For our vacation in Paris, we decided to rent an apartment. It’s a no-brainer, really. For often less than the cost of a nice hotel room, you get more space, the freedom to come-and-go without worrying about housekeeping staff, and the possibility to make some meals, thus eating lighter and saving some money. Shopping for fresh ingredients where the local people would is actually fun, instead of a chore. We’ve done this in Paris, Venice, and Florence and really prefer this way of traveling. We hadn’t stayed in an apartment in Paris for many years, however, and hadn’t loved that apartment (we’ve learned along the way), so we needed to look for a new location.
I found Paris Sharing on the web. They have over 100 properties to choose from with multiple photos of each. Their web site is easy to search by date, neighborhood, and number of guests that can be accommodated. We found an apartment that looked gorgeous and put down our deposit. And then things got complicated. When I needed to work in Paris after my stint in St Andrews, Scotland, we needed to change the dates of our vacation. Paris Sharing was very accommodating and agreed to apply our deposit to another property.
At first, they just give the general area of where the apartment is, providing specifics closer to the arrival date. So, when I got the exact address, I was already working in Paris. I decided to check it out, since our first Paris rental several years ago was over a restaurant that stayed noisy until 2 am – and then the street cleaners started at 5. Using Google’s street view is a good way to get the lie of the land, but if you can actually check out the street, so much the better. When I went there, I found scaffolding in the courtyard. I contacted Paris Sharing to find out how this would affect our apartment. The work on the roof was going to be done in the adjacent building, but there was no way to know how noisy it would be or how long the work would last. I asked for a new apartment, and Paris Sharing accommodated my request. I checked out the address and the street was as calm as a churchyard, even though it’s sandwiched between the Seine and rue St Antoine in the Marais.
We’ve been here for several days now and are thoroughly enjoying the apartment. The location is ideal. There are great specialty food shops and two metro stations within a few minutes. Although small, the apartment has everything we need, including a compact washing machine. The decor is simple, the most dramatic aspect is the dark ceiling beams, or poutres (poot- ruh). Since it has been really quite warm since we’ve been here, the only improvement I can suggest is air-conditioning! Paris Sharing was flexible and responsive to my requests. I hope that I’ll have my own Paris apartment to share one day, but until then, I wouldn’t hesitate to use this company again.