Tonight my husband arrived home from a 10-day trip to France (if you hear any "hallelujahs, they're comin' from my house!). He and a friend split to Beynac to check up on La Maisonnette and prep her for the busy season ahead. This same friend helped Ben with most of the laborious gutting of the cottage at the beginning of the renovation and showing him the finished product just needed to happen. What a rewarding experience to see the fruits of one's labor! It was so fun to watch my husband unpack and hear about his trip--new places he and his friend discovered, projects they accomplished at the house, villagers they met up with, castles and caves they discovered, etc. But, oh my am I glad that he is home...on so many levels :) It's a true blessing.
So, a few weeks ago, when he was trying to figure out where he and his buddy would stay in Paris on their way back from the Dordogne, we tossed several options back and forth. Really what it came down to was this:
1. Paris hotels are super expensive (especially if you're used to Holiday-Express-prices like us). It's just reality in a big, beautiful, popular city like the City of Light. There have been several occasions where our family has tried to save money on lodging and we stayed in cheap hotels in sketchy neighborhoods. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say our experiences were dismal at best. So accept the reality of the Parisian hotel scene...plan for it in your budget...and then enjoy it.
2. The good hotels--the ones that nicely balance price, location and style--book quickly (one such hotel is Hotel de Petit Moulin). So do not wait to make your Parisian hotel reservations two weeks prior to your trip. Try to book your hotel as soon as your airline tickets are booked--ideally 4-6 months ahead. If you'd like additional recommendations, read this post on affordable hotels in Paris.
3. If you plan on staying in one location for at least 3 nights, utilize Air BnB (this is a great site for anywhere in the world, not just Paris). You'll enjoy a more local experience and save a few euros too.
4. If your trip is hovering around 7 days, then renting a nice apartment is an excellent choice for lodging. You'll spend the same or less on your Parisian apartment rental as you would at a hotel, and you'll enjoy far more space. You can find a vacational rental on VRBO, a reputable site with many options in Paris (this is also where we list La Maisonnette). Also, a few blog readers have recommended a couple choice apartments that I just had to share with you. Tara recommends this studio apartment in Montmartre and Emily recommends the apartment at the Hotel d'Hallwyl. The images within this post are of the latter--are they gorgeous or what? These two are definitely going on my Paris Wish List and promptly to one of my pinterest boards :)
Safe travels! Or in my case, sweet dreams :)
all images by Emily McCall