There are two things I think are the hardest to figure out in Paris: where to stay and where to eat. Part of the problem is the sheer number of options available. It can be overwhelming.
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Searching out recommendations for both can be extremely helpful which is why I am excited to share my review of the Paris apartment rental I recently stayed in operated by Paris Rentals by Ruben. Ruben has a number of apartments throughout Paris ranging from studios to 5 bedrooms.
I chose a 1 bedroom apartment in the Marais /4th arrondissement named “Historic Parisian Lifestyle.” What I liked about the apartment was that there was a separate bedroom with a door and separate eating area giving the feel of more room in this 35 square meter apartment. It is definitely the perfect size for two people.
Let me take you on a tour of the apartment:
Living room/sitting area: As you enter through the front door, there is nice sofa that also folds out into a sleeper if extra sleeping space is needed. One thing I like about staying in an apartment is having more than one room to sit in. Plopping down on the sofa after a long day sightseeing is so nice. There is also a stereo and tv for entertainment. The picture below is taken from the kitchenette area not from the front door.
Kitchenette: Adjoining with the small sitting area is a kitchenette. There is no dishwasher or oven but does have a microwave, induction stove top including the cooking pots and mini refrigerator. Cooking utensils, plates and eating utensils are also included. My friend managed to cook some amazing dinners which saved us tons of money! For breakfast, we would grab fresh croissants or pain au chocolate from the local bakery Au Petit Versailles du Marais…which just happened to place 2nd in 2014 for the best baguette. There is a decently priced Intermarche Express close by on Rue de Rivoli and a fresh produce market just down the street pass the Saint Paul metro stop. Just a note on dining in…I know that cooking your own meals while being on vacation in one of the world’s top culinary cities may not seem appealing; however, it is a great cost saver. For an entire week, we only spent around 60 euros for dinner. Even if you decide to eat out for the majority of your meals, stocking the mini fridge with water, soda, milk and a few snacks like chocolate and cheese, can be a cost saver and a late night snack saver too! Don’t rule it out.
There is also a clothes washer/dryer combo in the kitchen area. I did not use it but a nice to have just in case.
Dining area: Just off of the kitchenette is a lovely dining area. We enjoyed eating our meals overlooking the Paris rooftops.
It reminded us of the movie Ratatouille (affiliate link*) complete with grey skies and clay pots.
Bedroom. The bedroom was decently sized and easy to move around. The queen sized bed was extremely comfortable with nice linens and perfect pillows. There was a small writing desk and a laptop for use in the apartment. Free WiFi was available also.
There is an extremely small closet next to the bed. Literally, this was as wide as it was. I left my clothes in my suitcase located in the kitchen area near the cupboard. I would hang my clothes up the night before spraying it with my favorite travel product, Downy Wrinkle Release (affiliate link*). Hangers were provided.
Bathroom: Located across from the sofa was a very small but well laid out bathroom. Plenty of drawer space under the sink to hold toiletries and the BEST hair dryer and flatiron I have ever used! Towels are provided but you will need to bring body soap and of course shampoo/conditioner and toothpaste. Toilet paper was also supplied. We ran out during our visit so we picked up some at the local grocery store. I loved how the shower door was curved to give you more space. There is a hot water unit in the apartment but it cycles the water which means you probably won’t have hot water the entire time. The good news is that you can angle the hand-held shower to the side. I finally got the rhythm of the cycle and would lather up when cold water was running and rinse when the hot water returned. It was not much of an inconvenience…just a bit of a shock the first time. It is definitely NOT a reason to not stay here.
Ruben: Ruben is the BEST! He is so nice and easy to communicate with and for those of you nervous about your French, he speaks fluent Engligh. I sent several emails with lots of questions and he was always quick to respond. He is very charming and makes you feel very at ease with the process. Ruben, or his assistant, will meet you at the apartment to give you the keys and walk you through how to use everything. After my visit, the security (damage) deposit was timely returned. I truly can not say enough good things about how great Ruben is to work with. He even had Diet Coke (Coke Light) in the refrigerator as well as chocolate when we arrived.
Location: One word – FABULOUS! I prefer to stay pretty close to the city’s center in order to not be too far away from any major site. The Marais is located just north of the Seine river and is so quaint and easy to get around. The apartment itself is only a couple of minutes walk from the Seine River.
It is also located between two metro stops – Saint Paul and Hotel De Ville on the 1 line. Two stops from Saint Paul (one stop for Hotel de Ville) is Châtelet-Les Halles which depending on how you look at it, is a great thing or a horrible thing. Châtelet-Les Halles is the major hub connecting 6 of the metro lines which is great for making a transfer but Châtelet-Les Halles is not for the faint of heart. There is tons of walking, tons of people and tons of corridors to navigate but it is very well signed so you can fairly easily find your connecting train. Admittedly, after a few days, we started finding ways to avoid it.
The only downside to this particular apartment was the 6 floor walk up with no elevator. We always made sure we had everything we needed before heading out for the day.
I definitely recommend this apartment and after meeting and working with Ruben, any of his apartment rentals in Paris.
As you consider your lodging options, take a look at staying in an apartment. It creates a bit of homey-ness while out on the road.
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