Staying in an apartment in Paris really gives you the opportunity to live like a Parisian for a short time so each time I've stayed in the city, this has been my chosen style of accommodation. On my 2013 visit, I chose an apartment from the huge selection offered by The French Experience, a Melbourne-based agency. Here's my review of the Palais Royal Luxe apartment.
On previous visits to Paris, my husband and I had always stayed in a 1 bedroom apartment. We'd had our two sons with us on those occasions and they were happy to sleep on the sofa bed in the living room but this time, as my parents were our travelling companions, not the kids, I felt it was essential to book a 2 bedroom apartment.
After looking through The French Experience's portfolio of properties, I decided on the Palais Royal Luxe apartment, mainly for its location close to the Louvre and to one of the stops for L'Open Tour (hop on hop off bus) which I knew we would be using. It also looked to be a good size (80m2) and have everything we needed for a comfortable stay.
On arrival in Paris we phoned the apartment manager's number to let them know we were on our way to the apartment. As the representative spoke English, this was much easier than I had anticipated, and by the time we reached the apartment, the rep. was there waiting for us. She then took us up to the apartment and gave us a thorough run down about the apartment, including explaining how all the appliances worked and what the Wi-Fi code was, as well as pointing out the location of the nearest Metro station, supermarket, bank, etc.
The apartment was quite spacious and consisted of two double bedrooms, a bathroom (with bath tub), a large, well-equipped kitchen and a large living/dining room. The kitchen was really well stocked with utensils, crockery and glasses, and we made good use of the oven and cook top during our stay, as well as the washing machine. I was pleasantly surprised with the good supply of powder and tablets supplied for the washing machine and dishwasher. The complimentary bottle of wine and milk were also much appreciated, and the free Wi-Fi was another bonus.
The layout of the apartment meant that one of the bedrooms was accessed either via the bathroom or the other bedroom. This didn't bother us but is worth keeping in mind if you are travelling with non-family members.
As well as the two double bedrooms, the sofa in the living room also converts to a double bed, so the apartment can sleep up to six. The floor to ceiling windows in both the bedrooms and living area open out onto a narrow balcony with a small table and chairs, should you wish to enjoy a drink overlooking the streets below.
The interior of the apartment was beautifully decorated with modern furnishings and fittings and good quality linen and towels. It really did feel like someone's home.
The apartment is located on the fifth floor of the building but there's an elevator (albeit a typical, small French one), to save you tackling the stairs.
Most of our time in Paris was spent out sightseeing and our location in the 2nd arrondissement was ideal. This is a lively area with a great cafe/bistro scene and all the amenities you need including boulangeries and supermarkets. Our nearest Metro station, Pyramides, was just a few hundred metres away, and the Palais Royal (hence the apartment's name) and Louvre are within a comfortable walking distance if you prefer to discover the city on foot.
This apartment has a minimum stay requirement of four nights and as we were only in Paris for three nights, I booked the apartment from the day prior to our arrival (therefore booking the minimum 4 nights). This meant that we could check in at any time on the day we arrived, but check in time is normally from 5pm and check out by 11am.
I would definitely stay at the Palais Royal Luxe apartment again. The location is fantastic and the quality and fit out of the apartment was great. I would recommend it for both families or couples.
I booked and paid for my stay at Palais Royal apartment in Paris through The French Experience, a Melbourne-based apartment booking agency. Rates for June 2013 were $421.50 per night (AUD). A 50% deposit was due upon booking and the balance was paid about eight weeks prior to my stay. After full payment, the apartment's address and arrival instructions were provided.
(All interior photos courtesy of The French Experience).
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