The Independent Parent: Where can we find an apartment-style hotel in Paris for our family?

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Q Last year we read with interest in your newspaper about hotel-style apartments for families in Italian cities. Is there anything similar in Paris? We are planning to take our children there for a few days and feel it might be easier than staying in a traditional hotel.

Q Last year we read with interest in your newspaper about hotel-style apartments for families in Italian cities. Is there anything similar in Paris? We are planning to take our children there for a few days and feel it might be easier than staying in a traditional hotel.

S Litton, Worcester

AYou will be pleased to hear that Paris has a good selection of apart-hotels. This form of accommodation has many advantages over the more traditional hotels. Often providing twice as much space as your regular hotel room, apart-hotels also afford a greater level of privacy and independence. For the most part, they tend to cater for business travellers. They are also excellent for families, however, who welcome the flexibility of self-catering, while offering all the benefits of staying in a hotel such as maid service and meal delivery.

Apart-hotels tend to be more economical for long-term stays, but companies have also cottoned on to the demand for short-stay accommodation. In most cases, it works out cheaper than nightly hotel rates, especially when you consider how centrally located most of the properties are.

Citadines Apart'hotels (0800 376 3898, www.citadines.com) has 17 fully furnished properties dotted around Paris; the extensive Métro system means that public transport is always nearby. An apartment sleeping four costs from €141 (£88.50) per night if you don't mind being way out in La Défense. If you would prefer a more salubrious location, however, such as Boulevard Haussmann, expect to pay from €298 (£187) for an apartment sleeping four. Discounts are given for stays of more than seven nights. A weekly maid service (daily at Citadines Paris Haussmann and Paris Opera-Vendôme properties) is provided, for no extra charge.

In the trendy 11th arrondissement is Home Plazza Bastille (00 33 1 40 21 20 00, www.homeplazza.com). Its 288 apartments are housed in two newly renovated, interconnecting 18th- and 19th-century buildings running along rue Amelot and rue du Faubourg-St-Antoine. The apartments are close to the Bastille Opéra, the Place des Vosges at the heart of the Marais, and the Gare de Lyon.

The company has another building close by, the Home Plazza Saint-Antoine (same booking number), which comprises 89 apartments. Doubles cost from €101 (£63.50) per night and children's beds an additional €16 (£10) per night. Cots are charged at an astronomical €46 (£29) per night, so it would probably be worth buying one instead. A junior suite sleeping four costs from €189 (£119) but includes "full hotel service", which includes cleaning and linen changes.

For something a little more chic, head for The Claridge Apartments (00 33 1 44 13 33 00, www.claridge-paris.com). Wonderfully located on the Champs-Elysées, this 81-room apart- hotel was once something of an institution with glamorous celebrities. Book early to reserve a room either overlooking the Champs-Elysées itself or over the quieter and cheaper inner courtyard. The suites (two bedrooms, sleeping four) are a generous size and cost from €780 (£490) per night. Alternatively, a one-bedroom apartment, with a pull-out sofa bed for the children, costs from €456 (£286.50) per night. All apartments have bathrooms and kitchens.

Finally, The Apartment Service (020-8944 1444, www.apartmentservice.com) is a UK-based company that has more than 30 apartments across central Paris. Prices range from €163 (£102.50) per night for a standard one-bedroom apartment in Monmartre to €175 (£111) for a more luxurious one-bedroom apartment in La Défense.

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