As curators of the finer things in life, we’ve taken you through the best restaurants, spas and hotels. We’d go far enough to say that we have given you ample reasons to travel. That’s exactly the thought that brings us to our current post. If you were to, say, pack up that Rimowa trolley case and head to, maybe Paris to, besides the obvious, see Guerlain’s Golden Bees because we said so or to simply try Fauchon for its delectable treats but wished to steer clear of mainstream luxury like the Hotel Raphaels and their Baccarat suites, then here’s how you can make your stay homey. Literally! Because we’ve scouted for you, the best apartments in the city!
Starting today and starting with Paris, we will give you a weekly lowdown on luxe when it comes to homestays in scenic towns. Now for those of you travel enthusiasts who’ve been living under a rock, there are services today that allow you to rent spaces for yourself and your coterie if you want to visit new places yet live away from the crowd. And when I say ‘spaces’, I mean entire apartments, castles, boats, manors, tree houses; you name it! So while ephemeral hotel suites might be the “it” thing in travel luxury, ‘hosts’ are fast replacing concierges to provide the personal touch that makes you feel welcome not just in a new place but within their very homes. Without further ado, lets take a look at Paris’ top five of those.
5) 2 Bedroom loft, Rue des Écoles
“Buried deep in the midst of the winding streets of Paris’ Latin Quarter, just next to one of the many bookshops on the rue des Ecoles, you’ll step through the door and find yourself in one of the city’s most enchanting apartments.” Maybe. But you will definitely find yourself in a living area with charming wooden beams that stretch right across the ceiling and a plant-filled terrace that is the perfect place for a morning coffee or evening aperitif. Now, if that’s your idea of ‘enchanting’ then so be it!
In an area famed for its cafés, bars and restaurants, you’ll have culinary options galore when it comes to food from all over the world as well as some superb French specialties. But if you want this holiday to be a DIY version of Eat, Pray, Love’s ‘Eat’, you can find it in the elevated, full-equipped kitchen space after seeking some local produce from the deli.
The master bedroom, tucked away at the end of the apartment may, however, prove to be a bit noisy but there is always the single bed on the mezzanine level to catch up on your sleep if you aren’t in a group of many. After all, that’s what you get for living next to Notre Dame, the Louvre, Pompidou Centre (read: everything you want to see in Paris) and you get it for a per day price of $570.
[2 Bedroom loft, Rue des Écoles]
4) 1 Bedroom Apartment, Rue Antoine Bourdelle
But if quiet is what you are looking, then this place is it. That said it is also “it” if you’re looking for a Bechstein piano, skylight and hi fi system. Besides beautiful furniture, perfect street location, lovely building and a breathtaking collection of books, opera and music! And all this, without giving up on an area that is central!
Located on the 4th floor of a secure building with elevator, this exceptional loft is sophisticated and contemporary. In the extremely sought after area of the 1st arrondissement of Paris, it allows access to the most beautiful Parisian monuments, the Louvre, the Palais Royal, the Tuileries Gardens, the Town Hall or Bridge nine.
At the same time, all your business needs are met too as it’s at the heart of the business center of Paris with the Commodity Exchange and the Bank of France in the neighborhood. Finally, your other trips can be made with ease thanks to the many lines of public transport, i.e. metro Louvre Rivoli or Les Halles. Such stylish convenience comes priced per night at $1,015.
[1 Bedroom Apartment, Rue Antoine Bourdelle]
3) 3 Bedroom Apartment, Avenue de Suffren
“Just cross the street and you are at the Eiffel Tower, literally!”. If those were your plans for Paris then this is the place to be. In which case, you can enjoy the “view” with family. Like a townhouse, on the top floors of a building (8th floor with elevator), this bright apartment has 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms and opens to an amazing 130 square meters private terrace with panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars Park and Invalides.
So, here’s how it’s going to work, you’re going to have to call dibs. Only question is, on which, because its three rooms are equally spectacular. Take this one for instance- a super king size bed, electric curtain with timer, so that you can wake up to the amazing view of the Champ de Mars park and the Eiffel tower from the room, a private walk-in closet, private bathroom with shower, with “massage system” and a double wash basin, top of the line Marble and Bisazza mosaic tiles, even.
As for the rest of the apartment, the dining area has seating for ten people, who wouldn’t leave once they experience the exclusive furniture, Le Corbusier sofa, iconic Pipistrello lamp by Gae Aulenti or the sound system where you can plug your own iPod and home cinema with overhead projector. The terrace too has a table and seating for eight people, as well as a barbecue and an outdoor sound system. The fact that it is child friendly, with the fence at 1.2 meters, above security requirement makes it even better. And that the whole place is priced per night at $1,020!
[3 Bedroom Apartment, Avenue de Suffren]
2) 1 Bedroom apartment, Rue Saint Louis En L’Ile
With a “hostess of hostesses” as many who have been in and out of her place say, you’d already feel welcome in this home before you can even say “hey”! Or before you see two skylights AND the two fireplaces. Of course you will already know that many consider Ile Saint Louis the real Paris before you decide to get there but you’d be happy to hear that if you like watching from afar, the place comes with two terraces.
The fact that this is a 17th Century apartment means you will be witnessing (newly renovated) history, while romantic songs from theaccordion player on the bridge to Notre Dame float in and fill its 400 year old walls. What can I say except that this place truly beckons the bohemian in you without compromising on the luxe quotient! Especially if you like the idea of eating breakfast on the back patio with the bells of Notre Dame ringing! Clearly, this apartment is a 1-bedroom, $1,020 a night win-win.
[1 Bedroom apartment, Rue Saint Louis En L’Ile]
1) 2 Bedroom Apartment, Boulevard Saint-Germain
The place was previously owned by the French icon and sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot. ‘nuff said. Ok fine, so maybe we’ll just think we need to know more and humor ourselves. This unique apartment is located in the heart of Saint Germain with a 140m² terrace that offers you breathtaking 360° view of the French capital. With a private access by two elevators to the 8th and last floor, the apartment consists of a large and bright kitchen. Clearly, it was a good idea to humor our selves!
Another unique factor is the ship’s cabin style bedroom with a large mirror on the ceiling. The apartment also gives you access to the terrace of the building, 9th floor, 200 m2 with full view of Paris and its monuments. As for it’s own terrace, it is enough if it can show you everything from the sunrise behind the Pompidou Centre, the Pantheon and the Sorbonne, to sunset behind Eiffel Tower and the Invalides. Not to mention it is surrounded by parks, restaurants, cafes, and amazing French architecture with 4 metro stations in direct walking distance. If you’re willing to shell out $2,500 a night then bring out the Bardot in you I’d say!
[2 Bedroom Apartment, Boulevard Saint-Germain]