My first trip to Paris? Accommodations mattered. Were critical, in fact. I had no desire to spend a week in a hotel—although I love hotels—because hotel rooms feel stale after a while (no matter how grand) and I'm not the sort of girl who would ever say, Oh, I won't be spending any time in my room anyway. I like rooms! Also, I like naps. I have only two feet and two eyes and I find sightseeing, as an hours-long hobby that requires my active attention and participation, fundamentally exhausting. Ditto chit-chatting daily with concierges, bellhops, and maids, and doubly so in a foreign city where I do not speak (or really understand) the language. I wanted freedom of movement and a modicum of space in which to unwind and absorb, to occasionally buy my own food and cook my own meals, and to go or stay at my leisure on a common city street.
(Is there a common city street in Paris?)
(These paragraph breaks are arbitrary, by the way. I am in the mood for e x p a n s i v e t h i n k i n g .)
So when I read about the short-term rental apartments at Haven in Paris on the blog A CUP OF JO last September I signed up immediately, after performing the requisite checks and reading copious online reviews. (Repeat: I'm a planner, and I don't cut corners when I travel alone. Which explains my attachment to Town Car International, as well.)
I'M SPENDING A WEEK IN AN APARTMENT IN PARIS! I sang to myself daily for six months. Honest, I did. And now that I've done it (sigh! it's done), I sing to myself, I LIVED FOR A WEEK IN AN APARTMENT IN PARIS! Because this wasn't visiting, this was living. I had an elevator and a huge open space on the seventh floor flooded with natural light and a full bath and shower and a queen-sized bed and a real kitchen and table and a French press for coffee and a stove to scramble eggs on and a corkscrew and wine glasses and a view of Sacré Coeur and all of Montmartre—all of Paris—right there at my feet. And I loved it. I loved everything about it.
And when I go back next year, I'm staying here.
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Here's what HiP's standard services include, which lived up to expectations & then some:
- A fluent English & French-speaking greeter who met me at the apartment, showed me what was what, explained quite clearly how not to blow a fuse and what to do if it happened anyway (it happened anyway, and then I forgot what to do, so poor Didier had to come back the following morning to turn the power back on for me), and provided recommendations for what to see and how to get there.
- A detailed apartment and neighborhood guidebook, with maps and recommendations for restaurants, sites of interest, shops, and critical phone numbers (emergency, police, American hospitals, etc.)
- Laptop with free wifi
- Free unlimited calls to the U.S. (mes parents were thrilled)
- Books (see photo below)
- Fully equipped kitchen (see photos below)
- Towels and linens
- And check out the luxe treatment
Friends! What can I tell you? Go! Do! LIVE!