Posts Tagged ‘Vacation rentals Paris’

What is La Rentrée?

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Many of you may know that the people of France receive four to six weeks of paid vacation each year.  It is commonplace for Parisians to vacate the city for the entire month of August.  They want to escape the heat and the tourists and travel somewhere exotic.  As a traveler to Paris during this time, you will find many shops and cafes closed for the month of “vacances”.

September marks the beginning of La Rentrée.  Everyone comes back from their fabulous vacations and enters back into their usual routines.  It is kind of like the feeling of the first day of school.  You are wearing your new school clothes, brand new sneakers and carrying a new backpack and excited to meet your new teacher.  In Paris, the shops are spruced up, inventory is replenished and most people are refreshed and ready for the September season of travelers.  The weather is usually perfect; still warm with cool evenings.  The sun is still setting a little late to give you just enough time to get back to your apartment before dark to prepare for a night out.  It is a wonderful time in Paris!

Why We LOVE Travel Insurance

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Do you remember in the Spring of 2010 when a volcano in Iceland created so much ash that air travel was severely interrupted?  When it occurred, it sounded preposterous, but when flights of travelers were being cancelled left and right, it became a harsh reality.  A cancelled plane trip is pretty easy to re-book.  Lodging is another story.

We have talked about how far in advance you should book your travel to Paris.  So much more than weather can happen in those months leading up to your trip.  A broken leg while skiing in late winter can screw up a biking trip planned for spring.  Your child could come down with appendicitis the night before your romantic Italian rendezvous.  There could be a death in the family, a lost job or a financial emergency that could derail the best laid plans.  You need to cancel your trip.

Let’s look at the other side of the coin..the company providing your lodging.  They have taken your reservation and blocked out your room or apartment.  If it is a wonderful company with fabulous properties (wink wink), they have most likely booked another guest right after you check out.  When a traveler with a broken leg cancels their trip at the last minute, the lodging company most often does not have a last minute guest to take that unused reservation.

Here is the tough part.  Travel companies are humans.  We have had our vacations cancelled due to an awful situation.  We have had to make the desperate plea for a refund.  We feel your pain.  We want to help. We want to give you all of your money back but we are also a company.  We have explained in detail the “small print”.  What is the best solution?  Travel Insurance!  

The travel insurance that we offer is super affordable.  It covers you and it covers us.   And, that is it.  No worrying about the “what ifs”  or having to make a desperate plea..you are covered.

Have a wonderful trip!

Rollerblading in Paris!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

We stumbled across this video on YouTube and remembered that it was one of the most fun things to watch while we were in Paris.  Pari Roller is the association in Paris that organizes the group skates.  Every Friday night (unless it is raining) a large group gathers at a predetermined location and they start skating.  There are a few things that you see in this video that stand out…

1.  They have the support of the Paris police!  They police block off the course so that they skaters are somewhat safe.  Amazing!

2.  This video was shot at 10:05 pm and it is still light (it was shot in June).  They skate until 1:00 am.

3.  There are many families skating.

4.  Some people are in costumes!

Pari Roller provides some pretty detailed guidelines on their website.   If you decide to join in on the fun, make sure to follow them.  It is definitely a great way to people watch and take in some of the local Paris flavor!   If you Rollerblade on your next trip to Paris, send us a picture or video so that we can share it with the CobbleStay Community.  Have fun and be safe!

Timing Your Trip to Paris

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

“How far in advance should I book my trip to Paris?”  This is one of the most asked questions we receive and it is a great one!  The answer varies depending upon your situation.  The more “musts” you have, the farther in advance you should book.  These “musts” include staying in a particular area of Paris, during a particular show at a museum, during Fashion Week, on Bastille Day, when the flowers start to bloom, during the department store sales……  If you want to be in Paris on a specific date like your birthday or your anniversary you should plan your visit as soon as you get your dates set in stone.  Of course, if you are more flexible with your “musts”, last minute deals can be found but you may have to compromise on a few details.  For the average traveler coming to Paris, these are our suggestions for timing everything just right.

1.  You should start shopping airfares about 90 days before you plan to travel.  Depending on the season, you can get a gauge for what the fare will be and we suggest consulting with a travel agent for their take on  whether the fares will go on sale anytime soon.  If you are using airline “points” start inquiring about those flights the moment you decide on a date.   Reward travel is very limited, especially to Europe, and the flights sell out fast.  We have often booked airfare with points almost a year ahead of time just to make sure we got what we wanted!

Our Marais Magic Property

2.  Booking your airfare and finding an apartment can be done at the same time.  Especially if you are falling in love with a particular property, you should check that it is available around the dates that you are shopping for your airfare.  Our easy to use calendar that is on the same page of each property makes that very simple.  We find that people who start booking about 90 days prior to their arrival have the best selection to choose from.   For those last minute travelers, the online calendar makes it very easy to see what is still available.

3.  Check your passports!!  You should give yourself a 90 day cushion to make sure that passport is in your hands and up to date!  Really look at the date and make sure that is doesn’t expire during your trip.   It has happened but we won’t name names!

4.  As your trip gets closer, you will want to make any “must see” reservations or event ticket purchases.  Our experience is that most restaurants in Paris won’t book a table more than 30 days in advance.  There can be exceptions but this is the general rule.   It is also a great time to secure some Euros.  At the time we are writing this, the Euro is dropping!!!  This means it is the perfect time to go to Paris!

5.  Your trip is about a week away!  It is time to start pulling things to pack, buy a couple of things you might need and don’t forget to make arrangements for your pets!  We have written about packing for Paris before and we love to get creative packing tips from Pinterest.

We hope you have a fabulous trip to Paris!  Bon Voyage!

What the Ladies are Wearing in Paris This Summer

Saturday, June 9th, 2012

Summer in Paris!!!  Yes, it can be very crowded but at least you have your Paris apartment rental to escape from it all.  From a fashion point of view, summer is the time when the Parisian girls, who normally stick with black and white, show off their colors.  Visitors to the fashion mecca should follow suit.  Here are CobbleStay’s top picks for what to pack this summer when traveling to Paris.

The temps in July peak at about 70 degrees, so wearing a long sleeved top can be a smart idea.  We also love this long skirt for the days that you might visit a church.  Keeping your limbs covered is a sign of respect.  The model’s platform sandals peeking out from the skirt are great for walking the cobblestone streets.

This outfit is perfect for visiting the museums and lunch at a cafe.   She can easily take off the cardigan when it is warming up outside and the bag…the perfect size for your cell, your camera, a journal and a bag of snacks.

We love this look because it is classic Paris style with a kick!  The Breton stripes thrown around her shoulders are perfect.  Her red pants are VERY à la mode and her shoes will keep her moving in comfort all day.

We can’t leave out the men!  We know it takes a special guy to get all fancy like these Paris locals.  But we can’t help but love them for their hats, touches of red and their argyle socks.

So…what are you packing this summer?

Do you know who CobbleStay is? I mean, do you REALLY know who we are?

Friday, May 25th, 2012


CobbleStay was founded in 2008 by Drew Graham.  Born and raised in Southern California to a travel agent family, Drew spent over a decade in Europe working for Internet media companies including holding the position of Director of Marketing for Yahoo! Europe in Paris.  Like most entrepreneurs, Drew started CobbleStay to solve a problem.  As a businessman, traveler, vacation rental owner and adventurer in Paris, it was often a hassle to find suitable accommodations for friends and associates visiting the city.  There were booking nightmares, less than desirable customer service, wasted hours searching, coupled with a sense of being an outsider in such a beautiful place.  As a private rental owner, Drew struggled to find a North American focused travel agency to rent his private property in Paris.  Most Paris vacation rental agencies are based in Paris and US travelers and property owners find this difficult to work with due to language barriers, time differences and currency exchange rates.

CobbleStay’s mission is simple.  We provide a sophisticated alternative to hotels in Paris for travelers seeking adventure, romance and business.  We transform international travelers into “Paris Insiders”.  We have simplified the process of booking out private rental properties to international guests.

So why are we taking up precious screen space to share this with you?  As a company, we are in our next big phase of growth and we have the opportunity to win a grant from Chase and LivingSocial to help us realize some pretty amazing goals.  What do these goals look like?  Everything from hiring more scouts in Paris to help uncover unique apartments for you to the ability to create stunning yet informative video tours of each property.  And now, we need your help.  We are promising that this takes less than 3 minutes to do.  Not only will you hopefully be assisting us in winning the grant, your vote will increase the number of grants that Chase and LivingSocial award to small businesses all over the United States.  Here are the steps:

1.  Click this link: https://www.missionsmallbusiness.com/

2.  Click “Log In and Support” in the bottom right corner

3.  Under “Vote Local”, enter “CobbleStay” and click “Search”

4.  Click “Vote”

Our dream is to continue to grow CobbleStay by offering exciting properties in Paris and superb customer service.  Merci for taking the time to help us and other small businesses realize their dreams.

A Bientot!

Drew and The CobbleStay Team

Paris After Dark

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

 Guest Post by Daniella Carrese      

 La Ville-Lumière. The City of Light, Paris got its nickname from all the lights that illuminate the night sky. During the evening in Paris, the streets light up with the lamp posts and lights from around. All the lights make the city seem as if it is always awake.  Along the Seine, there are beautiful lights that seem as though they have been there forever. Due to the lights, you can take a nice stroll along the river at night. Looking down from the Eiffel Tower in the evening is magical.  The streets are light up beautifully.  Along the Champs Elyseès the trees are strung with lights that make the night seem as if it day.  Although you cannot see the stars in Paris, due to all the light pollution, the sky is normally covered with a navy blue blanket. The city dies down a bit, but there are still a number of things to do during the evening.

You can take a tour of the Seine and explore all of its canals at night. You can visit the Moulin Rouge. The Moulin Rouge is a cabaret and music hall, built in 1889 by Joseph Oller this building has seen many stars including Edith Piaf and Frank Sinatra. Today it is still used, there is a nighttime cabaret show. You can see shows at this historic concert hall at most times of the day. Le Procope is Paris’ oldest cafe that was established in 1686. Voltaire, Victor Hugo, Hemingway and Picasso were some of the few who regularly ate at this establishment. Closing at 11:30, this cafe is a great place to hangout for the night. Walking around the streets near your Paris vacation rental is a great way to get a feel of the city and what it is actually like all the time.

To read more from Daniella, click “here

For even more tips  and tricks to make Paris travel easier, ask for our “Insider’s Guide to Paris”! 

 

3 Things That Make Travel Easier

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Whether you are staying in a Paris vacation rental, on the beach in Mexico or at the hotel in the next state, there are just some things that make travel easier!  We have a whole board on Pinterest dedicated to this topic and we thought we would share some of our favorites.

This packing list “cheat sheet” has saved us many times!  It covers all of the essentials and and eliminates so much of the “Did I pack that?” anxiety.  You can buy them at The Container Store.

We admit it…we are gadget geeks and slightly obsessive about being tidy.  Opening up our carry on and finding all of our cords, adapters and chargers perfectly organized on this Grid It is like Christmas morning.  No more digging through the bottom of the bag!

We could have easily made our third suggestion really glamorous, like the Louis Vuitton complete travel guide collection, but we are going for practical.  Eliminating the big question, “Is my bag too heavy?”, can eliminate a lot of pre-trip hysteria the night before.  This little gadget (Hello? We love gadgets!) gives you the answer as soon as you zip up the bag.  The eScale is only $20!  Worth it!

Make sure you visit our “Making Travel Easier” board to see all of our suggestions.  What do you use to make travel easier?

Jet Lag, Zombies and Your First Day In Your Paris Apartment Rental

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

Hanging with the zombies in Pere Lachaise Cemetery

Landing in Paris after an extremely long flight can leave you feeling like you have been hit by a truck.  I live in California and try to take non-stop flights whenever possible.  While I get there faster, I always seem to land between 6am and 8am Paris time.  After several trips, I have finally mastered the top 10 things I do when I check into my Paris apartment rental to avoid jet lag and make it through the first day feeling somewhat human.

1.  When renting an apartment in Paris, you can receive your keys as soon as you get into the city.  I ALWAYS take a hot shower the moment I step into the property.

2.  Make yourself an espresso drink and don’t consume anymore caffeine the rest of the day no matter how sleepy you may feel.  You are going to be dragging until about 4pm and then you will suddenly be awake.  Avoid stimulants (caffeine and wine) the first day so that you can get to sleep at a decent hour and start getting on Paris time.  Drink loads of water!

3.  I spend the next hour unpacking and getting my computer all set up (free WiFi!).  It is barely 10am and the city still is waking up.

4.  Set out for a trip to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery.   The fresh air and the walking will keep you awake.  It isn’t too social so you don’t have to be “on”.  You already feel like a zombie so why not spend the afternoon with some?

5.  Eat a light lunch at lunch time and drink more water.    Even if you don’t feel hungry, this helps adjust to Paris time.

6.  Spend the afternoon roaming around the neighborhood of your apartment.  Find the market and go grocery shopping.  Pick up some fresh flowers for the bedroom.

7.  Resist the urge to take a nap!  Not on your first day, you will regret it later.

8.  You should be feeling awake by now and ready for dinner.  Remember, more than one glass of wine will keep you up later.  I know, I know…”It is Paris!”  You can drink tomorrow.  Take a nice stroll after you eat; I love the Place Dauphine.

9.  Despite your sudden burst of energy, head back to your apartment and go to bed at a reasonable hour (11pm).

10.  Set your alarm!  Better yet, set two!  And set them to go off before 10am (I prefer 7:30am).  You will be in your deepest sleep around 7am Paris time.  I can’t tell you how many times we slept half the day away on our second day.  Once we even slept through the alarm.

Follow these tips and you will be well on your way to being adjusted to Paris time with minimal jet lag.  Bon Voyage!

Bonne Saint Valentin

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Photo Credit: Cosas Minimas

Paris IS for Lovers!

We have created our Top 10 Romantic Things To Do in Paris Guide and would love to send it to you with a little something special included.    Send us an email (community@cobblestay.com) with Romance in the subject line and we will make sure you receive it.

Bonne Saint Valentin from us to you!