Unless your Uncle Olivier owns a flat in Paris, I would suggest you go to tried and true resources to track down the ideal vacation rental for you. In the ‘wish I had thought of that’ realm, HomeAway has become the runaway database master for private owner rental listings. Their 150,000+ listings cover a portfolio of websites that include Vacation Rentals by Owner (vrbo.com), Vacation Rentals and a variety of HomeAway sites tailored to specific countries. With 60,000 listings, Perfect Places also serves as an alternative source.
Review the sites to discover a variety of filters to narrow your search. Determine your ‘must haves’ in advance – wi-fi, elevator, bathtub, air conditioning (good luck on that one – still somewhat of a rarity, though available here and there). You can select the number of beds or rooms, preferred arrondissement, pets allowed and more.
We have found available information to be complete and even were able to contact owners direct with any questions about rate adjustments. Several photos offer insight into the décor and floor plans of apartments, and comprehensive guest reviews indicate strengths and weaknesses visitors found.
HomeAway even offers “The Carefree Rental Guarantee” with monetary protection against double bookings, misrepresentations and the like. Advantages of the on-line rental programs include exposure to a wide variety of properties, safe and secure bookings and, naturally, the overall convenience of seeing properties you might not otherwise discover.
Our experience with Paris vacation rentals runs the gamut with generally very positive results. Our favorite is in the 5th Arrondissement – My Little Home in Paris – with a quiet courtyard location, full bathroom, all of the electronics one could hope for and an entirely engaging owner/couple. Our rental on Île Saint-Louis was a treasured experience, sans the personable touch of the first. The apartment was beautifully located, well equipped and decorated with charm. The only drawback was the lack of elevator and the five-story climb – a bit tiring, as we reached the 4th!
On Montmartre, our apartment was downright elegant with a ‘drawing room’ atmosphere and every gadget and dish one could imagine; but the location was far from quiet, as one could imagine in this tourist-heavy location. Finally, we stayed a few nights in a very small, though clean and comfortable flat that served as a ‘crash pad’, as there simply wasn’t enough room to settle in and enjoy the surroundings.
Search for the place that best meets your own personal needs. If you are constantly on the go, size is less important. If you want leisurely evenings at home and breakfast in the morning, you will want more space and a workable kitchen. We can 100% vouch for the pleasure of staying in vacation rentals that offer you a touch of residential feeling in one of the world’s most enchanting cities. Bonne Chance!
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