Most hotels claim to anticipate their guests’ needs and cater to them as part of their five-star service. Few, however, truly anticipate with much accuracy.
The Four Seasons George V hotel in Paris, however, must employ room whisperers, or maybe the walls do actually talk because the maids shifted and altered the room to my taste, without me placing a single request.
A makeshift water bottle bidet was transformed into a Romanesque plastic jug, a towel on the floor was interpreted as the need for a prayer mat and my absolute favourite — a quick scan during turndown service and the maids understood I don’t like my sheets tucked under the bed.
This was not just anticipation, this was “room-reading” and it’s invaluable for the business traveller on the go with little time to spell out their wants and needs at every stopover.
The 244 rooms in this property, built in 1928, are spacious by Parisian standards and tastefully decorated in a French baroque style in mint in ivory. The bathroom is an ode to marble playing host to Bulgari toiletries — and a wonderful echo in the shower. The bed and pillows are extremely comfortable and the sheets so crisp and soft they almost emit a sense of affection while you sleep.
The standard rooms come with a small living area and a small desk — a snag for the executive that wants to spread work out.
The lack of power plugs was also an issue. Unlike modern hotels where an array of plugs is attached to the desk, you may have to disconnect a lamp to charge your laptop. Wi-Fi connectivity is available throughout the hotel however, and gathers decent enough speeds to procrastinate on YouTube. Owned by Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding Company, the hotel caters well to its Middle East guests. Room service menus are available in Arabic and serve a wide range of familiar delights from hummus to a mixed grill. For those after a taste of France’s culinary heritage, the George V houses two-star Michelin restaurant Le Cinq, where you can admire eighteenth century furniture as you dine.
Breakfast is served here too, a civilised affair with no sign of a wasteful buffet. The menu is varied enough to satisfy the majority of tastes. I opted for a lemon souffle pancake.
q&a city’s executive haunt
Triska Hamid offers more insights for the business traveller planning a stay at Four Seasons George V hotel:
Where is it located exactly?
On Avenue George V, just off the Champs D’Elysees, and a few metres away from George V metro station. The hotel has its own chauffeurs, but taxis are plentiful in the area. Despite being in the heart of Paris, there is still a great sense of tranquillity within the hotel.
There are so many hotels in Paris better suited for business travel. Why stay here?
If the Ritz is a place for the glamorous set, the W for the young party animals, then the Four Seasons is for important people. Everywhere in the hotel there are people worth speaking to, be it diplomats, businessmen or sports personalities. A random hello with someone in the corridor may lead you to meet the woman who dresses the world’s first ladies. A chance encounter at the George V is a free networking opportunity — making it a good choice for the business traveller.
How else does it cater to business guests?
The ballroom is frequently used for conferences. There are several meeting rooms, a business centre, an excellent concierge who, among his many other skills can print out any document, offer translation services, and book whatever it is that you may need — a restaurant, car or a tour of Paris. The gym is also open at all times so you can fit in some exercise no matter what time your day starts or ends.
Is there a pool?
Yes and it is magnificently decorated in the style of a Versaille palace.
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