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for Cognac Apartment
by Clarissa Dacanay, United States
"It has been almost a month since we stayed in your beautiful Cognac apartment in Paris and we still cannot get over how much we enjoyed our stay. We were a family of 7 (mom and dad, 2 sons aged 15 and 10, 2 parents-in-law and 1 sister-in-law) taking a two-week vacation in London and Paris. We've always rented condos when we travel a week-long to London, Rome, Paris, San Francisco and NYC and rented summer cottages for the San Diego, Rehoboth and Carolina beaches. Weï¿½ve even once rented a houseboat in Amsterdam. The only times we stayed in hotels during our vacations were for our Disneyworld, FL trips and when we toured Hong Kong and Tokyo -- for obvious communication hassles. We're definitely NOT newbies when it comes to renting apartments.
Believe me then, (Attention: tourists and potential apartment-seekers!) when I say that ParisPerfect is, hands down, the best agency we've had. It's too bad that I'm just a housewife and a volunteer at my sons' school. I have nobody to whom I can tout our wonderful experiences in your apartment. But do please use this recommendation letter as you see fit or add it to your Guestbook for references.
From the moment our greeter, Kevin, met us at the door to our drive back to the train station by your company-recommended chauffeurs, we have no complaints. In the walkthrough around the apartment, Kevin was very thorough in explaining how things operated.
We so appreciated how the dishwasher, laundry machine and dryer were all numbered for easy use. That was brilliant thinking! I wish all the other rental agencies practiced this! In all our 8 apartment rentals in Europe, we finally got a laundry machine AND dryer to work without having to first take an engineering exam. I loved the full-size fridge and the lovely range and I was able to prepare my family's favorite comfort food for dinners. There were enough dishes and silverware so we didn't have to run the washer after every meal.
My mother-in-law and sister-in-law admired the prepared table settings so much that they were ready to sit down and dine when we first arrived at the apartment. On the other hand, my husband, boys and father-in-law gravitated towards the awesome view of the Eiffel Tower from the balcony. They immediately posed for and took pictures with their digital cameras. Me? I was just too tired from all the previous sight-seeing in London that I locked myself in the luxurious bathroom and soaked my poor legs and feet in the tub.
We were also pleasantly surprised that there was free long distance phone call to the US but I'm glad that my husband didn't know about that till we arrived or else he would have been doing business while we were on vacation! (Sigh. The pros and cons of modern communication!) The wi-fi worked and so did the TV, according to my children. I was just glad that the elevator worked for my in-laws have a hard time walking 6 flights of stairs. I know that the small dimension of the elevator is so typical in French apartments that we even took a picture of it as a memento.
The beds were all comfy, thank you! The pull-out twin beds and the sofabed in the living room were a breeze to get ready at night. The sheets and towels were clean and plenty and I didn't have to use my emergency sheets/towels that I typically pack with me when we travel.
As for apartment location? Nobody could ask for anything better. We've stayed before in the Montparnasse area, the Bastille area and the Trocadero area, but we much prefer to stay again in the 6th arrondissement. We liked the accessibility to the stores of Rue Cler, the patisserie downstairs where we got our fix of pains aux raisins in the mornings, the Asian traiteur along the street, the Ecole Militaire metro, and the bus stops near our building.
The buses were truly a find! There were buses nearby that brought us to Musee Rodin, Invalides, Musee D'Orsay, Charles De Gaulle Etiole and Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower (dropped us right in front, too!), and Bon Marche (for shopping). The apartment was absolutely convenient -- and safe to boot -- without the hurly-burly atmosphere of an apartment located in, say, the Latin Quarter.
Lastly, I have to tell you that there was another family who joined us in Paris. They are very close friends of ours and our boys are all of the same ages so we often go on trips, in the US and abroad, together. Unfortunately, they did their planning for the Parisian vacation at the very last minute so they had no choice but to stay in a reputable American chain hotel (that I shall not name here) in Trocadero. The four of them were cramped in one family room with just a teeny-weensy fridge and a TV on top of the fridge. There was barely enough space to walk between beds and there was absolutely no corner for privacy or quiet reflection after a long day. Really! I love family togetherness but sometimes, you need not only physical space but an emotional space to retreat in and just simply absorb the Parisian ambiance. The balcony in the apartment gave us that. We'd sit out there quietly and gaze at the sunset and the Eiffel Tower and just breathe.
We've been hiding our pictures of our stay in the apartment from our family friends lest we sound too smug or gloating.
Thanks so much! I'm definitely looking forward to using your agency in the future. I'm planning another trip -- just us four this time -- for Christmas time. I'm thinking we should try Rome again to see how it is during the festive holiday season but I'm sorely tempted to go back to Paris and stay in one of your apartments once more.
Clarissa Dacanay, Fairfax, VA, United States