The last time I was in Paris I stayed in an apartment… it was my first time… I have never done that before as I have always stayed in hotels… I am spoilt when it comes to Paris… whether I am in London or Provence, the city is only a little over two hours away… the temptation to visit is forever with me… constantly teasing… Paris is the one city I never tire of and a city that always intrigues and surprises me… Over the years I have stayed in the best and the worst of Paris… and I appreciate both sides… The ‘working me’ looks for the practical and the budget stay… the travelling-with-the-husband me is a little more extravagant. Hotels… the good, especially the great, the bad and those forgettable places in the middle are easy because they offer freedom and flexibility… Check-in… Check-out… Everything is done for you… but… and there is one big but… they don’t feel like home… It doesn’t matter how smart or how grand a hotel is… it is not the same.
Being in an apartment made me feel as if I were more connected to the city, more a part of the life… I stayed with a girlfriend and within hours the apartment she had rented felt like ‘ours’… The biggest advantage is space… you can really relax… spread out… I know that a hotel makes all that possible but being in your own apartment is different… it does become home away from home… Staying in a Parisian apartment… even though it was days and not months, made me feel less the tourist and more like a local…
I have promised myself that one day I will move to Paris for three months, find an apartment and polish my French… that would be my dream come true… I don’t know when and I am not sure how… but the why is all about a long held desire to spend more time in Paris. I imagine early morning starts… some snapping on the way to my local cafe… school all morning… practicing those irregular verbs and trying to soften the Provencal/Australian lilt from my accent… The afternoons and the evenings would be my time to explore, the familiar and the unfamiliar… speaking only in French… A lovely dream… idyllic… Don’t you think?
My friend Erica, who I met through her fabulous blog HiP Paris, is the person in the know when it comes to renting apartments in Paris. Haven in Paris represents beautiful apartments all over the city… different sizes, different price ranges and different decorative styles… all offering that ‘home away from home’ experience… If you are visiting Paris as a family or with a friend… or living your dream… as I would like to do… think about an apartment… And even if you have no immediate plans, are simply imagining your perfect French holiday… or want to pack up like me and indulge in the language for a few months… there is no harm in looking…
When you travel… do you prefer to stay in a hotel or an apartment? Are you always dreaming… dreaming of Paris… like me?
Haven In Paris… here
HiP Paris the blog… here
Haven in Paris on Facebook… here
To read more from French Essence click here
photographs - haven in paris