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“Apartment #036 Studio on rue de Rivoli”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Special Apartments

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Special Apartments
Ranked #30 of 155 Specialty Lodging in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Apartment #036 Studio on rue de Rivoli”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2013

My wife and I stayed in Special Apartments unit 36 in October 2013. The unit was exactly as advertised. Which for this apartment means small. We never felt closed in though and had no trouble with the two of us sharing the space. As small as this apartment is, it is still larger than many of the hotel rooms in Paris. We were able to use the kitchen for quick snacks between sightseeing and the washer/dryer let us pack lighter than we would have otherwise. The pull out sofa bed was one of the most comfortable I have ever slept on. It has a quality beautyrest mattress and the pillows and duvet were also high quality. The towels were much larger and plush compared to what you normally find in a hotel.

Our goal in Paris was seeing the sights and not sitting around a room. The location of this apartment was perfect for sightseeing. It is across the street from the Louvre and a short block from the Metro. We had easy access to everything we wanted to see and could walk most places. Despite the noisy and busy part of town, everything was quiet as soon as we stepped into the courtyard and we were able to leave our windows open and things were peaceful and quiet.

Jessica and Regis were great to work with and both speak english fluently. We had no trouble at all with the entire process. I will always book with them in Paris. I can't imagine staying at a hotel in Paris ever again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Greg R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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225 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (34)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Brasov, Romania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 22, 2013

I stayed with a friend, in July 2013, in apartment #1. It was almost OK, given the following issues:
- Written instructions about the apartment stated that it was on the right of the elevator. However, there were three doors to the right, so we had to guess, at 11.00 at night, which door was right and hope not to wake anyone.
- The “high speed Internet” advertised were two Ethernet cables on the floor, since the wi-fi didn’t work. After a number of emails exchanged, they provided us with a password for a wifi network that actually worked, and for which we had a max of one line signal on the couch and only occasionally in other areas of the room as well.
- I didn’t quite understand in what way we could "call free internationally" (as advertised), since there was no phone and wifi had the issues mentioned above.
- The “flat screen TV” advertised is actually a 19 (?) inch monitor, that is indeed flat but didn’t work at all. We mentioned that to the staff in an email, he said someone will come over to take a look but nothing happened.
- Most importantly, the pictures they had, and still have, on the website for this apartment are not correct. The furniture and flooring are consistently different between the pictures and reality. They said it had been refurbished and recently renovated - however I expected renovation to imply something better than before instead of the opposite (ugly and almost dirty floor, kitchen sink where you could see scratch marks, mattress on the bed had large stains on it, holes in the walls that didn't look all that recent, broken bed lamp, stained couch etc.)
This was a HUGE disappointment.
- Bathroom didn’t look that “recently renovated” either.
- The "welcome basket" was a few tea bags and a couple of biscuits.
- A general feeling of "not so clean" and stickiness. I do understand vintage furniture, but this was not that; it was just old unkempt furniture.

It wasn’t a terrible stay, but it wasn’t a good one either. It did give a strange feeling of being in a house that someone rented out for the weekend and forgot to take all of their personal things from the cupboards (empty plastic bags, some pasta and other leftovers etc).

They even asked me for feedback a month after we left, I did tell them all of the things above and they offered a 20% refund to compensate for the lack of TV, as if all the other issues I mentioned are acceptable. Either way, 3 months away I haven't received any refund.

Also, I know lodging in Paris is unjustifiably expensive, but if this is a "large" studio I don't even want to think about what a "small studio" is like.

I'm actually very surprised that the overall reviews here are as good as they are now...

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank anca p
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2013

The bottom line is that my husband and I very much enjoyed out week long stay from Oct. 24-31 in Apt Ref. #031. The studio apartment was comfortable and very quiet (no noise at all from the throngs of people and activity in the street) and in an absolutely perfect location very close to everything, including a half block walk to the subway. Above all, the staff of Special Apartments was wonderfully responsive to our frequent needs. Had they not been, our stay might have been a big disappointment.

Perhaps it is just a difference between French and American standards with the French valuing aesthetics over functionality and Americans valuing functionality equally with appearance. For example, the bathroom in the apartment was black! (As was the kitchen...) A single drop of water left a stain so you can imagine what the bathroom looked like with just minimal use. Small issues kept popping up. To stay with a discussion on the bathroom a moment longer, the shower didn't drain properly and the first day it flooded the bathroom floor. After it was repaired, it simply overflowed daily. The two bulbs that made up the bathroom light were out (and in a totally black bathroom!) but were changed or repaired soon after we called Special Apartments.

The toilet seat was not attached and the fellow sent over by the owner only put it back in place without reattaching it until we called a second time. The building's exterior lock did not work until my husband complained, and the apartment door itself required a key just to close from the outside because the lock did not fit properly.

Suggestion: American clothes washing machines are very different from those of the French. It would be very helpful to have an instruction sheet in English on how to use the equipment - and would have prevented at least two phone calls from me to Special Apartments. One of your staffers finally had to come over and walk me through the process of using the washer. Since the dishwasher had no instruction sheet, we avoided using it. My husband fumbled around with the coffee maker but it would have been helpful for him to have had an instruction sheet for its use as well.

On the other hand, there were several signs of considerateness on the part of Special Apartments and/or the owner: a big supply of coffee (appreciated greatly by my husband), paper towels, dish soap, and various other basic supplies. We loved the free calls home to the US that allowed us to keep in touch with family more than we've been able to do when staying in hotels and Wifi that never failed even though the speed varied.

Despite the glitches, we might consider staying in this apartment again. Nonetheless, we will certainly use Special Apartments again because we were so pleased with the way we were treated by each of the at-least-three team members with whom we dealt during our stay. And we have been recommending the Special Apartments internet site to our friends!

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SallyWashingtonDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yarraville, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 14, 2013

We booked with Special Apartments after a workmates recommendation. We booked a one bedroom apartment in Saint Germain Des Pres (018). On arrival at this cute centrally located apartment we were welcomed with a note from Special Apartments advising us they found out the day prior renovations were happening in the block. They were very concerned about possible disruption to our 10 day stay and were offering to move us if we wished. We weighed up the possibility of disruption and the unknown about an alternative and rang their office. We were immediately offered an alternative, and time to move in, and a meet and greet at the new apartment. No question on special apartments behalf that we should be moved. The apartment we were offered was on Ile Saint Louis, in a wonderful two bedroom apartment (003). The difference in price per night was about 100 euros more than the apartment we booked, but there was no hint or suggestion that this alternative should not be offered, or any expectation that the company was 'doing us a favour' by moving us. Daryl from the company who was at the new apartment to greet us on time kept apologising about the inconvenience. We were of course delighted at the change, and wanted to share this review of our stay because of the outstanding customer service.
During the initial booking process our inquiry was quickly auctioned, we were kept informed of the progress of our booking, and any enquiries followed up quickly.
The icing on the cake with any interaction when booking is how a company handles things when they go wrong. We were blown away at the alternatives offered without prompting when advised of the renovations going on at our booked property. I would not have expected this, and if I had booked directly with an apartment owner, would have been on my own to deal with such an issue.
And to our apartment- what a wonderful well positioned sunny space. A terrace overlooks the rooftops from the upper level of this two level apartment. The property is over level 6 and 7 with a cute lift straight in to the apartment. One bedroom on each level, small bathroom and compact kitchen. Free internet and phone calls to landlines and mobile phones to lots of different countries included. Mini supermarket across the road, cheese shop on the ground floor of the building, boulangerie two doors down, plenty of restaurants, shops and sights nearby. There is a metro stop 5 mins walk away. (Pont Marie). If you are looking at apartments in Paris, check out the apartments on offer with Special Apartments.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank MrsKafoops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Level Contributor
95 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2013

Using Special Apartments was a great way to find a place to stay while in Paris - the only difficulty was choosing out of all the great options! We wanted to stay somewhere where we had our own space, rather than a hotel. We were met on arrival at the apartment (no 8) by a rep from Special Apartments and she showed us around. We loved the place on first site - in a gorgeous French building, just like we'd seen in movies (this was our first visit to Paris). The apartment was a decent size for the two of us, although the bathroom was incredibly squishy, and the bed a little short for my tall boyfriend. The kitchen was good for storing all the wine and cheese we stocked up on and would have been good for cooking in, but we chose to eat out all the time. The apartment couldn't have been in a better location, right next to an amazing street full of great food options.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RebeccaandtheWorld
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NewZealand
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 6, 2013

From the booking experience to departure, Special Apartments are professional and friendly. The booking communication, apartment and travel/access information was excellent (in English!). Questions put to the SP folk were quickly responded to. The Apartment and office are within walking distance of the subway, and easy to get to from Gare du Nord. There was a meet and greet at the office and Apartment with a welcome basket and bottle of wine. We were lucky enough to stay Apartment 007 in the Marais district, just off the Rue Montorgueil. The Apartment had lift access to the second floor, we rattled around in its spaciousness, beautifully furnished, full kitchen facilities, comfy double bed with a pull out sofa bed for two more. Don't expect a view! A very quiet Apartment although the subway can be vaguely heard grumbling away below in the Basement until about 11pm, and first train is about 6am (at least you know the trains are running!). A few steps away, is the famous pedestrianised Rue Montorgueil area, which is fantastique for shopping. Avoid the subterranean Les Halle's, modern and truly depressing current building site. Buzzy Restaurants and cafes abound, fresh French delicacies or prepared food to enjoy in the Apartment (visit the famous Stohrer, the oldest patisserie in Paris - blokes, a must there is the Saucisson De Lyon En Brioche, known to commoners as a sausage roll - Queen Elizabeth came there to get one for the corgis!). The Isle de La Cite, Louvre, Notre Dame, Luxembourg Gardens, all within walking distance (not after consuming the sausage roll). Staying in this quintessential French Apartment in the Marais truly made for a perfect stay in Paris, we totally recommend the Apartment #007 experience!

Room Tip: Think Apartment #007
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank RayandDenise
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart Tasmania
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 16, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely loved this place. Very nice welcome. Spacious for 2 people. Nice sized kitchen. Coffee machine. Free calls home to Australia. Location was quiet. Entered through big doors off street with keypad. Into a foyer, through glass doors, then along a corridor, into a courtyard. Then, a back building, up elevator to 4 th floor. This gives an idea, of how quiet it was. Elevator small, but no drama. Bed comfortable. Shower would run out onto floor if not careful. I loved this place, and can't wait to go back! Thank you

Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Adele K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Special Apartments

Property: Special Apartments
Address: 51 Rue de Turbigo | 75003, Paris, France
Location: France > Ile-de-France > Paris > Notre Dame / Marais
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #30 of 155 Specialty Lodging in Paris
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 45
Also Known As:
Special Apartments Hotel Paris

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