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Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris
31 Avenue George V
75008 Paris, France
33 1 49 52 70 00

A Hotel for All Seasons
Groundbreaking Architecture
in a Timeless City

Art Deco near Champs Élysées

In 1928, when wealthy American Joël Hillman decided to build a luxurious residence for a few well-heeled visitors, Art Deco was all the rage. The new construction, close to the Champs-Élysées and off l'Etoile, contrasted sharply with the city's nineteenth-century Hausman style and immediately attracted what was then the international jet-set society. Of course, jets weren't the mode of travel yet. Guests came aboard luxury liners, listening to the new sound of jazz and wearing the gowns of Mademoiselle Chanel.

The property's next owner, Francois Dupre, husband of the heiress to the Singer sewing machine fortune, was an art collector. For a quarter of a century, he accumulated a fabulous array of furniture, carpets, tapestries, paintings and objets d'art. As a result, the George V was much like a museum, albeit one that served as home away from home for luminaries from around the world. Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Gene Kelly, Gary Cooper, Vivian Leigh, Sophia Loren, President Gerald Ford and John Wayne were among the many who checked in. As well, The Society of Nations (precursor to the United Nations) established temporary quarters here, as did General Eisenhower at the end of World War II.

The Executive Suite
Many rooms have terrace views

When the hotel was purchased by Prince Al Waleed of Saudi Arabia, the royal decided a complete renovation was in order. The upgrade took place over the course of two years under the auspices of the Four Seasons group. Everything was redone, except, of course, the landmark architecture. Fewer rooms (245 compared to the original 320) mean more space and comfort. They are completely soundproof and stocked with state of the art electronic equipment. Although some art pieces were sold at an auction in 1988, many remain, such as the beautiful Flanders and Aubusson tapestries, inlaid wood furniture, nineteenth century bronze sculptures and many works from the French painting school of the nineteenth century.

A stay in this magnificent oasis near the Champs-Élysées is a unique experience that is accented by the excellent food at Le Cinq, the hotel's flagship restaurant. This is a temple of classic French cuisine. The gourmet tasting menu offers six courses, and on it can be found a remarkable lobster tart with French bean salad, spiced sea bass with balsamic vinegar, milk-fed veal chop in its own juice with crispy risotto cake, citrus and tomato emulsion, strawberry sorbet to finish with warm coffee, and chocolate millefeuille.

Le Cinq dining room
George V's wine selection

Desserts are out-of-this world, including compote of citrus fruit steeped in Earl Grey tea with a puffed rice Florentine wafer and ten-hour baked apples with caramel ice cream and caramel cider. Le Cinq and the superbly stocked wine cave are directed by Eric Beaumard, who earned the title of best sommelier in France and became vice champion of the world. The service is impeccable.

Going to France? Check our guide.

(Updated 04/03/08 ET)

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