une romance monumentale…
Paris — The Eiffel Tower among a forest of chimney pots crowding Left Bank rooftops.
The above photo was taken from the rooftop terrace of a Home At First Left Bank Paris apartment.
Paris — A Monumental Romance
Fall in Love with Home At First’s Paris: Independent Apartment-based Travel
Paris — The romantic City of Lights is also the revolutionary City of the Enlightenment.
Paris has been a settlement for 2,300 years or so, expanding outward from the original sheltered village on two islands in the River Seine. Celts, Romans, Franks, French royals, English royals, French revolutionaries, Napoleon Bonaparte, French republicans, Nazis & Vichy French, and post-war modern parliamentarians from the socialist left to the reactionary right have made Paris their place of power. Parisian power politics was nearly always countered by revolutionary thought: in the universities, in the streets, and among the intellectual elite who found in Paris the proper conditions for experiments in art, architecture, cuisine, education, fashion, literature, philosophy, politics, science, and theater. Revolutionary forces have shaped the medieval city into the romantic Paris we love to explore: a city of monuments, grand boulevards, incomparable art museums, parks, squares, and gardens inviting pauses and picnics, and warrens of alleys lined with boutiques, cafés, and galleries. Dominating the geography is the arched course of the River Seine, bisecting the city into two distinct halves: the Right Bank and the Left Bank. The halves are fragmented into individual arrondissements (districts) comprised of unique neighborhoods, each with its own character, history, attractions, surprises, and charms, each inviting exploration, each rewarding discovery. Discover Home At First’s Paris: independent apartment-based travel. To discover Paris is to fall in love.
In a Nutshell: Home At First’s PARIS — Independent Apartment-based Travel
HOW IT WORKS—
Home At First’s Paris: Independent Apartment-based Travel.
First — Request a Free Trip Proposal
• Contact Home At First. Tell us about your dream of travel to Paris, France. We will tell you about getting there, where we stay (you’ll love our Paris apartments and their central locations!), and how best to get around (via public transport, or by walking).
— Tell us how many people will be with you, and their ages.
— Tell us when you would like to travel, and for how long.
— Tell us if you would like to combine a visit to Paris with a visit to another part of France, to London, or to any other Home At First destination in Continental Europe, Scandinavia, or the British Isles.
— Ask for a Free Trip Proposal with Cost Estimate.
THE ABOVE SCENES ARE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF HOME AT FIRST’S PARIS APARTMENTS
Second — We Design Your Dream Trip for You
• We prepare a proposed itinerary & cost estimate with all the lodgings & transportation you need to discover Home At First’s Paris: independent apartment-based travel. We send our individualized itinerary proposal to you via email and/or postal mail.
• You review our proposal; accept it, reject it, or revise it until we have it just right for you. It is, after all, your dream trip, to be done the way you wish.
• Once accepted, we request an initial payment by check along with your signed acceptance.
• We begin putting your plans in place, securing your LODGINGS, FLIGHT RESERVATIONS & TICKETS, PARIS TRANSPASSES and/or any TRAIN TICKETS required. Most Home At First Paris guests arrive by air at Charles de Gaulle or Orly Airports; many others come from London and other parts of Europe by train.
• Payment in full is due 90 days prior to departure, or when you are ready to lock in your included airfares, whichever comes first.
Third — Departure Day Finally Arrives
• All travel documents for your trip — including a guidebook for Paris — will be sent to you by 30 days prior to your trip departure date.
• You follow our directions for your transfer from your arrival point to your Paris lodging, where you will be met at a pre-set time by your lodging’s host, who will show you the apartment, explain its workings, see to your comfort, and let you get some rest.
• Have a nap. Get some groceries for your kitchen. Make supper or go out for a meal. The fun begins now as you begin to explore Paris independently from your apartment.
THE ABOVE SCENES ARE WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE OF HOME AT FIRST’S PARIS APARTMENTS.
Paris: Locations & Lodgings
Notre Dame Cathedral, viewed from the rooftop terrace of a Home At First apartment in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Notre Dame is probably the world’s ultimate example of 12th century Gothic architecture. Built on the Île de la Cité, one of two islands in the River Seine that have been inhabited since pre-history, the cathedral is the traditional center of France, culturally, historically, even geographically. Notre Dame is a 5-to-30-minute walk or short métro ride from most of Home At First Paris apartments.
APARTMENT LOCATIONS: Home At First offers vacation apartments of various sizes (studios, 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom apartment) and capacities (sleeping & feeding up to 6 persons) throughout central Paris on both sides of the River Seine. Wherever located, our accommodations are near transportation, services, activities, stores, and restaurants, making it easy and convenient to shop and eat locally.
Neighborhoods: Our Paris apartments are located in safe, prosperous neighborhoods within short walking distance to métro, bus, and, sometimes, RER stations. They are well-situated as bases from which to explore Paris. Because of their centrality, each of our apartments is likely near at least one noted Parisian landmark. Your Paris apartment is also a refuge from the noise and bustle of the city, with much more space than a hotel room and a made-to-order kitchen with a table waiting.
Minimum lodging time in Paris: 3 nights (but you NEED more time than that to get to know the city!).
Home At First Paris apartments range in size, sleeping anywhere from 1 person to 8 persons. Our apartments vary in location, and are found in interesting, safe, central, convenient neighborhoods across central Paris on both sides of the River Seine. Our apartments range widely in style, from classical Belle Époque, to eclectic post-modern, to artist’s garrets awash in light, to a funky houseboat awash on the Seine. Shown above — admittedly our most over-the-top grand apartment — is the lavishly furnished “Belle Époque” apartment in the fashionable 7th arrondissement. Representative despite its uniqueness, the “Belle Époque” apartment shares many characteristics with all other Home At First Paris apartments: distinctly Parisian, comfortable, well-located, well-maintained, well-equipped, well-hosted, and very welcoming. Turn-of-the-2oth-century Paris style not your cup of French press? We probably have an apartment that suits you à la perfection.
Home At First‘s Paris: independent apartment-based travel offers vacation apartments in locations across central Paris. Although each is unique, all must meet our quality standards for Parisian ambiance, ease and security of entry, cleanliness and care, being well-equipped, and caring, English-speaking hosting.
AMBIANCE: Our Paris apartments are homey, comfortable, quality lodgings. Each is unique. Some are traditionally decorated and furnished. Others are modern. Some are eclectic. A prized few apartments come with private balconies or furnished terraces for outdoor sitting. Many others feature window views over the rooftops and streets of Paris.
Floors & Entries: Although reaching some of our apartments requires climbing a flight or two of stairs, most upper-floor apartments (3rd floor and up) are reached by elevator. All are well-located, safe, and very livable. Building and apartment entries are secure.
Care & Cleanliness: The apartments have been thoroughly cleaned prior to your arrival, but are not maid-serviced during your stay. They are normally equipped with laundry machines. Apartments are non-smoking and do not permit pets. Basic starter kitchen and bathroom supplies are provided.
A Selection of Paris Apartments & Locations
Shown and described below are five popular Home At First Paris apartments. They are shown here as samples of different sizes and capacities. While the range of apartments and locations to choose from is extensive, the standard of quality and service is the same regardless of apartment or location.
NOTE — FOR BEST VIEWING: each of the following apartment descriptions begins with a slide show. These slide shows do not advance automatically. You can move from slide to slide (forward or reverse) by clicking on the direction arrows below each slide. To see any slide in large format on a PC, “right click” on the selected slide and click on the “Open image in new tab” (Chrome) or “View Background Image” (Firefox).
WHAT COMES WITH HOME AT FIRST’S paris TRAVEL PROGRAM
Home At First’s Paris: independent apartment-based travel INCLUDE:
• Quality Lodgings: a choice of apartments in safe, pleasant neighborhoods throughout central Paris convenient to the métro (subway), and near a wide variety of shops, restaurants, cafés, and other services All apartments come with English-speaking hosts on-site or on-call during your stay for questions, suggestions, problems, or emergencies. Home At First’s central lodging locations are ideal bases for exploring Paris independently from your own quality vacation apartment.
• Round-trip Flights: Our airline experts plan your round-trip flights to Paris from your home airport. Our price chart includes round-trip fares based on flights from New York (JFK) or Newark (EWR) to Paris (CDG or ORY). Flights from/to all other airports available for applicable fare supplements or reductions.
• Paris Pass: valid for 5 days of public transport on the Paris Métro, RER trains, the Montmartre funicular, and Paris buses operating within the principal zones 1-3 that define central Paris. The pass provides discounts or reduced admission to a number of popular sites and activities across greater Paris.
• Guidebook Keyed for Your Destination to help you make the most out of your visit. Includes suggestions for touring, walking, restaurants, shopping, museums, galleries, much more.
• Optional Activities & Guided Tours:we help you achieve your special goals & dreams: French cooking classes, guided wine tasting, guided cheese tasting, and guided champagne tasting. We can organize private car touring with an English-speaking driver/guide to any of a broad choice of day-trips away from Paris, such as the Normandy beaches, battlegrounds of World War I, the Loire Valley with its chateaux, and many more. These options are available at extra cost.
• Optional Combination with London: Experience your own Tale of Two Cities. Before or after your 1-week visit to Paris, add a week in an apartment in Home At First’s London. Conveniently, both cities are connected in about 2.5 hours by Eurostar train via the Channel Tunnel.
left bank — latin quarter
5th arr. – notre dame view apartment
Nearest métro & RER stop: Saint-Michel Notre Dame — Métro Line 4; RER Lines B & C.
Located in the Latin Quarter overlooking the River Seine, Home At First‘s Notre Dame View Apartment couples one of the most coveted locations in Paris with one of the city’s most iconic views. The 2-story, 2-3 person apartment occupies the 4th and 5th floors above street level. Its decor represents the eclectic style and colors of early 20th century Paris, a time when the Latin Quarter was home to trend-setting artists and designers whose ideas would define “modern”. But the unusual design of the apartment’s interior must take a back seat to the apartment’s remarkable furnished upper floor terrace with its fantastic view of the second great landmark of Paris, the magnificent Cathedral of Notre Dame.
• Lower Level: A small (2-3 persons) elevator arrives at the 4th floor hall near the flat’s entry. Inside the apartment, the entry hall opens onto the bedroom (king-sized bed comprised of twin beds pushed-together), the full, modern bathroom (with large shower; no tub), a utility room with over/under washer/dryer and a powder room (toilet & basin). A wrought-iron, tightly-turned, spiral staircase leads from the entrance hall to the upper floor. The bedroom closet and spacious utility room provide plenty of storage.
• Upper Level: The 11-step spiral staircase arrives at a corner of the 5th floor living room. Comfy, overstuffed sofas and chairs line the walls below a series of framed drawings of plants and ferns. The sofa converts into a single bed for a third person, if need be. There is a flat-screen TV, WiFi, and telephone with unlimited dialing. The natural wood floors are of broad planks. A small, complete (oven, stove top, microwave, sink, fridge) kitchen in French country style is tucked under the eaves with a small 4-person dining table.
An arched set of French doors leads off the kitchen and living room to the furnished exterior terrace (table, chairs, and sheltered picnic benches). It’s eastern exposure provides an unforgettable view of the River Seine and Notre Dame Cathedral at all times, but especially at sunset. The terrace is a lovely place for meals, snacks, morning coffee, or a glass of wine.
The apartment is non-smoking, air-conditioned, and heated as needed. The street entry is private and opened with a secure code system. The nearest grocers, shops, pharmacy, cafés, and restaurants are within 5-minutes walk in the myriad of charming streets and alleyways of the Latin Quarter.
left bank — SAINT GERMAIN
7th ARR. – ST GERMAIN WEST APARTMENT
Nearest métro: Rue du Bac — Métro Line 12
Home At First‘s tastefully-furnished St Germain West Apartment is as attractive as its location is desirable. Located on a quiet side street a half-block from the prestigious Boulevard Saint-Germain, the apartment is a short walk from a wide choice of restaurants, cafés, shops, stores, and very near transit (Métro Line 12 & numerous bus lines). The River Seine at the world-famed Musée d’Orsay art museum is 10-15 minutes walk north. Walking 5 blocks (15 minutes) northeast to and across the Seine on the Pont Royal leads directly to the Louvre, Paris’s other top-class art museum.
The 4th floor apartment is reached by a small (2-3 person capacity) elevator accessed just inside the security-coded front door of the apartment building. The apartment entry opens onto a large, wooden-beamed room that serves as a comfortable, salon with areas for dining (for 4 persons), reading (from the extensive library), and writing or computing at the antique secretary. A modern, well-equipped kitchen opens off the salon, as do two bedroom suites, one a double room with a master bathroom (and bathtub) en suite, and the other a single room with a second bathroom (with a shower). Maximum capacity of this 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom flat is 3 persons.
The apartment’s decor is — with the exception of its modern black and chrome kitchen — traditional Parisian, with comfortable furnishings, antiques, and paintings and prints. The overriding theme is decidedly first-half of the 20th century, with a nod to the 19th century, a style befitting of a flat in the Saint-Germain neighborhood of Paris. Through the French doors the exceptional, gleaming kitchen speaks of the French penchant for cutting-edge cooking, being equipped with large refrigerator-freezer, induction stove top, full oven, dishwasher.
The apartment has a large, flat-screen, cable TV, free WiFi and internet, and phone with free calling to the USA. Separately controlled in room heating keeps the apartment comfortable during cooler months. A laundry closet (washer with clothes lines for hang-drying) is in the hallway by the apartment entry.
Within five-minutes walk of the apartment are a supermarket and several fine restaurants, the Rue du Bac métro stop, 8 bus stops, and a taxi stand ensuring that this delightful flat is very practically situated as a base for exploring Paris.