Our family of four (2 adults and 2 teenage boys) will be staying Paris 4 nights in July. I've been researching apartments and hotels and like the idea of the apartments since they provide more space for less $$. However, since we do not speak French and are novice travellers, should we stick with the hotels?
I would personally go with the apartment because, as you say, it also gives you more space. In addition, given both that eating in Paris can be expensive and that apartments come with kitchens, this can cut costs. For example, I made a habit of going down to the corner patisserie (sp?) every morning to get bread and breakfast food for a lot less than in a restuarant and did takeout for some dinners rather than eat out.
Try the apartment approach as stated. However, try to stay close to a major street Market. What Arrondissement?
I guess I'm getting a late start (or maybe it's because it's a national holiday on the 14th), but so far, I've found two apartments, one (no AC) through vacationinparis.com which is advertised as "on the island" in Arrondissement 5 and the other (also no AC) is through jeudeclefs.com in the Marais neighborhood. There's also the apartment (bed situation isn't perfect for us, but could probably work) that is operated by the Hotel Relais Bosquet which is in the Rue de Cler area.
I've been researching hotels mostly in Arrondissement 5 and 7.
Thank you so much for your advice. --Barb
Another source for apartments would be homelidays.com where you deal directly with the apartment's owner. They encourage past clients to post ratings, so it's a good way to make sure you're getting what you pay for.
Hi Dan + Barb,
You might find something useful in Tom's Guide. Here's the link...
Happy travels!... p
Oops. I might not have worded my question very well (silly me). What I'm wondering is this...Since we are travel novices and do not speak the language, should we consider staying in a hotel instead of an apartment even though hotels are more expensive?
I have always found it easier to book an apartment in English than an hotel, but both are equally easy.
I like hotels. I like having a guy at the desk to answer questions. I also think it sucks to cook or do dishes on my holiday. I still eat cheaply , I buy my own soda and have in mini fridge, I buy biscuits and pastry for late night snack in room.
I buy food from street vendors( crepes and a soda can be had for 5 euros ) and little stores. I sit on benches with incredible views and have picnics.
Rick Steves is wrong , the 7th is not such a great area. It is boring and dead at night, oh, all except for his favorite road, Rue Cler, which is lined with American tourists clutching his book walking back and forth, LOL
The apartment in the 5 or 6 would be nice.
About a/c, I have always made sure to get it, even though it usaully means a higher price, but,this August I was in Paris for 9 days and didn't use it once, it was cool and rainy!
One caution, get a courtyard room if you don't get a/c .They are usaully quieter so if window is open in heat you don't have street noise
I personally would opt for the apt rental. I've used http://www.my-apartment-in-paris.com/en/. They specialize in renting apts in the Left Bank. They are very friendly, businesslike, & their English is very good. The apt I rented was very clean. We had the agency's telephone numbers to call for any questions to be answered. I understand your concern about having a/c in July. It seems a lot of the rentals in general, do not have it. I recommend calling or emailing the rental agency, the 1 I suggest or any other, to express your concerns. Maybe in their inventory, they will have an apt that satisfies your needs.
You'll be much more comfortable with an apartment despite being beginners and not speaking French...It's only 4 nights and no air conditioning is unlikey to be a problem....It's not India of mid summer...and windows will open.....There are 100's of apt booking agencies, but check the one above mentioned...And don't worry about "having to cook"...I think you'll appreciate having the choices that hotel stays don't offer.
Just zipped through recent emails of seattle friends who often come to Paris and they book apts through
www.bienvenueaparis.com....always with good results
We used vacationinparis with very happy results. The company is in New Jersey, so all arrangements were in English, and when we got there and needed to call our local contact with a question, we found out he was also an ex-pat American. No problems at all. Our high school French (which was many years ago) got us easily through shopping at the local markets and shops. Just learn numbers so you can pay, and make sure you can say "please" and "thank you."
Thank you, thank you, thank you! I feel much better about renting an apartment. I will look at the websites you have provided. Gratefully, Barb
A friend and I just returned from Paris and we stayed the one bedroom apartment rented from Relais Bosquet. It was fabulous. There was a double bed in the bedroom, actually two twin beds pushed together and a Murphy bed that was two twin beds that pulled down separately in the living room. I think the sofa also made out into a bed but it looked like the space for that was pretty limited. It had a small but complete kitchen including dishwasher. It also had a washer and dryer which is very helpful if you are trying to travel light. There was a flat screen tv although there were no shows in English. They provided wifi and told us they were going to put a computer in the apartment some time in the future. There was also a terrace with tables and chairs, no view, however. I would highly recommend the apartment and we loved the area.
We rented a Paris apartment in the Marais District 3rd ARR. using VRBO.com
at 39 Rue Turenne. 2 bdm, 1 bath apartment. Can't find the VRBO number now, but the owner is David Korn, and he speaks English.
We'd stay there again in a heartbeat.
We have rented a number of apartments in non English speaking countries and have never had a problem with the language. After all most of their business will come from the English speaking (or in this case non French) world so they will all have a basic command of the language.
We always, always choose an apartment over a hotel - all sorts of reasons - space, separate bedroom and living room, kitchen facilities, privacy, outdoor space (sometimes!) cost etc. Coupled with a feeling of living in a place, albeit for a short time. We simply don't need the facilities offered by a hotel - but understand some prefer.
Finally with 4 of you - essentially 4 adults - you will need a family room or two rooms, neither of which would seem a great choice.
We are also a couple of novices. I have found a small studio apartment in the 6th arrondissement in Paris, after a whole lot of research, through VRBO. Now that the reservations are done, I can breathe easy about this portion of our trip. good luck to you in your search, something will come up
I can't tell you all how much I appreciate your encouragement to book an apartment. Whew! I feel much beter about it. Thank you. --Barb
Dan & Barb -- don't worry about not speaking French, as others have said most all rental agencies/or private people are ready to deal in English. I have rented apts. in Paris and Italy from www.vrbo.com with great success -- both times dealing with owners who were located in the US. You can tell if they are US based from their phone numbers which are posted with the apt. description.
I would book soon though, to get a good place!