Stayed: January 2013
Travelers: 5 Friends
Apartment: 401, 4 Rue Etienne Marcel
Price: €360 for 2 nights, for 5 people
Just returned from a Paris reunion with a group of friends with whom I used to study in Paris. We were looking for a place with communal space and enough room for 5, and found this apartment to be the best option. The apartment was clean, well presented, large enough for all of us, and very well located. For the price, it was excellent.
At the start, I should say that we were located within the main "Bridgestreet Le Marais" building, at 4 R. Etienne Marcel. A lot of the negative reviews seem to focus on being placed in an apartment in a different block, or even area of Paris. With this in mind, I rang Bridgestreet prior to departure, and confirmed the address at which I would be staying, something which I would recommend doing (ring their French office, as opposed to the English number supplied).
Check in: Picking up the keys was easy enough, with pretty clear instructions as to how to get through the 2 security doors and safe. The 4pm check in time was perhaps a little late, though I believe it is possible to arrange an earlier time (again, ring the French number). Access to our room was via either four flights of stairs, or a small lift (a squeeze for 2 people with a suitcase). The small lift is not really a problem, it is relatively quick and modern, and everyone's bags were in the apartment in a couple of trips.
Bedrooms: Two large bedrooms (one of which contained a double AND 2 single beds, the other contained a double) provided plenty of sleeping space for 5. One of the single camp beds was broken - this did not pose a problem for us, as it was surplus to requirements - but were there 6 of us, we would have probably complained. The beds were other wise comfortable and clean, and there was a lot of space for storage/hanging clothes. The weather was around -2c outside, but the rooms were well heated. Although there was a little street noise at night, it was not a problem, and is to be expected in central Paris.
Living Area/Kitchen: Again, very large, with plenty of seating, a large table for 6, a bar and television. The kitchen was very useful for baking Camembert in the oven, and cooking a meal on the Saturday night (although the single pan in the cupboard limited options somewhat). There was an iron, washing machine and dishwasher (all new), though we did not use these. A selection of teas and coffees, together with filters for the coffee machine, were a nice addition. The room was very much as seen in the official photographs, with plenty of light, good quality fittings and typical Parisian windows. The only complaint would be that the floor was very noisy in patches; a result, perhaps, of being unable to change the original parquet flooring. We could occasionally hear the floor above us, which we didn't find problematic, but might be more of an issue for those sleeping early.
Bathroom: Very spacious, large shower, heated towel rail, towels provided for 6. Shower was hot, though not particularly powerful. The toilet was separate and (a little strangely) located next to the kitchen. Perhaps the only tatty room in the flat, the fixtures were a little worn and dated.
Location: Excellent. 1 minute walk to the Metro (Line 4, which is a very useful line), around 5 minutes from Monoprix (higher-end French supermarket chain), which also has a good bakery. Staying close to Chatelet is perfect for tourists who want to see a lot of Paris, as its lines connect you with 90% of central Paris. The building was safe, taxis were easy to catch, and it is only a short walk to Pompidou and the Marais.
Overall, this was a very good choice. There was only one key, which was a slight problem for larger groups, and the apartment system obviously doesn't come with the benefits of a hotel front desk (luggage storage was not possible). However, it was a very nice, spacious apartment in a fantastic location, in largely excellent condition. For the price (around £32pp/night), it was extremely good value, and I would definitely recommend it.
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- Also Known As:
- Bridgestreet Marais Paris