Visiting a city this stylish, you long to stay in a hotel with a reputation to match and the Four Seasons Hotel George V is that hotel.
For a start, it has a location to die for. Situated in the ‘golden triangle’ of Paris, the Four Seasons is just a short walk from all the action of the Champs-Elysées. I can think of no finer base from which to venture forth for a stroll around the city or a climb up the iron steps of the Eiffel Tower. Amazing shopping and historical monuments are all around.
Constructed in 1928 and restored to perfection, the hotel is a treasure trove of lovingly preserved antiques and tapestries. As a guest, your first impressions are of arriving somewhere incredibly special. You enter a spectacular marble–floored lobby with intricate mosaic detailing, rebuilt tile by tile during a major restoration. The lobby space is filled with the most lavish flower arrangements you can imagine, with purple orchids and pink hydrangeas prominent.
The hotel’s flower designer (yes, they have a flower designer) explains why they go to such lengths. ”Flowers bring out the passion in people,” he says. “They exude energy, colour and light and they can lift us above the brouhaha of everyday life.”
This passion and devotion to the exceptional is also apparent in the way we are treated by the staff. Right from check-in, the service met those Four Seasons standards we have experienced at other properties around the world.
The Hotel’s service culture is formal yet unstuffy – entirely appropriate for a luxury property in a prestigious location. We asked for an extra-special itinerary and impossible-to-get reservations, and the Concierge team took it all in their stride. You sense they’ve heard it all and delivered the impossible multiple times. No request seems to be out of bounds.
Our One Bedroom Deluxe Suite, at around 100sqm was massive, especially by Parisian standards. The décor was classic Louis XVI styling, complete with fine art and antiques, but with all the mod cons you could ever want. Think soft, muted colours throughout, cream panelled walls, rich leathers and sumptuous fabrics.
A generous foyer with adjacent powder room leads into a capacious, luxurious lounge with thickly cushioned sofa.Sliding double doors reveal the grand master suite, with its gloriously soft king-sized bed and high thread-count linen. The bathroom is equally luxurious, clad in the finest marble, with a deep tub, and separate oversized shower. There’s a TV in the mirror, double vanities and a very spacious walk in wardrobe. The toiletries are Bulgari – what else?
French doors in both our rooms ensure the suite is bathed with natural light. They open out onto the hotel’s delightful courtyard that’s planted with vibrant flowers. It all seems beautifully colour co-ordinated, with cream marble and black accents creating the impression of a chic, designer space.
French cuisine is one of the nation’s crowning glories, so naturally a top-class Parisian property is going to take things seriously on the food and beverage front. Boasting views of the Hotel’s courtyard, the two-Michelin starred Le Cinq is a superlative dining experience. The tablecloths, china and silver were all created for the Hotel and the dining room is dressed in grey and gold. Executive Chef Christian Le Squer presides over creations such as fillet of venison with a cranberry fine mousse, and Brittany prawns cooked two ways and served with a citrus emulsion. You’re probably not going to eat here every night, but why not set aside at least one evening for some serious gastronomic exploration?
Fancy splashing out on something special from the 40,000-bottle wine cellar? The oldest bottle in stock is a 1792 Madeira, and the most expensive is a magnum of Chateau Petrus, priced at 40,000 euros. There are many more affordable bottles too, so no need to bypass the glories of French wine making during your stay.
On a healthier note, Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris is the home of the city’s most luxurious hotel spa. A true retreat in the heart of the city, it offers a range of sophisticated European beauty treatments, so you can emerge ready to compete with those impossibly chic Parisians. The hotel also boasts a Parisian rarity – a large-scale basement pool and Jacuzzi, plus a small but well-equipped gym.
If you love luxury hotels, this is one you must visit at least once during your lifetime. My expectations were high, but if anything, the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris exceeded them. The Four Seasons group has established a stellar reputation for service and opulence, and their Parisian property is an absolute stand-out.
It’s not just about the surroundings and the quality of the fit-out – although these are both outstanding. It’s about how they make you feel. Visiting Paris is always going to be a special occasion, so it’s wonderful when the staff at your hotel go the extra mile to make your stay memorable. From the concierge service to the way staff seemed to remember our names and anticipate our requests, nothing seemed too much trouble.
The Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris gets everything right. In a word, magnifique!
Category: Luxury City Hotel.
Suite Reviewed: One Bedroom Deluxe Suite.
What’s great? Step into the flower–filled lobby and soak up the ambience of one of the world’s most prestigious hotels. The sublime service, the golden triangle location, the exquisite cuisine and the oh-so luxurious surroundings. Don’t forget a dip in the indoor pool located in the basement – a rarity in Paris.
What’s not so great: Luxury at this level costs, especially in Paris, so be prepared to pay a high price for it.
Editor’s tip: For a memorable Paris experience, take the advice from the expert concierge team. Splash out for the ultimate in fine dining and reserve a table at Le Cinq. Best of all, make it a family affair, as remarkably it also has a kids menu – you’ll need to book well in advance.
Rate: From NZ$1810 per room per night. From NZ$4780 per night for a One Bedroom Deluxe Suite.