First published on 24 May 2012. Updated on 24 May 2012.
Australian travellers returned from Paris, if somehow they haven’t had the time of their lives, tend to bandy about the same complaints. If it isn’t “so-and-so shopkeeper/gendarme/hotelier was unpardonably rude to me”, it’s “I was an unwitting victim of daylight robbery at my hotel/boutique/restaurant, and I want my money back!”
For Antipodeans considering a trip to the City of Light, there’s now no excuse to be unprepared, or to come home disappointed. Petite Paris is the first Australian-based booking service for hand-selected Paris B&Bs. The website currently lists more than 60 apartments – in all the arrondissements of Paris – at prices from 50 Euros per night.
The dwellings on the list are all either Haussmans (classic Paris apartments), artists’ workshops or modern apartments. In other words, all of them are in impeccable taste. Some just offer guest rooms, while others will grant you the run of the apartment. At the high end of things, you can choose to stay in the former Montmartre home of the impressionist painter Pissarro. Seriously.
The best part of the Petite Paris manifesto is the promise to connect you with “the real Paris.” The hosts of the apartments – all artists, designers, media personalities, and workaday Parisians – are happy to interact with visitors, giving them a true experience of the city and its people. Each host promises a special something to remember their city by, from cooked candlelit dinners, to French conversation classes, to tours of the flea markets. They’ll all recommend places to go, and how to avoid tourist traps.
will even mail you a phrase book, guidebook, and Paris Metro tickets when you make a reservation. If that doesn’t make you the model of preparedness then nothing will.