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Better Alternative To Airbnb: Citadines Apartment In Paris

If you’re going to stay in Paris for more than a week, getting an apartment can be an enjoyable and cost-effective way to spend your time—-but you need to be careful who you book with.  There have been numerous reports of people booking through Airbnb and then having the owner cancel just before they arrive. As I wanted my last trip to France to be stress-free, I rented somewhere else, and here’s why I recommend a better alternative to Airbnb: this Paris Citadines apartment located in the Bastille Marais area. I will be booking this property for my next trip.

**This post contains affiliate links.  This means if you make a booking, I do earn a commission on each sale at no cost to you. It helps support the running of this website and I do appreciate your help. For this apartment, I paid for the rental using my own money.**

Citadines is one of the Ascott Limited brands which is an international lodging company. The chain has hotels and fully-serviced apartments which can be rented for a few days or weeks; hence the term apartment hotel or “aparthotel”. My entire experience staying there was VERY positive. 

Why Do I Feel Citadines Is A Better Alternative To Airbnb In Paris?

Citadines Bastille Marais studio apartment

I booked through the Booking platform. One of the major reasons was that it’s a very trustworthy site that has over 28 million listings and has been in business for years. I have never had a reservation canceled on me (as compared to Airbnb where my bookings a few years ago were canceled numerous times). 

I have been very pleased with the security when booking and the communication with the property. In addition, there were a number of clear advantages to renting with Citadines such as:

  • no need to clean the apartment before I left, which is in contrast to most accommodation rentals when you clean or pay a fee to have the place cleaned
  • no damage deposit was required
  • no deposit was required at the time of booking. I paid at Citadines when I arrived
  • no need to supply your own toilet paper. It is refilled when needed
  • I could cancel for free up to 24 hours before arrival
  • I got answers to questions almost immediately from the property

Booking The Citadines Bastille Marais Apartment Hotel In Paris

In Paris, there are 13 Citadines properties throughout the city. I booked my week’s stay at the Citadines Bastille Marais location based on so many positive reviews. While I think the apartments are very similar no matter the location, I feel like the Bastille Marais location was the best.

The price for 7 nights (the first week of May) was: 1078 €. This works out to 154€ per night (about $162 US or $210 Canadian). Not bad when the average hotel rate in Paris can be much higher. Obviously, the price varies depending on the time of year; however, when I looked at the week before Christmas, the price was actually the same as in May! It just depends on what kind of apartment you’re looking for and when you book.

Citadines Bastille Marais studio apartment

Click here for more information:

Citadines Bastille Marais Apart’Hotel

Hotel Choiseul Opera-Paris

Hotel Alternative In Paris: Hotel Choiseul Opera

Want to book a place for less than a week? It’s certainly possible at Citadines, or, consider this excellent hotel that I also stayed at. I loved the price, the modern and clean room, and definitely the location. Click here for more information: Hotel Choiseul Opera

There are so many things I loved about staying at the Bastille Marais location. I’ll break it down into categories:

1. I Loved The Location Of The Citadines Apart’Hotel

Boulevard Richard Lenoir-view from apartment

(a) Conveniently Located Near Many Metro Stations

The apartment hotel is located at 37 Boulevard Richard Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement. I felt very safe day and night and there are numerous metro stations nearby:

  • Richard Lenoir metro station (line 5) to the north- 2-minute walk
  • Bréguet-Sabin station (line 5) to the south-2 minute walk
  • Chemin-Vert metro station (line 8) to the southwest-3 minute walk
  • Bastille metro station (lines 1, 5, and 8) to the south-6 minute walk

(b) Weekly Bastille Market

The Sunday and Thursday morning open-air market is just across the street and down a block. The Bastille Marché is one of the best and largest in Paris. It runs along Boulevard Richard Lenoir from just north of Place de la Bastille to rue du Chemin Vert.

(c) What’s In The Area

You can’t beat the area. Just north is Canal Saint-Martin and just south is the very busy Bastille area with lots of restaurants and shops. Place des Vosges and Musée National Picasso are both 10 minutes away and Notre Dame is a 1/2-hour walk away. There are a number of supermarkets nearby as well as an excellent boulangerie that I visited often, Maison Lendemaine Beaumarchais, around the corner on 29 Beaumarchais.

2. The Citadines Studio Apartment Was Perfect

As you can see from the photos, this is not a fancy, heavily decorated apartment. You won’t be getting fashionable curtains and rugs. Nor will you get paintings on the wall or fancy lamps. And the kitchen will not be stocked with condiments or many cleaning supplies. But you will get an adequately equipped kitchen to make meals, an up-to-date bathroom, a comfortable bed, and an exceptionally clean apartment that is spacious. 

(a) What I Loved

Of all the following items that I liked about this apartment, what really stood out were these points:

  • very clean, bright, spacious, modern apartment with double doors that opened to a Juliet balcony with a nice view of boulevard Richard Lenoir
  • free tea/coffee in the breakfast room
  • air conditioning
  • heated towel rack
  • excellent soundproofing
  • the view of boulevard Richard Lenoir—with lots of trees

(b) Other Positive Points About The ApartHotel

  • I had a double bed (there was the option to have 2 single beds) that had a firm mattress (no dips or bumps) and had nice, crisp sheets, and was very comfortable
  • kitchenette with a sufficient number of mugs, bowls, plates, utensils and cookware, with a kettle, tea towels, and kitchen garbage bags for 2 people.
  • toaster
  • stovetop and microwave
  • dishwasher and dishwasher tablets
  • dish detergent provided
  • cleaning at least once during the week-even my dishes were put in the dishwasher
  • heated towel rack
  • toiletries
  • towels
  • bathroom: bathtub with shower
  • hair dryer
  • toilet paper added when needed (you don’t have to buy your own when you run out, unlike other apartment rentals)
  • lots of electrical outlets
  • desk with a light
  • good lighting throughout the apartment including beside the bed
  • kitchen table and chairs
  • flat-screen TV
  • full-length mirror
  • free WiFi
  • wardrobe and closet
  • shelves for clothes
  • safety deposit box
  • elevator
  • reception is open 24h/7
  • telephone
  • no smoking

Although the apartment description says there is an alarm clock, iron, and ironing board, I really can’t remember if there were these items because I didn’t need them.

Not Perfect, But Not Dealbreakers

The following were not dealbreakers to renting the Citadines apartment, but you should be aware. 

First, in the kitchenette, there weren’t any condiments like salt, pepper, or olive oil or an oven, although there was a microwave. Nor were there paper towels. However, there were dishwasher tablets and dish soap and to my surprise, there was cleaning (almost) daily. My garbage was removed and my dishes were put in the dishwasher. The bathroom and apartment were cleaned, my bed was made, towels were replaced, and toilet paper was added.

There wasn’t any sofa in my studio, which would have been nice to have to relax, but there was a kitchen table with 2 chairs and a desk with a chair.

While lacking a washing machine, the property does have a laundry room and the cost (which includes detergent) is reasonable (about 5 € per load).

Optional Extras At Citadines

While I had a double bed, you can request two single beds. There are also other types of apartments such as a deluxe studio with a balcony; and a 1 bedroom apartment with 2 beds or a double bed and a sofa bed;

  • a breakfast buffet is available for 13 €
  • you can park your car for a fee

I would stay at Citadines Bastille Marais again because I loved the area and what it had to offer. Citadines had everything that was important to me: it was reasonably priced, clean, comfortable, spacious, near boulangeries and grocery stores, Metro stations, and important sites and it was in a safe area. It was perfect for my needs and didn’t break my budget. 

Citadines Bastille Marais studio apartment

Citadines Bastille Marais: click here for more information

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A Better Alternative To Airbnb: Citadines Apartment Hotel In Paris

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  • Reply
    June 26, 2022 at 10:23 am

    Thanks Jan this is excellent information! We have successfully rented Paris apartments several times through VRBO / Home Away in the past but the most recent time (2019), while wonderful in all respects, had me wondering if the neighbours were aware it was a rental, and wondering if it was legit. We were quite nervous as we’d heard if people being evicted mid-stay from non-legal rentals. Very glad to hear of this alternative.
    Looking forward to more posts about your trip!

    • Reply
      June 26, 2022 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks so much for your comment. I’ve used VRBO as well in Paris and it was very good but with such demand for apartments now in Paris, it worries me too!
      Hadn’t heard any stories of people being evicted! Yikes!

  • Reply
    Janet S
    July 9, 2022 at 7:25 pm

    Excellent info and advice. Thank you!

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