I chose VacationInParis.com because they advertise that they send the keys in advance. I paid in full two months in advance but they did not send the keys. Their attitude was, "No keys. Too bad. Fill in this online form," which notified the local apartment manager of our arrival time. Only when the form was filled in did VacationInParis.com Email the information to actually find the apartment.
After a long flight, we arrived in Paris on time. I was not able to buy a SIM card for my phone at the airport (I had to go into the city) but the lady at the airport Tourist Information (TI) office placed the call for me, handing me the phone after she dialed.
Even though the directions from VacationInParis.com explicitly said not to proceed to the apartment without speaking to the local manager, no one answered the phone. I got a message in fast French, no English, no reference to VacationInParis.com. I left a message and, unwilling to wait at the airport without a phone, proceeded to the apartment.
The Emailed instructions included a code to be punched in to open the locked outer door. In the vestibule, we rang the apartment and the next locked door was buzzed open. The manager was waiting in the apartment which was as described -- two rooms. This is one wall of the living room/dining room/kitchen and courtyard view from this room is above.
The lid lifts from the stove to reveal gas burners that were tricky to operate. Most apartments offer only a hot plate and now I know that would have been adequate. There was so much wonderful take-out food available, we just warmed it up. We never cooked a meal from scratch (there weren't any chef knives anyway). You can see the washer/dryer combo that requires a two-hour-plus cycle to deliver damp clothes. Notes from previous guests recommended a nearby laundromat as a superior choice. There was a tiny dishwasher that also required a two-hour cycle, so we just washed by hand. The luxury amenities turned out to be unneeded on a six day stay.
The bed was comfortable, the apartment was quiet except for one noisy midnight birthday party at the restaurant below, and the almost subliminal rumble of the nearby trains. The apartment is steps from La Tour Maubourg Metro stop which is between Invalides and Ecole Militaire (Eiffel Tower). We were a few blocks from Rue Cler which was just right for tourists like us.
The wireless Internet was powerful and the TV was large. No English-language stations that we could find, but one rainy night we watched a hilarious Jackie Chan movie dubbed into French (no English subtitles, but who needs them?!) and set in Paris with a chase sequence up the Eiffel Tower (walking distance from where we were). We howled with laughter as Jackie hid from the bad guys by jumping into a huge flag and cocooning.
I couldn't help but wonder if the owner of the apartment was in the witness protection program. The key to the intercom-buzzer inside security door had tiny magnets embedded into the key shaft instead of notches. The lock on the apartment was mind-boggling, even to someone who has lived in New York City and Los Angeles.
The apartment key was shaped like a pitchfork with stubby tines of different shapes. The lock had FOUR cylinders from the handle lock to the door frame AND two poles that extended to the ceiling and to the floor. What was hilarious was that the heavy-duty lock was screwed in so carelessly. My carpenter husband laughed as he pointed out the visible threads on the screws -- they didn't even sink in to the antique wood door because the heavy-duty lock was slightly too big for the old-fashioned door.