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A Room with a View in Paris

For some reason, I've been waxing nostalgic about Paris this week. Perhaps it's because Fashion Week and all of the spectacle of the 2013 collections will soon take over the City of Lights in a way few events can. Or perhaps it's because January tends to be a reflective month that has as its companion this spiritual vessel into which we pour our hopes, dreams and plans for each new year (which in my case always includes a visit to Paris). Or maybe it's simply because I miss Paris.

Whatever the reason, I've got a case of Paris on the brain, and I've got it bad. So of course, this week, I'm revisiting the City of Lights with an eye toward two options for accommodations that are quite, quite enchanteur.

My belief about Paris is that after you've seen all the major sights on your first visit, the best option is to eschew hotels altogether and set up home base at a rented apartment (unless of course you're traveling for business, in which case a hotel may be more appropriate). There are tons and tons of eye-popping apartments to be had, and best of all, in the final analysis, they tend to be more economical. No, you may not have room service at your fingertips, but you will likely find a splendid café steps away from your door, along with a pâtisserie, a boulangerie and more wine and cheese than you can imagine. I'll take that over room service any old day.

Case in point—on my first visit to Paris as a teen, I stayed in a charming hotel right off the Champs-Elysées and had a wide-eyed and wonderful introduction to the city. But since that initial visit I have often rented an apartment, because, to be completely cliché, I am enthralled by the lives of Parisians and as such get swept up in the feeling of living like them. There is no better way to do that than to live in the heart of Paris life. Living in an apartment allows you to really slink into the rhythm of the city, get to know a neighborhood, meet people, find out-of-the-way places—and these are the experiences that make Paris such a remarkable city to visit.

With that in mind, there are two apartment rental resources in Paris that stand head and shoulders above the rest—Haven in Paris and Absolu Living Paris.

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