When you look outside the window of those big-budget movie hotels, there is always a clear view of the city’s iconic landmark – maybe The Eiffel, Statue of Liberty, Table Mountain, or the Pyramids of Giza.
“Of course great hotels have always been social ideas, flawless mirrors to the particular societies they service.” – Joan Didion
I already knew my France budget would not extend so far as to frame me the picturesque backdrop of Paris by day or night. My trips budget did not even afford me a mid-range hotel, without snipping down on my 15-days, so I digress…
AirBnB‘s services means that I am entitled to a bargain, and the property owner is entitled to a profit – the perfect price being negotiated from the very first moment we land on the site & its buffet of options. I stuck to AirBnB to get me through getting the lived-in Parisian experience, choosing a whole host of different options, across 4 Arrondissments (boroughs), to move around to because of their location & their interior decor.
Clean Spaces are such a draw for me.
“I need my own Parisian apartment now!” – words I uttered the moment I landed in the city…now, I’m not so sure.
Most of the time, booking an AirBnB should be an easy click-click-click experience…followed by an enviable budget-friendly and/or picturesque convenient abode.
…Unless you are me, who was left scrambling for alternative hospitality arrangements, DURING Paris Fashion Week because a host sold ‘dreams’ and didn’t deliver.
I didn’t think it was a prerequisite to request blankets, cutlery, an extra towel, and – the Coup-De-Gras – hygiene, as far as pillows and sheets are concerned.
Here’s the breakdown:
Architectural Style: 6/10
Once again, I stayed within a massive cut stone block building which comes off as more of the same Haussmannian architecture which rests overwhelmingly along the long and straight boulevards of the City of Lights and romance.
The way most of the apartment blocks in Paris are set up, means: One is likely to have 2 or 3 apartment blocks, sharing a common entrance, and courtyard area to access the different blocks.
I may have lost my way trying to interpret my hosts instructions as to which building I needed to go to.
I also stressed that the view would be of the ghastly greystone courtyard lined with black bins and no sunshine, as the listing had no images showing the direct view from the apartment – I had hope though!
There was hope in the blocks terracotta-warm tiled stairwell, speckled with large potted plants bringing necessary greenery and warm welcome cheer to the white & greyscale everywhere else.
Fantastically, the apartment itself lacked the minute scale of my other AirBnB apartments, whose sizes were reduced due to the architectural design technique of fragmentation.
The apartment did lack the weighty respectability of the Parisian history, as well as being removed of elegant facades which would have perfectly framed the modern Paris image outside.
Decor & Character: 8/10
An AirBnB with interior ‘style’ or one considered ‘cultured’, is often excessively (read: tacky) decorated, maybe opting for Swedish interior design, or it’s marrying of minimalism interior decor.
This apartment indeed panders to such simplistic sensibilities, with: clean white walls, a gunmetal grey corner sofa, and canvas roller blinds.
At face value, the apartment is crisp, uncluttered, and calming to a travelers eye. There is not an abundance of knickknacks or real depth in styling. Furniture (like the television stand) in the 16sqm lounge, rests lower than the average height, to open up the space much more – reducing warmth, but increasing elegance.
The space is nearly Spartan, save for the leather & chrome bar chair additions in the spare fitted kitchen, which are utilitarian enough to bring more AirBnB visitors.
The 16sqm bedroom has a large Bamboo-wood floor surface, and the presence of: a towering modern white wardrobe not available for guest use, a singular silver light source, a corner packed with some of the owners things covered in a blanket, and a king-size bed facing the single window.
The bed had two sheets and 2 deflated pillows – one pillow & sheet speckled with old blood stains.
Airbnb has the option to converse with the Apartment lister/owner should you need to ask anything, so I did. I asked whether there was any extra sheets, towels, blankets and pillows because the ones we had, were of concern – images were also attached.
She proceeded to rant and rail about the whole situation after she couldn’t provide me with an adequate solution and therefore me contacting the Airbnb administration.
There are no blankets, an extra duvet, or pillows, if you visit this location folks. The owner will tell you, that this is why they have heating in the apartment.
…Maybe this is a cultural dissonance?
From a picture point of view, this space is ideal because its interior speaks to cleanliness, thanks to the abundance of white used, and the light streaming in everywhere…just don’t look at anything too closely, lest you uncover the dirty realities.
Clean & functioning bathroom, you wont even second guess stepping barefoot and naked into – Nope!
Smooth wooden floors – Check!
Clean and well-stocked kitchen and breakfast pantry – f*n Nope!
Storage space for clothing and food respectively – Uuuuuh Nope!
Comfortable as hell bed, with more than one pillow –Absolutely NOPE!
Divided bedroom, bathroom and kitchen – Check!
Ridiculously short walk to shopping facilities, hospital or police – Check!
Clean sheets, pillows, and the presence of atleast one blanket – JESUS CHRIST, NO!
Food & Drink: 8/10
Differently-abled Accessibility & Comfort: No, 0/10
There is NO elevator and a very narrow stairway, up more than 2 flights of stairs.
If you are differently-abled and willing to climb that high, you will also have a sliver of a bathroom to maneuver.
Family Friendly: Yes’ish, 3/10
I travel with my friends often, so sharing this space would not be a problem.
However, any more than 2 individuals is a very tight squeeze.
Value for Money: 3/10
In any currency, this apartment is not value for your money in Paris, unless you’re bringing your own bedding and don’t need kitchen appliances and cutlery.
Dealing with the owner, is a lesson in patience and tempering your reactive nature, as they try nearly every traveler that books (or tries to book) their apartment…See the AirBnB listing for proof!
Rue de Longchamp, Paris, 75116, France
Check the listing out via Airbnb here