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Renting an apartment vs hostel- First timers

My group and I will be in Paris for 4 days July 4-8th. (2 couples) We have looked into hotels, hostels and apartments. We are leaning towards a hostel or apartment. Can anyone give advice on one vs the other? We are pretty 50/50 with the decision. Many are close in price. This is our first visit to Paris.

Thanks for your help!

Posted by
9110 posts

If you like to wash dishes, make beds, and scrub toilets on vacation - - go for the apartment.

Posted by
6630 posts

We always book apartments when we will be in a place more than 3 nights but you have to be a confident traveler who can deal with the hassles and can accept that there is no consumer protection for apartments. If they steal your deposit you are out of luck. If you deal with a shady operator and get there and there is no apartment or it has bedbugs or whatever, you are out of luck. There is no place to leave luggage after you check out or before the apartment is ready. There will be maybe 2 keys to the place even if you have 5 in your party etc etc. Your experience will depend entirely on the integrity of the landlord. You will need to provide your own supplies e.g. toilet paper, soap etc in most places (some provide ample supplies, some only a roll of TP and you are on your own. You have to do your own housekeeping.

It takes some research to find a good place and there is always a risk. And if your vacation is called off, you cannot cancel and get your money back. For travel newbies, booking an inexpensive hotel is probably wiser. You should easily be able to find doubles for about 100 a night -- if you go to budget hotels on the edge of town, you can go lower than that, but being somewhat central is a good thing. We paid 100 a night last spring at the Hotel Delambre near Montparnasse -- clean, basic, great area.

Posted by
6630 posts

ps and with an apartment, which couple is going to be stuck on the fold out couch in the living room?

for a week, I would suggest going with an apartment; for 4 days probably not. In addition to the other hazards, you will almost certainly have to pay a cleaning fee of 80 Euro or so for such a short stay since the normal apartment stay is a week or more.

Posted by
8777 posts

Ed, I have rented many apartments on vacation and I've never had to scrub a toilet. The bed is made up when you arrive. It's up to the renter whether they want to make the bed daily and wash dishes. I like the space and ability to use a kitchen if I so desire. No one is there to force you to cook and clean up!

Posted by
9110 posts

Misread. Since the choice is hostel vs apartment:

If you've never stayed in a hostel, an urban one might not be the place to start. (Rural and small town ones are generally excellent.)

If you proceed the two MIJEs (about between the Pont Marie and and the Saint-Paul metro stations) are probably the best and are certainly central.

There's plenty of perfectly adequate budget hotels on the periphery that'd run in the same price range. The areas might give some people the vapors, but my not-ugly wife wanders out to the stores alone at night as often as not. Neither of us worry about it.

Posted by
9110 posts

Dearest Andrea:

I like stuff clean. Okay, spotless. And neat.

This does not apply to my truck.

Posted by
7 posts

Could you guys explain MIJEs? I reviewed the website and from what I understand it is planned group tours sort of , correct?

We may be leaning more towards hostels so we can meet other travelers as well.

Anyone ever stayed at : Vintage Boutique Hostel? http://www.vintage-hostel.com/eng-about.php

Posted by
9110 posts

Mije: Maisons Internationales de la Jeunesse et des Etudiants : International place to stay for young people and students - - close enough

They got started with that idea.

It's a regular hostel. You can stay regardless of age or educational status. They take individual bookings. I understand they're usually full.

It's been years since I've stayed there and probably wouldn't again. But I said earlier that I don't care for urban hostels. But I probably spent a couple of months in hostels last year alone. But I spent a few nights in one in Accra last year since I showed up not knowing squat about Ghana and you can get a lot of straight scoop from people in hostels - - you're on the right track there.

About the one you linked:
Never seen it.
The three flashing pictures weren't taken from the place.
Not very central.
I can find a batch of budget hotels that are immaculate and cost less.
People in budget hotels talk to each other too.

I don't have a dog in any fight.

Posted by
3336 posts

Hostels are fun for a while but after a time I like to switch to a place with a little more privacy. If it's two couples then you'll have each other for company unless one of your goals is to meet travelers from other places. Hostels are perfect for that! I really enjoy them from time to time for just that reason.
I have rented lots of apartments as well and it's equally nice. I like being able to make coffee in the morning, come home to a place where I can stretch out a bit and relax at the end of a long day, and know that there is some space around me;; sort of a buffer between me and wherever I'm staying.
It's really a difference in style - you just have to decide what you want out of your trip!