Advice on a Paris Apartment

My wife and I will be going to Paris for 3 weeks in July 2013. I have been researching apartments and found one that looks like it would be perfect for us although, for some reason the old saying of "if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is" keeps popping up in my head. So, here is a link to the website for the apartment, I would appreciate any feedback, advice or personal experience. Thanks http://www.yourstudioinparis.com/

Posted by Debi
Sherman Oaks, CA, USA
257 posts

Hi Rob, I am in Paris right now and am staying in a one bedroom, 27m 2 blocks from the Pompidou. It is lovely and centrally located, just remodeled Oct 2011. It is 750€ a week. We always use my parisvisit.com. You pay 50% when booking and tbe rest upon arrival. Check it out. Happy Travels,
Debi

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7820 posts

Well I did not read the whole site thoroughly ( assume you have) but I like that there is only a 30% downpayment and a 21 day refund/cancellation policy.. worst case scenerio you are only out 30% .. but as I said I did not read all terms and conditions. It looks clean and tidy,( but it is small) has all the basic amenties you would need, and frankly its a darn good price.
Now personally I would google for reviews , also check on tripadvisor.com Paris forums.

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1507 posts

I took a quick scan of the web site and saw nothing that set off any alarms. We have rented apartments in Paris twice and the photos, description, rates and payment process are all in line with our experience. The apartment will likely seem smaller in person than it does in the photos, but that's normal. It looks like an especially good deal for a long-term stay. We have rented apartments about a dozen times in all and none of them turned out badly. One of the ways I judge my comfort level with a transaction like this is the speed and quality of the email correspondence we have. If it is timely, with some attention to detail and a friendly manner, I feel comfortable to move forward. If it is delayed or curt, I might look elsewhere. It's a nice plus that they take credit cards as payment, because you can then avoid steep fees for wiring money. But if you have a Paypal account, I would use that as a first option since it prevents access to your credit card numbers - so that is marginally safer, though we have never had an issue in the 100 or so times we have put our credit card numbers out there for use via the web in Europe.

Posted by Robert
Portland
629 posts

My experiences in France, and my advice, mirrors Randy's. The place looks nice, and while 22 square meters is small, I think that's in line with what you'll get in a studio in Paris. And since it's in Paris, you won't want to spending a lot of time inside anyway. Also, the price seems very fair.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3196 posts

We've rented two apts in Paris, and this one looks good to me. You can't beat the very low price. I agree to definitely read reviews.

Posted by Randy
Minneapolis, MN, USA
1507 posts

I'll admit that reviews available to read do make me feel better about a place - more for interesting positive details they might include, than for a lack of negative comments. Most apartment services that have a space for comments have suspicious policies that allow owners to edit comments, so the lack of negative comments, by itself, is not much of an indicator - although the presence of very negative comments certainly would be something I paid attention to. In any case, we have rented from places before that did not have comments and that worked out fine, too.

Posted by Rob
Belton, Mo., U.S.A.
10 posts

Thank you everyone for your input. I did go to tripadvisor and I am about 80% confident I found someone who rented the apartment. I've sent them a message and hope to hear back soon. What bothers me most about the site is exactly what Claudia picked up on, there are no reviews. I also know that reviews can be tweaked so they are not going to be 100% trustworthy. I'm going to send the owner an e-mail and see what comes of it, it won't cost me anything to contact him and ask a few questions. I'll keep you posted.

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3196 posts

Rob, I would never trust reviews on the website advertising the apt., therefore, they would be useless to me. I would trust reviews on TripAdvisor or SlowTrav.com.

Posted by Maureen
San Francisco
112 posts

Hi Rob, please see my private message. I stayed in a great place last year.

Posted by Sam
Issaquah, WA, USA
6 posts

Rob, I rented an apartment in Paris last year, in June. I went through VRBO. There are numerous listings by arrondisement. The place was a nice 1 bedroom for 800 Euros for the week. The key thing for me was that the owner only wanted a 100 Euro deposit, through PayPal. The balance was paid on arrival. I decided that was a safe way to go, because even if the place were horrible I would only be out $135 and could find a hotel. I also rented an apartment in Interlaken, Switerland this past June. Again, through VRBO and the owner didn't even ask for a deposit. I just made the reservation and paid when I got there.

Posted by BG
Albany, CA, USA
1409 posts

I have rented apartments in Paris as well as other European cities, almost exclusively through VRBO. I usually select an apartment that has at least one recent, positive review. I have written reviews of VRBO apartments as well. It's understandable that owners will only accept positive reviews to be posted with their listings, but if there are some that to me is a good thing. It has been my experience that the reviews I read accurately described the apartment or house, and how it was dealing with the owner and on-site manager.