Frequently Asked Questions


Basic Rental Questions

Arrival and Departure Questions

Vacation Rental Planning


Basic Rental Answers

  • How do French bed sizes compare to American bed sizes?

USA Standard Bed Sizes:

Single —————— 39 x 75 inches.

Double —————– 54 x 75 inches.

Queen —————— 60 x 80 inches.

King ——————– 76 x 80 inches.

French Standard Bed Sizes:

Single (sm) — (090 x 190 cm) 35 x 75 inches.

Single (lg) — (100 x 190 cm) 39 x 75 inches.

Double (sm)– (120 x 190 cm) 47 x 75 inches.

Double (lg) — (140 x 190 cm) 55 x 75 inches.

Queen ——– (160 x 200 cm) 63 x 79 inches.

King ———- (180 x 200 cm) 79 x 79 inches.

If you are very tall make sure you do not choose a bed that has a footboard!

  • How do we call the local key holder when we arrive at the airport?

To make a telephone call from the airport you can buy a pre-paid phone card, “Carte Prepayee”, at the airport at a “tabac” (where they sell cigarettes). This phone card will also be useful for outgoing calls from anywhere the phone line is restricted. The easiest way, however, is simply to ask your taxi driver to make the call on his cell phone for you (they all have a cell phone). Then you can give him a tip for the extra service.

  • How many sets of keys can we get?

The standard policy is that we provide one set of keys for each bedroom of the apartment, though three sets of keys are usually the maximum.

  • Is a final cleaning deposit required?

There is no separate cleaning deposit. All apartments include final cleaning but it is expected that you reside as you would when a guest in someone’s home (which you are). It’s appreciated when the apartment is left tidy, the trash is emptied, and the dishes are clean (or at least left in the dishwasher when there is one). On rare exceptions a demand for additional cleaning costs can be deducted from the Security Deposit if the apartment is left in a real mess and disarray.

  • What about linens, sheets, towels, …

In every apartment the initial linens, sheets, bathmats, kitchen towels and bath towels are provided, in addition to soap in the kitchen and bathroom, although some apartments only provide enough for the exact number of guests.

  • What about noise?

The main point about noise is the size of the street. A large main street with a lot of traffic has more noise than a smaller local street that is only one or two blocks long. The second important determinant is if the apartment is located with the bedroom windows facing the street or facing an interior courtyard (quieter). The third consideration is the floor level. The higher up the floor level then less noise. The fourth point is about double glazed windows (quieter). Finally, your personal perspective determines a lot. We do not consider church bells or the sound of children playing in a schoolyard to be obtrusive noise. We also cannot assure you will not hear the occasional party noise, people talking or moving around, a siren, or the sound of workers who are allowed to start making noise at 7 AM on weekdays. French law requires that no loud residential noise is permitted after 10 PM and before 7 AM.

  • What about Telephone charges?

Every apartment is different. There are no “free” local phone calls in France. Each apartment can have a different system in place for telephone charges. Many apartments have free unrestricted local calls and require a calling card for long distance calls. 1. If the phone is locked you will need a calling card to call out. 2. If the phone is metered it’s usually unrestricted but you have to pay the charges. 3. If the phone is “local line” then calls to Paris land line numbers with a 01 prefix are free and you will need a calling card for calls outside Paris and for calls with an “06” prefix (French cell phone numbers). 4. Increasingly some apartments have Cable broadband Internet service and inexpensive Internet based phone systems. In some of these (the apartment phone number has prefix code of 09) there is free phone usage, sometimes including overseas call to some countries.

  • What kitchen equipment should I expect?

All apartments are equipped for cooking and food preparation. They are equipped with the basics like refrigerator, cook-top, a conventional oven (occasionally only a microwave oven and sometimes a combination microwave and convection oven). Kitchen utensils, dishes, silverware, glassware, and cooking pots & pans are always for the maximum capacity and often for more. Many apartments will have a “starter kit” consisting of a small amount of the basic kitchen supplies – salt, pepper, sugar, oil, coffee, tea, and juice, milk, etc. You can also expect expect to find a basic supply of bathroom and kitchen paper goods and cleaning supplies and should expect to purchase more depending upon your usage.

Arrival and Departure Answers

  • When will I receive the arrival coordination instructions?

Paris by Heart will provide you with detailed arrival instructions for the reservation about two to three weeks before arrival but can do it earlier if needed. If you intend to travel and are not going to be available for the 30 days prior to arrival please let us know in advance.

  • What about late departures?

The standard departure time is 10 AM on your last day and must be strictly honored. You cannot assume access after 10 AM on your last day and cannot assume that you can leave luggage in the apartment and return later to pick it up. If you need a late departure this is sometimes possible if there is no incoming guest on the same day but you will not know this until the last minute and absolutely must get approval from the local key-holder in advance. If you have a very late departure from Paris and need the apartment for the final day it is important to reserve it and turn your late departure into an early departure.

  • What is needed to make reservations in Paris?

If you want to make restaurant reservations in advance you will need the apartment telephone number. If you want to schedule an airport pickup in advance you will also need the apartment address. Once your reservation is complete please contact us if you need this information before we send the arrival details.

Vacation Rental Planning

  • Can I have guests stay overnight?

All apartments are quoted for a specific number of guests who need to be named on the Paris by Heart Booking Form. Many apartments charge extra depending upon the exact number of resident guests. And many apartment only provide bedding for the exact guest count. It’s really best to always check with us first.

  • Should I bring my own hair Dryer?

All apartments are furnished with a hair dryer. If you bring your own hair dryer you will need a power converter (European 220 volts) with a European plug.

  • Will there be an iron and ironing board in the apartment?

Yes, you can expect to find a clothes iron and ironing board in the apartment. Do not bring your own clothes iron unless it is certified for 220 volts and has a European plug.

  • What about bringing my own DVD movies for the kids?

Most apartments, if they have a DVD reader for the TV, will not have a Multi-Zone function that allows playing non European (Zone 2) DVDs. Unless you bought your DVDs in Europe do not expect to play them on a European DVD player.

  • What about Christmas and New Years planning?

All Christmas and New Years rentals are a minimum of one week and can occasionally be two weeks depending upon the individual apartment. In addition, many apartments charge an additional premium for the holiday periods. The most important thing is to plan and reserve early! Early in June and July are the best times to reserve apartments for the end of year holidays. By August and September there begins to be very limited availability for the end of the year period.

  • Do I need a power converter for my computer?

You will not need a power converter as your laptop should automatically sense the 220v line and adjust automatically. However, you will need a plug adapter if your local country plugs don’t match the European configuration.

  • What are the exact arrival time limitations?

The quote we send you is for a particular apartment and takes precedence over the general Terms & Conditions in the rental agreement. You will be expected to go directly from the airport to the apartment where you will be met. The “Official” time of access is between 4PM and 6PM on the day of arrival. The “actual” arrival/access time is between 9AM and 6PM, about 2 hours after you land at CDG airport or 45 minutes after your train arrives. If there are no departing guests on the day of your arrival then the access is usually immediate.

  • What if I arrive on the same day as another departure?

The standard departure time is 10 AM so you will be able to see the apartment, get the keys, and drop your luggage starting at 10:30 AM. However, you will need to go out for awhile so that housekeeping can finish the cleaning and properly prepare the apartment for your stay.

  • What about late arrivals after 6 PM?

This will vary with the individual apartment. Many apartments will accommodate a late arrival with an additional late arrival fee paid when you meet the welcome person. If you expect to arrive after 6 PM you must check with us first.

  • What about Sunday arrivals?

Most, but not all, apartments will welcome a Sunday arrival. When planning for maximum availability it’s best not to arrive on a Sunday. Please always check with us first.

  • What if I need immediate access upon arrival?

If you are arriving in Paris early (before 10:30 AM) and need immediate access then the best course is to reserve the preceding night to assure that there is no conflict with a prior reservation. Please be aware that some apartments cannot support an early arrival or charge extra fees to schedule an early arrival. Please ask us for specifics about your individual apartment.

  • What if we have special needs?

It is important to discuss this early with us as we can help planning to accommodate many of your requirements. If you have had hip replacement surgery you may have difficulty stepping into the standard French bathtub with a high side. If this is your case you will need a walk-in shower. If you have limited mobility it is important know how many stairs you can manage and select an apartment with few stairs. Remember that very few Paris apartments have disability access and even these can have a few stairs. Guests who use a wheelchair must be able to take at least a few stairs and must not assume that an elevator will accommodate a wheelchair. Please ask us for help and we will do our best to guide you to the safest and most comfortable apartment rental available.

  • What is your cancellation policy?

Guest cancellations must be made in writing and will be calculated from the date of receipt by Paris by Heart. Cancellation charges for rentals will be as follows: 50% of total price if cancellation happens more than 60 days prior to the beginning of the rental period, or full rental amount if cancellation happens less than 60 days prior to beginning of rental period. Cancelled reservation payments not refunded will be returned if the specific apartment is re-rented later for your cancelled dates to another guest. Travel Insurance is essential and recommended for all reservations.

  • What about Travel Insurance?

Paris by Heart does not sell travel insurance. However, we strongly recommend that our guests purchase travel insurance for their planned trip to Paris. Travel insurance can cover reimbursement for airfares, apartment reservations, and many other incurred expenses. The claim basis can be medical or other family related difficulties that prevent you from traveling after you have made plans. If you are unable to use your apartment reservation and have purchased travel insurance we will help you with your claims process with supporting documentation.