I am planning another trip to Europe and it got me started on reminiscing about a previous trip. I rented an apartment in June of 2010. I was very fortunate that everything turned out well for me. I have heard of people that lost their money. Either no such apartment existed, it was nothing like the pictures or the person renting it had no authority to do so or one of many other scams.
It was scary believe me. I wanted to go budget but still wanted it to be nice. I wasn’t able to get a home exchange or a time share exchange and I wanted a kitchenette. I looked at citadels and that is a good option but it was a bit pricey for what you get. I thought I could do better. I am used to doing time share exchanges and have got used to the apartment type accommodation and I really love it.
I searched the internet and found lots of sites that rent apartments. Either they were not in my budget or they had complicated rental agreements. Some of them wanted really large deposits and there were hidden costs like extra for utilities,WI-FI or local telephone calls. Sometimes I just didn’t like the attitude of the person I had to deal with or they were slow answering emails.
There was one website Parisbestlodge I kept returning to over and over. I checked out Thierry, the owners reputation on-line and everyone spoke very highly of him. I never found one complaint. I read reviews of people who had stayed in his apartments and they were all good. I decided to start corresponding.
It was a pleasure to deal with him and he answered the emails promptly. The actual deposit was reasonable and the contract was simple. It was March and so I left it too late to get one of the smaller apartments and had to go for one that was a little more money than some that were already booked, but still reasonable for Paris.
I had a lot of specifications for this rental. I needed it to be on the ground floor or have an elevator, (not easy to find in the old buildings in Paris) because of health issues at the time. I wanted a real bed not a pullout and not on a mezzanine as I did not want to climb a ladder or steps and when it is close to the ceiling I feel claustrophobic. I wanted a kitchen because I needed to cook some meals. Al wanted it to be quiet. I wanted to be near Luxembourg gardens. I wanted a metro stop, services and shops near by. It was a tall order.
Well as it turned out an apartment 10 minute walk to the park was available. La Coupole I went to Google maps street view and checked it out and it had everything I wanted. Apartments in Paris are very small but this one was larger than I expected, 38 square meters. (not that I needed large for just the two of us)
I showed it to Al and he liked it also so I started the booking process with Thierry the owner of the rental site. He faxed the contract, I signed it and mailed it back with a deposit cheque. The cheque was tho be cut up if there were no damages. The cost of the rental was to be paid in cash on arrival.
The actual apartment was one that was not owned by Thierry but by one of his friends. Vickie got in touch by email to answer any questions that I had. She would meet me on my arrival and we would get the key from her and give her the agreed upon amount of 1600 Euros for a two-week stay for the two of us. The apartment could accommodate three for the same price as there was a small cot. This price was all-inclusive with no hidden charges.
I printed out the pictures from the internet website and started dreaming.
- Around the World: Paris, France (saytaina.com)
- Our last full day in Paris: Trip to Champagne – Paris, France (travelpod.com)
- Sister-pants in Paris, France! (irisinsandiego.wordpress.com)