Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Our Place in Paris

After one of the world's most beautiful weddings, when David and I were thrilled to welcome Melissa into our family, we flew to rain-drenched Paris.  Philippe met us at the front door and welcomed us to this city we love.  David and I were too tired to do much but sit on the couch last night, but the pain au chocolate (chocolate croissants), room to breathe (American Airlines seems to have reached a new low in stuffing people into its planes), and comfortable seating made us happy.
Living room corner with fireplace.
You will be astonished when you hear the price of our centrally located, one-bedroom apartment.

For this wonderful gem in the 10 arrondissement, complete with umbrellas in the stand by the door and a scale under the bathroom sink to make you feel truly at home, we pay only €32.50 per night per person!  Yes, that's only €260 for four nights!
Three casenment windows with little French (Juliet) balconies flood the apartment with light, yet full-length drapes supply all the privacy needed at night.
Our compact kitchen has a frig, dishwasher, washing machine/dryer, microwave, stove top, and toaster.  Previous tenants left condiments, jelly and spices.

The bath area (toilet is located in another room) has a spacious shower and shelves to hold all our toiletries.
Philippe provided a computer in the office area of the bedroom, but I've set up my own laptop on the desk.  In the living room, we have a TV with many English channels, a radio, a DVD player and telephone for local calls.

This lovely apartment is on the sixth floor (with elevator) of an historic building, and it's so comfortable we're finding it difficult to leave this morning.  But Paris beckons--bright and shining after yesterday's rain--so we'll be off in a few minutes.

Practicalities -
Our apartment, the Magenta, is available from a consortium of private owners called Beau-Paris. I particularly like this group because you deal directly with the owners themselves when renting your place.  Also, the prices remain low probably because there's no middleman to pay.

Finding a luxurious yet inexpensive apartment can be as difficult as choosing a well-priced hotel room.  I wish I could give you all the tips you need for finding the right place for you, but there's not enough space in a blog piece.  Please get a copy of my book, Europe on a Dime: Five-Star Travel on a One-Star Budget, if you want to know how to identify the best apartment rentals, how to write the  query letter, how to pay the deposit, and how to avoid being ripped off.

Do not ever take a taxi from the airport to your lodgings, especially if its raining.  A taxi website told us we'd pay around €30, but it cost €66 because of slow traffic, an accident, the rain.  We'd have been better off with a shuttle or the train.

On a personal note:  Thank you, Ellen, extraordinary American Airlines employee at RDU Airport, for getting us on that earlier flight to New York.  We did indeed miss the worst of the weather, thanks to you!

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