Can you keep a secret? No seriously. I have discovered a rare jewel in Paris on Avenue Rodin. A home away from home. It felt like we were living in a museum... surrounded by art, literature and fine furnishings.
Imagine getting on a plane today if you live in California and arriving in Paris late tomorrow evening. You're exhausted, yet feeling exhilarated with anticipation... can't wait to see the apartment you rented online... a dream vacation awaits in one of the most beautiful cities in all the world.
If there is one additional connection the Internet can provide and does, it's the opportunity to discover fantastic locations, worldwide, sharing the splendid and cherished privacy and fortune I might add, of people who take tremendous pride in opening their doors to travelers at a very reasonable rate.... and in some cases better than 4 star hotels.
Hotels in Paris can be very pricey. There are over 2,000 hotels to choose from in areas that offer every possible attribute of the city. From palatial to historic. I did some research on Airbnb.com and discovered there are so many variables (shared spaces, private rooms or entire apartments or houses) location matters and unlike a hotel what matters most to the owner is your commitment and your money.
In most cases you will spend far less. The exchange rate is fantastic! (As of of today one euro equals $1.087.) I did some research and discovered some factoids about hotels versus private rentals. As an example in the fashionable and popular Saint-Germain-Des-Prés, Hotel Baume with its chic art-deco design, close to the Louvre you will pay $248. for a "classic double room with shower." Not too exciting and noisy. Plus there are many add on costs that occur when you consider meals, phone calls, and the devious "wet bar." Most are like slot machines. The minute you remove a bottle of water or open a can of Pringles it gets tacked on to your bill at three or four times the cost.
Jim and I were lucky to have found this special apartment. It couldn't have been better. Beautifully furnished in a 1930's art deco style in a building of the same era.
I just loved the selection of designers, Mies Van der Rohe, Marcel Breuer, and Eileen Gray. The first floor boasts a 22-foot high ceiling and magnificent wrap-around staircase which leads to the master bedroom en-suite. Morning breakfast easily served on a tray bedside or in the modern kitchen area.
What makes this particular apartment so very special is the ideal location. The 16th Arrondissement is known as one of the most fashionable and beautiful sections of Paris. Perfect for two but the apartment can accommodate up to five persons. The ambiance is so special and the book and CD collection rare. It has an extraordinary collection of books on art deco, art, architecture, Paris, France, French culture and history; the Paris travel literature library includes maps and scores of general guidebooks as well as specialized books on Paris restaurants, bistros, shopping, architecture, walking tours, artist studios, etc.; the personal CD music library (mainly jazz and classical) was so fantastic!. We were so captivated by this library we spent one entire day immersed in the luxury of just staying home. And the best part about this apartment is it feels like YOUR home.
Location location location! It's got everything within walking distance.. Elegant boulevards, great boutiques. What I loved was the broad, tree-lined streets a far cry from the noisy tourist districts. And within half a block are two supermarkets, great bakeries, fruit and green grocers, fabulous cheese, wine and butcher shops make it essential and so desirable to dine in. But we couldn't resist the charm of a local favorite cafe.
For a special meal... not too pricey...there are marvelous local restaurants that specialize in the new au naturale cuisine.
In the neighborhood you will find the Ranelagh Gardens, indoor and outdoor food markets, and the chic boutiques on Rue de Passy and Avenue Victor Hugo. A five- to ten-minute walk takes you to the Bois de Boulogne which, with its lakes, woods, and gardens is a great place to jog or rent a bike or canoe.
"Getting around Paris is a walker's dream. Trust me! I made it half a day in these shoes."
Paris is the art epicenter of the world. There are more famous paintings to view with over 40 choices beginning with the Musee du Louvre. First stop is the Venus de Milo and the then the Mona Lisa.... please wear comfortable shoes, although Mona might have gone barefoot most of her life, you have over 35,000 works of art in addition to sculptures, prints and drawings to view. The museum is housed in former Royal Palace; the architect I.M. Pei designed the glass pyramid for the central courtyard. It is worth an entire day visit maybe two.
Our favorite is the Musee d' Orsay which is housed in a former turn-of-the-century Beaux-Arts railroad station and is devoted basically to 19th century French art. The collections include impressionism, post-impressionism, realism, and art nouveau work, with the focus on sculpture, drawings and paintings. We saw dozens of works by Degas, Pissaro, Monet, Van Gogh, Gaughin and Renoir on permanent display. Exhibits also include furniture and architectural elements reflective of the nineteenth century.
It took three Metro stops and we arrived in the heart of Montmartre. I couldn't wait to discover the nomenclature of two artists, Vincent Van Gogh and Pierre Auguste Renoir.
First stop was Rue Lepic. Suddenly, we discovered something quite unusual. A white cat appeared on the window sill near the door where Van Gogh lived.
Van Gogh lived in Montmartre, located above the city of Paris. It afforded him a beautiful view of the Paris skyline, which he painted several times. Two of the paintings were made in 1887. The second painting View from Vincent's window was made from a similar vantage point to the titled painting View of Paris from Vincent's Room in the Rue Lepic.
In just three days, we discovered the special magic of the city, enjoyed our own in-room service, breakfast provided by the owner and his staff. We relaxed thinking that all of these wonderful personal treasures that surrounded us belonged to a gentleman we hardly knew. His taste was impeccable and his hospitality was just the best!
For more information about this special apartment in Paris you can find it here.