If you are wondering where to stay in Paris next time you visit, look no further. I’m sure you have seen the commercials on TV recently for apartment rental services talking about not just visiting Paris, but living there, and that is the experience I want you to have. When we were planning our trip to visit Paris as part of our summer abroad, I knew that I wanted to have the ultimate Parisian experience. I also knew that in order to stay in a hotel that fit my ideal Parisian dream, it would be very expensive, and it would be expensive times two, since we would need two rooms to accommodate our family of four. (If you haven’t looked into hotels in Europe, it is nearly impossible to find one that will allow more than 3 people per room, even in a room with two beds.)
On the advice of a friend and after studying the different arrondissements in Paris, I decided that the Ile Saint-Louis would be the ideal place to stay. A quaint little neighborhood on an island sandwiched between the banks of the Seine, life on the Ile St. Louis is the quintessential Parisian experience. There is one hotel on the island that is beautiful, but because I wanted the feeling of living in Paris, I wanted an apartment. I envisioned herringbone wood floors, French doors and a balcony with views of the city. I stumbled upon Guest Apartment Services and their Ombelle apartment made my heart skip a beat. Fortunately it was available for our stay, and I began the booking process. Much like my experience with renting our flat in London, it was a bit nerve racking to book this place. I did a LOT of research on rental companies because there are SO many and I wanted to make sure that I was renting from a place with a stellar reputation and a track record that I could trust. I am happy to report that Guest Apartment Services lived up to it’s impeccable reputation and was a true pleasure to work with. Here is a peek inside my Parisian dream apartment:
It had been many years…like 20, since I had been in Paris. We rode the train in from Belgium, and I have to say that arriving at the Gare du Nord was a bit of an eye opening experience. Let’s just say, it was not a good first impression. It’s in a rough part of town, and I was pretty convinced that hanging out in that station I was going to have my first experience of being mugged or pick pocketed. I felt pretty uneasy about what our time in Paris was going to be like after starting things off like that. Needless to say, I was super happy to be picked up by a nice Uber driver and dropped off in this gorgeous neighborhood.
We arrived after business hours, but we were given instructions on how to enter the apartment by the office before our arrival, and it was a super smooth process.
I love what is hiding behind the doors of these buildings in Paris. Beautiful entry ways, courtyards and stunning apartments are usually lying behind the unassuming doors lining the streets.
That elevator is TINY!! Andy could barely fit in it, but it DID fit our luggage which was amazing! We were on the 4th floor (5th floor US) and it was so nice to be able to send the luggage up when we arrived rather than lugging it up all the stairs. Elevators are a luxury in many buildings in Europe so be sure to make sure your building has one if you need it, before booking.
Those French doors…are so dreamy! Another thing to consider when renting an apartment in Paris is that many buildings do not have air conditioning. This beautiful apartment did not. Guest Apartment Services did provide fans for each room which was really nice, but be aware, it can be VERY hot in Paris in the summer months, so, staying on the 4th floor of a building with no air conditioning could make or break your experience. If air conditioning is important to you, be sure to check on that before booking. I believe that Guest Apartment Services does rent personal air conditioners, if needed, at an extra cost. We were fortunate and the weather was very pleasant for the first part of the week while we were in town. By the time we left, temperatures had climbed to over 90 degrees, so it was warm, but with the fans and big open windows, it stayed pleasant in the apartment.
This beautiful Master Bedroom was spacious and the kind sized bed was super comfortable. The closets were very large too. We could have been comfortable here for much longer than a week!
This beautiful bathroom off of the master bedroom also housed the washing machine in the cabinets.
Further down the hall was a fully equipped kitchen where I cooked easily cooked several meals during our stay. There was also a large second bedroom down the hall beyond the kitchen, with two twin beds (or they could be pushed together to form another king bed) and an attached full bath.
This amazing view of the Ile was such a dream to look at while sitting on the pretty balcony. I sat here many nights eating cheese and baguettes while listening to Parisian Jazz and watching the world go by. It was divine!
The neighborhood was just so charming. We walked to restaurants, patisseries and Notre Dame which was just down this street.
Our morning breakfast spot with the BEST croissants!
It was super convenient to have the Guest Apartment Services office located right down the street. We did encounter a couple of little hiccups during our stay, one being that the washing machine was broken. It was a new machine, but the tenants before us had broken the glass on the front of the unit, and they were waiting on replacement parts. The kind people at the office were more than happy to arrange laundry services for us while we stayed, having our laundry sent out to be washed, dried and folded. They then delivered the finished laundry to our apartment. It was handled beautifully. The staff was incredibly attentive, friendly and super professional throughout the entire process from the start of our reservation to the completion of our stay. I cannot say enough nice things about them. Guest Apartment Services offers 60 hand selected luxury apartments to choose from, most located on the Ile Saint Louis, and several in the central districts of Paris. Each apartment is carefully vetted and each vacation rental is managed directly by Guest Apartment Services. They are each beautifully furnished and offer an array of amenities to make your stay as comfortable as possible.
On the Ile Saint-Louis you are SO centrally located. It is incredibly easy to walk to just about everything. The Marais is right across the river with incredible shopping, Notre Dame is right down the street in the other direction. You can see the Eiffel Tower across the river at night. It is just the perfect location!
I hope that when you are thinking about where to stay in Paris you will consider having a luxury apartment experience and getting the chance to feel like you are living like a local. Staying in a neighborhood and a building where people actually live, and shopping and eating at the local restaurants enriched our experience so much. It really was a Parisian dream.
You can see all of the apartments that Guest Apartment Services has to offer on their website and take virtual tours. Even if you aren’t planning a trip to Paris right now, you might want to once you see the beautiful options of where you can stay.
If you are planning a trip to Europe, you can read about other family vacation experiences here:
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