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Apartment advice. Who to trust?

Atlanta, GA
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96 posts
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Apartment advice. Who to trust?

My wife and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary with our first trip to Europe. We are going on a cruise from Barcelona to Venice and back. We hope to get a feel for the different parts of Europe while not having to backpack.

Before going to Barcelona, we plan on spending 2 full days in Paris. Then taking a two our flight to Barcelona the night before our cruise departs - late April. I know that 2 days in Paris will never be enough, and I have stayed in an apartment in Buenos Aires and we LOVED that method of lodging but it was for a two week trip. We love living among the locals, and shopping and eating like they do.

It seems a little more difficult to find apartments that allow stays as short as 2 nights. 3 nights, 4 nights, and 1 week minimum seem to be most common.

It is overwhelming how much material there is to look through in Paris, and how many companies there are to rent from. I have seen the lists you have posted in some other threads. So here are my questions:

Is it not worthwhile for the check-in/out for just 2 nights?

Is VRBO more risky to rent - directly from the owner? Are VRBO reviews trustworthy?

We are thinking about the area near Rue Cler to have the market and shops close by, but some comments say this area has become touristy. Are these markets easy to find in all of the central parts of Paris, or should we keep our sights on the area near Rue Cler?

Here is a VRBO listing we are considering, which is available for just 2 nights:

http://www.vrbo.com/347789

Thanks in advance. I love Tripadvisor!

Toronto
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715 posts
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1. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

Personally -- and I am someone who LOVES renting apartments (and who has used VRBO lots of times) -- I would stick with hotels for stays under three nights. I think there's simply so much more involved with renting apartments that is worth it if you're staying longer but not for only 2 nights. If you're dead set on a more apartment-like atmosphere, maybe check out Citadines aparthotels instead -- the best of both worlds?

los angeles
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2. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

I agree with jrbb0309 about the 2 night rental.

In answer to your other question, yes, there are market streets like rue Cler in many areas, and if getting some local flavor is your preference, you should choose a different area than rue Cler. Not to put rue Cler down at all, but from the way you describe yourself, a different area may suit you better.

I would suggest rue des Martyrs because the location is very central. So even though there are less touristy areas, you'd improve upon rue Cler while still being really convenient for walking and using Metro to the "main sites" if you wanted.

A nice budget hotel option could be Hotel Albion:

http://www.albion-paris-hotel.com/

There are great market options in the 12th as well near Place d'Aligre, but I'm unfamiliar with lodging there.

New Hampshire
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for Paris
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3. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

Do you have the address?

Based on the description of the location in the listing, it's not particularly handy to markets and shops and quite a distance from rue Cler. It also mentions only a twin bed plus convertible bed - would those be acceptable?

Personally, I would not book an apartment for a two night stay. But, much would depend on logistics. What time do you arrive in Paris? What time can you have access to the apartment? What time do you have to be out of the apartment? What will you do with your bags before you can get into the apartment and between the time you leave the apartment and your flight?

This listing is a bit curious in that a view of the Eiffel Tower is mentioned, but there is no photo, though there are as many "postcard" photos of Paris as there are photos of the apartment.

Toronto, Canada
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4. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

I agree with the others about getting a hotel instead (and I'm usually an apartment renter). For 2 days, it's not worth it. When I think of 2 days in Paris, I picture myself leaving the room first thing in the morning and returning late at night just to sleep. I don't think an apartment would be necessary in that case.

Have a fun trip!

Atlanta, GA
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96 posts
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5. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

Thanks for the advice. The address is 49 rue Vaneau. Thank you for catching the twin bed thing. After looking at so many of these things, you can miss some details that would seem to be obvious. I thought it had a full size (double bed - based on the photo, which I know can be misleading).

Now the logistics is a concern of mine. We arrive at 9am at CDG in Paris after a long flight in which we won't get much sleep. We hope to find our hotel or apartment and crash for a couple hours before heading out to see the city. Hotels usually have check-in in the afternoon, and apartments are more flexible?? That's what I was assuming, so let me know if that is correct. We would spend that entire day there, and stay over two nights and fly out the 3rd day mid-day for Barcelona.

Will hotels allow me to check in early, or can I book an extra night earlier and check in early the following morning? Someone else posted a preference for Hotel de l'Empereur, which seems very nice and closer to Rue Cler. I have not had time yet to check out the other two hotels you two previous posters have mentioned. I will see them on my next work break. Thanks.

Thank you for your insights to this listing. It will help me evaluate other listings better as I try to pick through them - IF I decide to keep this up.

New Hampshire
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6. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

No, apartments are not more flexible.

IF the apartment is not being vacated by previous guests the day you arrive, you may be able to get in earlier. Otherwise, you are usually not met by a greeter until the apartment has been cleaned. You may or may not be able to drop your bags earlier. All depends on the owner/manager of the apartment. Likewise, you are usually not able to leave your bags beyond the time you are expected to depart.

Similarly, you may be able to get into your hotel room earlier than check-in time IF there is a room available. Nearly all hotels, however, will store your bags for you until your room is ready, and will also store your bags after check-out time.

The ONLY way to ensure early access to a hotel room or apartment is to book the previous night. If you do this with a hotel, you must make it very clear to them that you will not be checking in until early the following day, otherwise, they will release your entire booking as a "no show".

Even if you've gotten little or no sleep on an overnight flight, it is very risky to nap for a couple of hours on arrival. The better way to overcome jet lag is to stay as active as possible, preferably outdoors, until as close as possible to your usual bed time. That way, after a good night's sleep, you're on local time. If you take a nap, chances are high that you'll want to sleep longer than an hour or two, whereupon you'll get a second wind, and likely not be able to get to sleep at your usual time and you'll struggle with jet lag for several days or more rather than just arrival day.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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7. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

Your are better off going to a hotel. Some rental charge for heating or air conditioning or water use. You can find great hotels for less.

Anacortes...
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8. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

I second the recommendations above about getting a hotel rather than an apartment for only two nights. At a hotel, at least you can usually leave your luggage at the desk prior to check in, and will not have to lug it around with you all day until you can get into your accommodations. That has not been my experience with apartments.

About the apartment you are considering, I would be concerned with the sixth floor level. That translates to seventh floor U.S. Fine if the elevator is working, but my experience is that they often do not in Parisian buildings. No way would I consider a place where I would have to lug baggage up seven floors!

The other issue is that all of the reviews on this listing are placed by the owner. With VRBO I much favor those listing that have stars before the review. That means they were placed by the renter through the VRBO organization, and not "cherry picked" by the landlord.

Fullerton...
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1,114 posts
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9. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

If you do decide on a hotel, you might consider the Hotel Splendid Tour Eiffel. I stayed there last May and if your room is ready, you can check-in early. If it is not, they will watch your bags for you, while you go out and about.

Hotel Splendid is around the corner from Rue Cler on Avenue de Tourville, halfway between the Eiffel Tower and the Rodin Museum/Invalides. There are several cafes right there along with a boulangerie, pharmacy, Carrefour market.

Hayti, Missouri
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10. Re: Apartment advice. Who to trust?

Another option (and something I do with my apartment rental) is that if you want to guarantee having the apartment or hotel room ready when you arrive, go ahead and book it for the day ahead. It is an additional cost, but I've found it completely worth it. The first thing I want when I get off a long haul flight is a nice long shower and a little time to unwind from the flight and transportation into the city.