Monday, March 8, 2010

Memories Of The George V Paris

A few years ago, Alex decided to take me to my favorite city in the world, Paris, for my birthday.

We spent about a week at the Four Seasons George V Hotel in Paris. This is a 5-star Hotel and our every whim was catered to.

It was a lovely experience all in all. The only problem with a 5-star hotel is that by default, they are all somewhat generic.

The restaurants are wonderful. Check! The decor is fabulous. Check! The rooms are sumptuous with the best linens and toiletries imaginable. Check! The people who work there are beautiful. Check! The service is impeccable. Check! The price is astronomical. Double Check!

The downside is that you could move this hotel and locate it at Embassy Row in London, in Hong Kong, or in the Union Square area of San Francisco, or in downtown anywhere! As a result, local flavor is lacking with these hotels. Beautiful, posh, luxurious, sure, but not French, not British, not American.

After a few days, we found a much more modest hotel in the Opera District of Paris. Now we're on the right page. French is the language spoken here. The little bistros overflow with people! You see Parisians hurrying home after work with their fresh baguettes under their arms. The lobby smells vaguely of cat pee. (All hotel lobbies in Paris, except the 5 star hotels, smell a little like cat pee!)

We had a wonderful street scene out of our windows! Not landscaped perfection, but much better. Real people living real lives! The food was amazing and not the fancy expensive fare either. A ham sandwich on that amazing bread was food for the gods! Add a glass of vin rouge and watch the afternoon unfold around you! Breathtaking!

I have never experienced such joy in a place. I never tire of this magical City of Light.

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