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Love what you do or don’t do it.

9 questions to Jasmine & Rafic

1. What do you do?

My wife’s a professional painter and is renowned for her creativity and choice of colours. Colours are part of our daily life, and she has also received official training in numerology readings. I’m an interior designer. I have a passion, which is cooking and have been told many times that I should consider opening a restaurant!

2. Why do you rent out your place?

Our children are grown up, and are now travelling for their studies. We love our area and our homes, which is why we thought about renting out one of them. We also enjoy meeting new people, and giving them tips about where to go in Paris. Having lived here for so many years and having had active lives, we know the fun, small, ‘non touristy’ places. In addition, we love travelling and providing our guests with what we also look for when we travel: full immersion in a culture and country, making friends wherever you go, going to places that locals go... basically embracing a new city as if we had lived there all our lives!

3. Why 9flats?

I chose you after doing some research in the international press.

4. How do you get to know your guests before they arrive?

By exchanging emails or through a phone conversation. And some time searching Google, Facebook and LinkedIn.

5. What do you offer your guests as a treat?

That’s a surprise, as we adapt to each guest. We make our own jams and fresh juices, or it could be a bottle of organic wine, or a pastry treat from La Maison du Chocolat... if they’re more decoration driven, we give them small lavender bags from Provence. We get creative every time.

6. What do you enjoy about being a host?

We love it! We come from a very mixed background, with a large family that spans Mediterranean hospitality, to Swedish structure, to American efficiency. So we’re used to catering for others and love doing so. We share what we know best and benefit those who wouldn’t get this personal approach if they were in a hotel. We pride ourselves in helping them if they need it, yet are very discreet when someone prefers their privacy.

7. What’s your most memorable travel experience?

That’s a difficult question, as we love our travels, which we plan ferociously! Yet some of our best experiences have been at Marc Les Bergeries de Piscia in the heights of Figari in Corsica. We live at the pace of a shepherd in the bush and taste the products according to the typical local cuisine of his wife, Christine.

8. What is your personal travel philosophy?

Travel means getting to know the culture, the people, the local places, visiting the key tourist locations, but also tasting the local food, smelling the special aroma of each place, trying to speak the language, and respecting local habits and values. We love our stomachs and tasting new foods, I’m an avid photographer, so we always look for beauty and expression, Jasmine will pull out her pallets and draw, and yet we love music and will follow a music trail whereever we go. We’ve experienced incredible sunsets and moonrises in every location we have been to, and will continue doing so.

9. If you could host anyone in the world as your next guest, who would it be?

We enjoy getting to know people from all walks of life and nationalities. We’re gifted with languages and, with a smile and a lot of hand movements, can probably accommodate anyone!

 

See the profile of Rafic & Jasmine

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