This hotel is the flagship property of the Four Seasons chain in Europe. It is widely regarded as one of the best city hotel in the world. With nearly a hundred year history, and all the awards and accolades, the expectation is bound to be high, especially considering the room rates. So what did I get after paying one of the highest ever room rate I have ever paid for one night at a hotel? Read on.
I booked a limo from train station due to security reasons and when arrived, I was first checked in at reception and then escorted to the room. I wonder why they didn't do a pre-checkin in the room since I booked the limo and they have my arrival details. I was upgraded to a suite though, a Four Seasons Executive Suite courtesy of my travel agent.
My suite is about 70 metres square, consider small for a suite. It actually appear smaller than it looks. There is sofa seating area, a working desk and a minibar in the living room. In the bedroom, there is a large King size bed and a marble bathroom. This suite has been recently refurbished and equipped with Samsung LCD TVs. However, they did not upgrade the shower facilities so the shower stall still have one of those old fittings and lacking a rainforest shower. Water pressure is good though. The bathtub is small and will probably fit only one person. There is no walk in closet and hardly enough space for bigger luggage. The bed is quite comfortable but not one of the best I have slept in. The room also has a lower than normal ceiling which add to a some what claustrophobic feel.
The in-room electronics are of the cheap variety. Let's see what we have, shall we? Well, we have JVC mini-compo with tin can sounding speakers that probably cost no more than 200 Euros at most if purchase from an electronic store. We have iHome iPod dock made of plastic. There is no electronic curtains, no bedside panel control. Not even an electronic DND button. At this rate, I am expecting the room to be furnished with Bang and Olufsen sound system or similarly high end brands. The only thing remotely high end is the build in lcd tv in the bathroom. For all these, if not upgraded, one has to pay in excess of Euro2000+ per night for this subpar accommodation.
The only redeeming quality of the room is the outdoor terrace. There is a nice view of Ave George and a distant view of the Effiel tower. Still it is by no means breathtaking. The hotel also thoughtfully provide some table and chairs in the terrace for relaxation.
There isn't much amenities in the room. The welcome gift is two miserable pieces of cake and the hotel forgot to provide plate and cutlery, perhaps expecting me to use my hands? Usually when staying at hotels of this stature, the GM will usually write a welcome letter. None found here except a letter detailing my benefits from my agent.
Bear in mind this is a suite. I can't imagine how much more inferior the standard rooms will be.
Common areas and location
To be fair, the hotel does have beautiful common areas, accentuated by the many foral decorations which changes every day. The galleria and the restaurant Le Cinq are plush and luxurious, reminisce of the old world charm from a long forgotten era. Crystal chandeliers, paintings, sculptures adorned the hotel every where you turn.
The spa and fitness centre however, is disappointing. The swimming pool is very small and there is only one jacuzzi pool, only one small steam and sauna room and all these were occupied most of the time so i did not get the chance to try it.
The location cannot be faulted. Just minutes away from the famous shopping district of Champs elysse and Ave Montagie, it is surrounded by luxury boutiques.
One thing I repeatedly hear from devoted fans of this hotel is the near legendary service the hotel provides. Apparently if urban legends are to be believed, the concierge can work miracles and the staff will oblige to fulfill every single wish and request no matter how difficult. Unfortunately, I did not encounter this legendary service. instead, what I do find is that generally, the staff were very polite, smile a lot, which is very un-parisan like ( not a bad thing ), and they all speak excellent English but that's about it. Most of the time, they come across as so overtly welcoming that you start to feel it is a rehearsed act.
Well, in my limited time with this hotel, I did have good service at the Le Cinq when I had dinner there. The food quality for my dinner at the Le Cinq was just ok, not quite as outstanding as it was the first time I ate there a year ago. More amusing than the food for me was to watch the parade of waiters zapping in between tables at breakneck speed to serve the many guests as the restaurant was fully booked.
Service during breakfast at The Le Cinq by comparison was slow and decidedly lukewarm. They also overcooked my omelette even when I have specified I want my omelette runny. The waiter did offer to exchange my omelette which I declined. The toiletries during turn down were not replenished. Coffee granules for my in-room coffee machine was not replenished on check-in and I have to call to ask for it.
There were also some service issues I encountered prior my stay in that the concierge took a long time to reply email, more than 10 days for a simple question of airport transfer.
The concierge also gave me the wrong information on Eurostar departure, saying that I can just board the train at the platform. Not true. I have to go thru immigration and customs at the train station. Fortunately I arrive early and was not too late for the check-in formalities.
At the end of my one night stay, I inevitably felt both disappointed and relieved. Disappointed because the whole experience is so decidedly underwhelming, especially considering the rates paid. It easily rank among one of my most disappointing stay ever and I have stayed at lots of hotels. I also felt relieved because I only book to stay for one night and not more. This is a hotel that has it's reputation proceeding itself and has failed to live up to it, spectacularly. It is surprising and in some some way sacrilegious and wasteful how little there is to show for all the money spent. Do goto this hotel to patronize the Le Cinq or to soak in the atmosphere by having a drink at the beautiful lounge or bar. But staying here? No way. Not for accommodations of this standard and quality. By contrast, the Mandarin Oriental with by comparison far nicer rooms is a much better proposition. So in summary, 2 out of 5 and at these exorbitant room rates, the worst Four Seasons ever in terms of value for money. Highly NOT recommended.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautiful hotel housed in the former landmark Hotel George V, furnished with objects of art and antiques - Near Champs Elysees. The only luxury hotel in Europe to house three Michelin-starred restaurants for a total of 5 stars and to offer a large choice of Suites called "parisian appartments". ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel George v Paris
- Four Seasons Paris
- George v Paris
- Paris Four Seasons
- Hotel George v Paris
- George 5 Paris