Paris palace hotels—the Bristol, the Crillon, the Ritz—have always been renowned for their historical significance and their stuffy grandeur. Though it’s not officially a palace, the George V is, in many ways, the most palatial. From the moment it opened off the Champs-Elysées in 1928, it was causing an international stir. Greta Garbo, JP Morgan, and Marlene Dietrich stayed here, as did the Beatles.
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Now that it’s reopened, it’s more over-the-top French than before. Gone are the eclectic details — like Garbo’s ceramic spaniels, and the Beatles’ rattan bed. In place are a general manager in cuff links, housekeepers in lacy caps and aprons, silk damask curtains and an American Bar, where, like Hemingway, you can drink martinis and eat peanuts. It’s as creamily Parisian as a profiterole. And though the designer cautioned that its aesthetic is “not for everyone,” it’s certainly hit everyone we know like champagne fizz, and made the most devoted minimalists swoon.
Ironically, it took a partnership of foreigners—it’s co-owned by a Saudi Arabian prince and managed by the Canadian Four Seasons chain—to make a hotel this French, with so many non-French perks. Big rooms, and one of the largest pools in Paris. Osteopathic massages from the spa twenty-four hours a day. Walk-in showers and the signature Four Seasons mattresses (hotel industry standard calls for 800 coils; these have 930).
But most importantly, you won’t get the blasé service that can be encountered in some more complacent grand establishments. Here the staff manual is 1½ pounds of Molière maxims and irony-free instructions — everything from when to address a guest in the elevator (only if he’s the only other person in the car) to how many times a telephone should ring (four). You won’t suffer any Parisian attitude when you ask the concierge, in your worst French accent, for tickets to the Comédie-Française; nor will you be bullied by your waiter when you ask him, at the much lauded Le Cinq, for your dressing on the side — mistakes are tolerated.
About Four Seasons George V Hotel: Four Seasons George V Hotel is a luxury hotel in Paris. It is located off the Champs-Elysées. The hotel features a Michelin starred restaurant, Le Cinq, and two lounges, Le Galerie and Le Bar.