living room:



Our kitchen:



Our foyer:
Our bathroom (I forgot to take a picture of the shower, but it was a walk-in, big enough for 2):


The Master bedroom (behind the mirrored doors was all closet storage for our clothes):



The kids room:

The best part:


 Our neighborhood was one of our favorite things about our trip:








It just blew my mind that all of these people around me live here...that this is there ordinary everyday life. Can you even imagine????

4 comments:

  1. I always rent apartments in Paris. It is so good to feel like a parisian ;-) Yours seem really big for Paris standards! I never used this company. I will check it out!

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    1. Hey Rosa! Yes, it was so big for Paris! We had prepared ourselves that the pics on their website were completely skewed to make it seem large so we were so surprised when it was actually big!!!

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  3. Hi Wendy!
    I'm planning a trip for just me and my hubby. We're considering hotels or rental apartments. We would like to be as close to the city sights as possible (specifically the Eiffel Tower) but want to stay in a budget. Would the extra money you paid for the apartment have still been worth the difference if it had just been you and Mike? I'm going to check out the company you referenced above.

    One other thing...are there any areas of town that you would recommend that we not stay (either because of safety or inconvenience or something else)?

    Thanks! Erika

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