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Live like a local in a bespoke residence with onefinestay. Featuring a wealth of elegant accommodation across five fine cities; Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris and Rome, guests ditch the hotel in favour of an authentic inner city address.
Our top three ‘Onefinestay’ experiences
1. A couple’s weekend in Paris
Spend a weekend in Montmartre - Paris’ most colourful neighbourhood. Noted for its infamous red windmill, The Moulin Rouge, it was once the providence of the French working class; struggling artists and penniless performers, gypsies, vagabonds and ladies of the night. The area today, (albeit a sleepier version of its former, scandalous self) still enjoys a delightful undercurrent of brash.
Staying in Montmartre, on the tail-end of winter and with only a suggestion of spring in the air, days are designed for idle strolls and unapologetic gluttony. Start with croissants purchased from the patisserie downstairs, strong coffee and time out to absorb the ambience. A far cry from city hotels, staying in an authentic Parisian apartment lends itself to parquet floors and wooden shutters, crooked bookshelves and wonky beams that account for the rich smell of age-worn mahogany.
Once outdoors, lose yourself in the steep and cobbled streets of a quartier built on a hill. Navigate the numerous staircases with their cast iron streetlamps and skeleton trees whistling in the breeze. Stop for sticky brioche en route to the Basilica de Sacre-Coeur and soak up the optimism of a city on the brink of spring. A white, winter sky casts a glow over Paris that at times can be more enchanting than sunshine; the crisp wind and the threat of rain always electric. Before the downpour, retreat to your apartment for an afternoon of mild contemplation, sink into armchairs and blankets while listening to the cafetiere rattling contently on the stove.
Make it happen: Rue Blanche, Montmartre - South Pigalle, Paris.
What we love: The extensive book collection, beamed ceilings and simple, linear décor. An authentic Parisian lifestyle is at the bottom of your stairwell.
2. Take the family to London
London is colour. Forget the grey skies and industrial brick walls still stained with smog, London is arguably the most colourful city in Europe. From big red buses to lively London characters, hail an infamous black cab and if your mouth’s not ajar by Euston, we guarantee your children’s will be. Replace the homogenous hotel room with a beautiful Victorian house, bottom floor flats that spill into rowdy high streets, or slick townhouses creaking under the hammering of London chatter.
Base your family in Camden and your experience of the UK’s capital will be bona fide London. Loud and alternative, creative and kooky, defined by both affluence and penny-scrimping disparity; old things, new things and those that aren’t quite sure. Chockablock with artisans, and the preferred hangout of the late Amy Winehouse, if there’s one place where the city slickers loosen their crisp silk ties, it’s in crazy, quirky Camden.
Boasting a ceaseless energy, Camden is also home to London’s best eclectic shopping. The high street is lined with embellished shop fronts, from life-size bohemian elephants to six-foot Vans shoes. The congested markets are a mad hatter's tea party of stalls and street vendors, all framing Regent’s Canal. A mash-up of kitsch gifts, tattoos and neon tights (and lights), you’ll find plush pubs serving brown stout and niche cafés selling nothing but breakfast cereal. You’re a far cry from the city described in guide books, but you’ll pick away at the real essence of London.
Make it happen: Gloucester Crescent II,Camden, London.
What we love: The extra large kitchen, a shabby-chic garden and enormous windows overlooking the quintessential London neighbourhood.
3. Alone in Rome
Rome wasn’t built in a day. Nor was it built by those adverse to breath-taking aesthetics. From the Romans to Michelangelo, and every master that has since left his mark, Rome is a city shaped by creative intelligence. The supermodel of the world’s cities - old but never aging - Rome’s beauty trickles from its grandest architecture to its smallest shot of coffee; with style that stands apart and ingenuity that astounds.
Start with the coffee. Sant’Eustachio caffè which stands conveniently behind the Pantheon and serves a city-famed espresso that’s slightly foamy, exquisitely creamy and just a little bit pretentious, but fabulously so. Stand at the bar, crowded and thick with the incense of coffee, while throwing back a sharp, slick gargle of caffeine. The staff are severe, but a fiery Italian persona only adds to the atmosphere.
The Pantheon will introduce you to the sheer brilliance of Roman engineering. Almost two thousand years old, this magnificent dome (and the largest unsupported one in the world) has withstood two world wars, centuries of erosion and a deluge of tourists. The 8.8 metre-wide opening in the ceiling, known as an oculus, provides the only source of light in the dome, but it sheds a glorious beam of luminosity across the exquisite interior.
At the day’s end, skip home via a trattoria for your first sip of Roman wine. In Italy you can order a carafe, starting at 250ml or 500ml, it’s a convenient measure for the solo wine consumer. But order the entire bottle and pretend you didn't know.
Make it happen: Piazza Margana, Campo de’ Fiori, Rome.
What we love: The grand décor and elaborate furnishings, romantic French doors and a quaint balcony spilling off the main bedroom.
We can help you live like a local. Visit us instore, call us on 0800 713 715 or check out www.hot.co.nz to discuss your ideal home away from home.
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