Paris: Four Seasons George V
From the moment we stepped off the Eurostar at Gare du Nord, we felt we were in excellent hands. A charming representative from the hotel met us on the platform, relieved us of our bags and escorted us to our driver just outside the terminal and, fifteen minutes later, we were surrounded by the sublime beauty of the George V’s grand marble lobby. Its exquisite lighting, classical statues, chandeliers, tapestry and world famous floral displays create an incredible ambience that induced in us immediate feelings of both joy and serenity.
Every week, about 12,000 blooms are driven to the George V from Amsterdam, to enable artistic director, Jeff Leatham to create his seasonal masterpieces throughout the hotel. These visual feasts are updated every three weeks, so the hotel’s shared areas effectively undergo a regular change of colour theme – spectacular purple hydrangeas and orchids while we were there – giving the George V a unique and wonderfully vivid freshness. The flowers in our suite had a more restful hue: white lilies and a personal favourite of mine, Osiana peach roses.
Consistent throughout the hotel is an elegant fusion of classical décor with modern technology: regency styled suites with the most opulent of furnishings and fabrics, plus a state of the art television in both the living room and the bathroom and superfast Wi-Fi. The hotel truly combines the very best of both worlds.
After unpacking and settling into our suite, we were drawn to the sumptuousness of ‘Le Bar’, with its dark wood paneling, rich red fabrics and antique equestrian and architectural themed artworks. And to its mouthwatering menu of hors d’oevres, salads and gourmet club sandwiches.
All the dining options at the George V are divine, but the two-Michelin-star Le Cinq is particularly special. It is worth the forward planning required to secure a reservation – for some dates the restaurant can be booked out months in advance – to experience chef, Eric Briffard’s brilliance in one of the most decadent dining rooms in Paris.
As it happened, our arrival coincided with that of a number of cast members of Expendables 3, the Premier of which was taking place in Paris that night, and how well the exceptionally polished staff took care of their illustrious guests, while managing the army of photographers and fans who had amassed by the entrance, was something to behold! In their sharply tailored suits, it was often difficult to distinguish the hotel’s security members from those they were minding, as they departed for the red carpet. And they remained acutely aware of who in the congregation were staying at the hotel and who weren’t, to skillfully manage the mayhem.
Frequently hosting VIPs, from Hollywood actors and sporting superstars to members of various royal families, the George V is well accustomed to catering to the desires of the most discerning. The service is impeccable, but discreet - while you don’t feel that there are eyes on you while you dine, the waiting staff are exceptionally attentive and seemed almost telepathic at times in anticipating our needs.
As one would expect, the spa is a haven of tranquility that soothes the senses. Almost every conceivable treatment/service is offered in-house, including hairdressing and make-up, in elegantly appointed private treatment rooms. Private gym and yoga sessions can also be arranged.
When the George V opened in 1928, it set a new standard in luxury hospitality and has been upholding that tradition ever since. It has been operated by the Four Seasons group for the past seventeen years, but retains its very strong George V identity and its monogram is seen on beautiful accessories throughout the hotel, from linen cocktail napkins to Montblanc style pens.
With it’s unbeatable location, a stone’s throw from the Champs-Élysées and Eiffel Tower, the George V is surely the ultimate address for visitors to the City of Lights.
All floors can be accessed via a spectacular winding staircase – the view from the top is not recommended for sufferers of vertigo!