I was hoping to find a little budget flat in Paris that I could return to, but unfortunately this won't be the case. I'll start with the good points: Friendly contact with owner, flat very quiet and I slept well, good strong shower pressure. Quiet, non touristy, authentic neighbourhood. (I lived in Paris for 4 years so this was a deliberate choice). Good quality building. Sofa bed comfortable.
Now for the rest:
After various emails back and forwards with the flat owner & holiday lettings it was agreed that I had to bring 150E in cash for a damages deposit (I wasn't happy I hadn't been able to do this with the protection of PayPal) In the end, however, I never met the owner and so drew 150E extra out of my limited account unecesssarily - quite annoying and a waste of my time and energy.
However, on seeing the flat I soon realised that a damages deposit was a joke!!
Dirty sofa bed cover, stained mattress, filthy old duvet and pillows - stained and lumpy with feathers coming out. (Thank god I brought my own pillow) and didn't a need a duvet. Used duvet cover as a top sheet! Washed sheets were in a crumpled ball, stuffed in a bag,still slightly damp...
Dust on all the shelves etc, dirty floor (my socks were filthy), kitchen equipment grimy, toothpaste remains in sink, an array of old sponges some with hairs stuck on - how would one know if any had been used to clean the floor - loo etc?
Teapot with broken spout ( not great on first morning)
Limescale filled kettle, a mismatch of kitchen stuff obviously discarded from elsewhere. Ice bucket - really - in this flat?!!
Dangerous: no instructions about old fashioned gas boiler - had to guess what to do for hot water for the shower - not very encouraging. Socket coming out of wall reminiscent of my student days in Paris 25 years ago!
Wi fi a joke - some emails came through after a few hours but no chance of sending one back. Basically useless.
Hugely large coffee table taking up too much room (again probably from elsewhere)
Rusty shower rack with remants of other peoples' soap and grimy shampoo bottles etc
You may be saying 'But what do you expect if you are only paying £32/night?'
My answer is that any holiday property owner should show care, pride,have attention to detail and make sure the place is spotless and safe whatever the price & however simple and tiny the flat is (when you sit on the loo your feet are in the shower!) Being thoughtful and cleaning properly (it's ridiculous to leave deep cleaning to guests) only takes time, not money, unless you can't do it yourself.
If you are in your twenties and want a budget flat you may be able to cope with the above but if you are older and used to standards in the UK for quality, cleanliness and safety, even in holiday cottages, don't!
Luckily my overall trip seeing friends and coming back to Paris was excellent and at least I managed to sleep!
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