As 2015 turned into 2016 I, like most people, did a little reflecting on the year that was. 2015 was a year of ups and downs. Most of the ups were travel-related. The memories I have of trips to Frankfurt, New York (twice), Prince Edward Island (twice), Buffalo (yes!!), Paris and Brussels are the best of the year. In a previous post I told you about a charming shop I found in Brussels. Today I’d like to tell you about the Airbnb apartment we stayed in while in Paris. First I’ll take you on a little tour of the place, described on the Airbnb site at "New charming modern Apart in Marais" (host: Olivier) and then I’ll offer a few tips on booking Airbnb.
This place had me at the white, and the ceiling height and the beams, and the sofas.
I’m a kitchen design nerd who is particularly pleased by good small space design — it’s rare. Love this kitchen. My fave is the white (yes, white!!!!) induction cooktop! I wanted to put it in my suitcase and take it home. Why why why can we not have white induction cooktops in North America? I have asked every appliance company exec I met (and trust me, in my previous job I met a lot, including Dr. Markus Miele) and I have never gotten an answer. So odd. Also to love about this kitchen design: a genius fold out base corner cabinet, and that upper cabinet to the left of the window is actually the fridge!
The bathroom was thoroughly modern with a killer giant rain showerhead, a towel warmer and plush robes and towels.
In a pleasant twist, my Dad joined us on our adventure — which was entirely amazing — so we gave him the main beautifully appointed bedroom.
We took the pullout sofa. Now, if you think that was a sacrifice, think again. That sofa was sooo unbelievably comfortable — as both sofa and bed — that I felt the need to track it down.
It is the Ghost sofa bed by Paola Navone for Gervasoni. Well, she's a genius so I’m not surprised it is as good as it is. I now have the new life goal of owning a Ghost sleeper sofa someday.
But lest that sofa have all the glory, let me assure you that the other one in the living room was also pretty sexy and comfy in its own right. You can just see it in the foreground of the living room shot above. I can’t say for sure it was the Piero Lissoni Extrasoft (shown here in an image from the manufacturer Living Divani), but if it wasn’t the real thing, then it was a superb version of same.
And lastly, the location of this apartment was tops in my books. Tucked on a very quiet street in the 3rd arrondissement, the apartment is seconds around the corner from two Parisian gems.
Merci is a sensational don’t-miss shop for everything from fashion to homewares. So, don't miss it. BTW, Merci ships worldwide so no need to book a trip to Paris to shop!
Maison Plisson is a stunningly gorgeous gourmet shop, restaurant and cafe. It was so packed with people when I was there that I couldn’t even get a decent photo. So I grabbed these from the web. To say it was a feast for the eyes is an understatement.
Now, as promised, here are my tips. This trip was the first time I booked with Airbnb and I must say there is a little bit of a learning curve. I pored over hundreds of listings. It took HOURS! Granted, I am super picky when it comes to interior design (duh!). But I learned a few things along the way. Here are my top 5 tips for booking with Airbnb:
- Narrow your search as much as possible using the filters available — budget, neighbourhood etc.
- If you are pressed for time to book, choose to search only Instant Book places. That way your booking experience will be as speedy as booking a hotel room.
- If you don’t go with Instant Book, message a short list of several hosts at the same time, then wait to see who gets back to you in a timely fashion.
- If you have any troubles of frustrations, definitely message the Airbnb team. I did a couple of time and I found the customer service to be very helpful and responsive.
- After your stay, write a review. I relied heavily on reviews in my decision-making so I thought it only fair to take the time to help others (and the host) by leaving my review.