Air B n B has really taken over apartment rentals in Paris much to the dismay of more local and knowledgeable vacation apartment rental agencies. Air B n B can be great if you find the right owner. Prices can be quite reasonable and personally I normally have success but do be aware, there is no one no one looking after the flat except for the owner so his idea of clean might not be yours.
This happened to me years ago using a large firm that had many 100’s of rentals. The more apartments the agency has the more you should be wary because firms like Paris Attitude, NY Habitat and Lodgis for example are not dissimilar to sites like VRBO, Home Away, Flip Key and Air B n B in that they list people’s apartments and take a commission or charge a fee. They do not inspect the apartments, do not guarantee anything and you don’t have much recourse should things go wrong except to write a bad review on the sites that allow them.
I once rented a place for about a month through one of the larger firms, not realizing that they were just a listing company and when I entered the place, to my horror, it was absolutely filthy. Old stinky half-eaten cheese was in the fridge, the freezer hadn’t been defrosted in years and the bathroom was filled sky-high with the owner’s lotions and potions. It was creepy.
After yelling a lot at the agent with no success I had to go ahead and get my own cleaner to come over and clean the place so I could stay the night. Later on after much hand wringing the owner decided to reimburse me for that cost but the bad feelings were already cemented in.
It’s for that reason that I’m always a bit wary of apartment listing sites. There are other companies however who do inspect their places and have their own cleaners, not relying solely upon the owners.
They prepare the apartment for you and they greet you and show you around and they make sure their apartment has all the info you need such as how to operate the dishwasher, oven, television and washer & dryer which can be tricky in another language.
It’s for these reasons and more that my friend Jennifer and I decided to start a Girls’ Guide to Paris rental portal with apartments that we handpicked, that are managed by firms that we trust and work with closely. We offer a free GO-Card with every rental, a set of our gg2p walking trips, a handbook of things to do in the area as well as free glass of wine at a well known Parisian wine bar, and 10% off the most popular cooking class in Paris.
We want to give our customers a lot more than just the basics so they feel comfortable, secure and ready to go out and explore this beautiful city. Prices range from under 1000 euros for a one bedroom for a week (just $75 per person per night- double occupancy) up to 6500 euros a week for a 4 bedroom house, yes a real house that sleeps 8 (just $125 per person per night).
In addition here are some other rental companies that we recommend, each provides a special perk or discount if you buy our GO-Card before you rent with them.
Tip 1: Don’t rent through a site that doesn’t inspect their apartments, unless you have to.
Tip 2: Read the reviews carefully, If you do rent through a big site.
Tip 3: Be wary of sites offerings 100’s of rentals. That usually means they are NOT checking apartments or villas out for you and who knows the condition that they are actually in.
Tip 4: Always ask these two questions;
Tip 5: Central Paris locations are best. If you only have a week or god forbid less in the city of light be sure to take a place in the 1st – 8th if you want to be centrally located (lower numbers are closer to the center). This means you can easily get to all of the key historic sights in around 10 minutes.
Consider the charming Canal St. Martin area (the 10th), the up and coming 9th SoPi area (South of Pigalle) and the ever darling Montmartre (18th) if you don’t mind a metro ride and have been to Paris before.
We also like the 11th for the nightlife and proximity to the Marais. I don’t recommend the 19th, the 12th 13th, 15th in general because they are too far away from central attractions and because these areas just aren’t as attractive as the others. If you’ve got someone giving you a place to stay for free however, say yes no matter where it is! Whomever you rent from, keep in mind that staying at a beautiful place that is hassle free will make your trip that much more special.