So you are sold on the idea of vacation rentals?
In our previous article, we let our guest share their views on the benefits of opting for a vacation rental instead of a hotel when traveling abroad. However, as there are so many choices and so many avenues, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Should you opt for a private owner or agency? If you are still undecided here are a few pointers which we hope will help.
When it comes to choosing a vacation rental in Paris, you will find an amazing array of websites advertising directly with private owners. The fees linked to these rentals are sometimes (but not always) less than agencies but they come with another kind of price…
Private owners will vouch for their property, but can sometimes be misleading prospective renters about the quality and rating it what it is worth. Parisian owners have a preconceived idea of what you would expect of a vacation rental based on their own cultural experience. Remember that apartments are considerably smaller in Europe, a lot less modern (if you choose a charming Paris abode in a medieval building, you will know what we mean) and the internet was almost non existent in most rental properties only five years ago!
On the other hand, Paris vacation rental agencies will pre-screen properties, and view them through the eyes of guests coming from North America, Australia, Canada – travelers who have very different expectations of rental properties, modernity and cleanliness. While agency fees can range from 13% to 40% (Paris Hideaways is the cheapest one on the market at the time of writing this article), an agency will be the intermediary between you and the owner in the case of any litigation that involves prices, check in conditions and amenities advertised but not present. Around-the-clock assistance and support is also something you can expect. Agencies can also offer benefits such as discount offers that private owners cannot. And an agency’s website well organised is the ideal one stop shop to design and built up your dream stay in Paris, from cooking lessons to boat cruises to finding places to shop.
Things you may have to give up
Our guests choose vacation rentals for the freedom and personality they offer and giving up the more structured environment of a hotel for the greater self-sufficiency of an apartment was not sorely missed. But as our guest likes to point out, not all rentals are designed equal. A vacation rental, which is privately owned, can be a hit or miss situation. This is where the expertise of an agency becomes very important. An agency has viewed the property you are about to select and so are able to answer any specific questions you may have.
One of our guests suggests to really delve into the details of a rental in order to have the best possible idea and dismiss any wrongly conceived notions of what a rental should be. Ask plenty of questions about anything that matters to you: sleeping arrangements, view from windows, noise level, how far it is from the metro, kitchen equipment, accessibility of the bathrooms from the bedrooms and hallways, elevator access, Wi-Fi or dial up internet, late check in or check out, nearest supermarket, etc. An agency that has done their homework will not only reply quickly but will have answers to any questions you may have.
So choosing a vacation rental will probably require a lot more research, but can be infinitely more rewarding.
If you opt for a Paris apartment you may forfeit maid service unless your owner can offer it at an extra cost. A concierge service unless you go via a booking agency that offers that service, room service and in-house restaurants will also not be available. It will also be your responsibility to leave the flat tidy. The rental will be cleaned after you leave, but some agencies may charge check out cleaning fees. Other agencies, such as Paris Hideaways, have an all-inclusive policy so long as the flat is left in a decent and tidy condition.
If you prefer not to cook on your vacation, or are allergic to any sort of tidying up on departure, a vacation rental may not be for you. Remember that you are renting someone’s home and not a hotel.
When you think about it, you will experience Paris with the Parisians not the tourist crowds. That is the best way for an immersion “à la francaise!”
Either way you go, be sure to do business with a high-quality accommodation broker or an owner whose credentials can be verified: http://www.paris-hideaways.com can readily answer your questions and understand your needs. With an expert partner who knows the lay of the land in the locations you will be visiting, you can be confident that the apartment of choice fits your plans, your style, and your bank account.”
Paris Hideaways is an entity of Charming Hideaways Ltd, and is registered and based in London. Katia Provencher is the Director of Charming Hideaways, and has several years experience in the vacation rental and tourism business, including being vacation rental owner herself and also having been a long-term resident of Paris.
For further details on Paris Hideaways vacation rentals, please call + 44 (0)208 144-5887, via Skype Parisrental, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.paris-hideaways.com.