The Paris Apartment Rental Scene: A la Carte Paris
Tue 24 Jan 2012
What do you look for in a Paris apartment rental? A lot of our readers have become savvy and are renting apartments rather than hotels for their stays in Paris. Let’s face it: it’s cheaper and much, much roomier. But there are a myriad of companies, so how do you find a good one, one that is reputable and has wonderful places available but won’t charge you through the nose?
We asked Deborah Landau, head of the creative writing program at NYU and a frequent traveler to Paris, what she looks for. “I am in Paris each summer directing a program for writers and need a place to live and work while I am there,” Deborah said. What’s her choice for apartment rental companies? “A la Carte Paris,” she said. “They are heavenly. The staff are amazing, and the apartments are beautiful.”
“[The apartments] are well located, beautifully decorated, well maintained, charming, homey,” she continued. “Everything was top-notch. They provide a fruit basket and wine in the apartment upon arrival, as well as a booklet with insider’s tips about living in Paris and particular recommendations about local restaurants and markets. Checkout was simple: lock the door when you leave.”
It was her third summer renting from the same company, and I asked, Why an apartment? “I am there for a month working and need a real home base, and a hotel room would be too small and limiting. It’s wonderful to feel as though you are really ‘living’ in Paris, shopping at open-air markets, cooking at home, entertaining friends, etc.,” Deborah said. “I do a lot of writing while I’m in Paris, and I need an apartment that is tranquil and comfortable. It’s important for me to have a pleasant home environment, as I work at home for much of the day while I’m there. The A la Carte apartments are wonderful, and perfect for my purposes—a bit pricey, but worth it. The apartments are gorgeous.”
Deborah has rented the Marais Gem and the Left Bank Pantheon. We asked her what she remembered most about the apartments. “The Marais apartment had lovely French windows opening onto a quiet street near the Place des Vosges,” she said. “I spent hours sitting by the windows reading and writing and watching the Parisian street life from above. There were so many charming cafés and restaurants and shops within close walking distance, as well as an extraordinary open-air market. The neighborhood was idyllic. I felt wonderfully at home there and didn’t want to leave!”
A la Carte is one of the Girls’ Guide’s travel partners in our new Travel Club membership program. I myself visited one of A la Carte’s apartments, one that had been renovated for its owner, and found it spacious, scrupulously clean and nicely decorated, as well as very quiet, considering it was right around the corner from St.-Michel and the lively 5th Arrondissement. There are many good apartment rental companies in Paris, and some that I’d stay away from. A la Carte is one of the top firms in my opinion.
A la Carte Paris
GG2P Travel Club
NYU Writers in Paris
Editor’s note: Don’t forget to read our 10 dos and don’ts for renting an apartment in Paris.