The best luxury hotels in the world are constantly trying to one-up each other; witness the rise (and fall) of the uber-luxe 5-star plus hotels in Dubai. The more dignified, less garish approach to upscale accommodations is to provide class and luxury that provides a sense of place, and to keep it that way. This explains why the Four Seasons George V, in Paris France, is the best hotel in the world. It’s actually on every important “Best of the Best” hotels list (Forbes, Conde Nast, etc) for several reasons.
Neighborhood: Now, hotels are not resorts; there are no sprawling grounds and golf courses on the Four Seasons George V property. Instead, we get a stay in the 8th arondissement; this most upscale Paris district extends from the Seine to the Arc d’Triomphe, with the Champ-Elysees, luxury shopping, and views of the Eiffel Tower.
The Staff: From the moment I walked through the large revolving doors, I knew I was in for a hotel experience par excellence. Our luggage was whisked away, and was waiting for us in our room. The staff at the Four Seasons is always exemplary; here, they speak several languages (to accommodate their international guests), have an incredible knowledge about their city, and are unfailingly polite and friendly. The concierge gave us several great restaurant recommendations, made the reservations for us, and gave us a map. Check-in was a breeze, and we were walked through La Galerie (a piano bar area to relax and have tea) to the elevators and our room.
The Rooms: Half the rooms at the Four Seasons have balconies or terraces; while ours did not, we did have a view of the Eiffel Tower. Not too shabby! The rooms are large, which is notable: Most hotels in France, like much of Western Europe, are considerably smaller than what North American tourists may be used to. Here, the large rooms are complemented by equally impressive bathrooms. Marble floors and walls (as with the first floor lobby), double sinks, a separate shower and huge tub, and special Bulgari shampoos and soaps. I have a special affinity for upscale hotel shampoo and soap (other Four Seasons usually have L’Occitane bath products, which I also love), and the Bulgari made me feel pampered and happy. The king-size bed was sumptuous and unbelievably comfortable, with down pillows and duvet, and high thread-count sheets. I don’t always sleep well in hotels beds, but I almost didn’t want to get out of this one!
Fitness Center: Like most Four Seasons hotels, the George V has a first-class fitness center and day spa. If an intense workout isn’t part of you luxury vacation plans, then the massages, body wraps and treatments at the spa are a perfect way to recover from a day of shopping and sightseeing in Paris. Try the Le Tout Chocolate spa package; you won’t regret it.
Dining: I already mentioned La Galerie. This dining and relaxing area, just off the lobby en route to one set of elevators, served light snacks and high tea. I found high tea here to be a sophisticated, mature affair. There are a few highly gifted piano players, whose music adds to the romanic ambiance. They play from 3PM to midnight every day. The Four Seasons Hotel George V also has a Michelin 2-star restaurant. Le Cinq, open from 7AM to 10:30PM, is one of the best hotel-based restaurants in Paris. The food, of course, is French. During the warm months, there is also the Marble Courtyard for outdoor dining within the calmness of the hotel.
Four Seasons Hotel George V is about as perfect as a 5-star hotel can be. It’s no wonder that Zagat named in the Top International Hotel, Daily Telegraph awarded it the Best Hotel in Europe, and Conde Nast Traveler named it the Best International Business Hotel. If you’re planning a top-of-the-line luxury vacation in Paris, you can’t do better than to stay at the Four Seasons Hotel George V. It’s a 5-star oasis in the midst of a bustling Parisian neighborhood – there is no better place to stay for a luxury traveler in the city of lights. It is the best luxury hotel in Paris, in France, and to many, the world.