Long Weekend: Inside Paris' magnificent The George V hotel, where you can spend an entire weekend without leaving the premises

Laura Ivill
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This is one of Paris' 16 ultra-luxury Palace Hotels – here's the lowdown on our recent stay.

The weekend: When you’re laying down well over a grand for a night in a hotel – and that’s without your bircher muesli – it had better be good. For a special occasion, a short hop on the Eurostar to Paris still holds that allure of romance.

The top hotels in France, just 16 of them, have a category all to themselves - Palace Hotels - where they compete with each other on Michelin stars, elegant service and expensive décor. The George V has it all – best location, fancy food, rooms with a view. You’ve done all the sights of the capital before, so invite someone special and let the hotel take centre stage.

The stay: The George V’s refresh was unveiled this summer, bringing softly contemporary ivories, greys, silvers, golds and champagnes into the dining rooms, along with fashionable duck-egg blues and primrose yellows into the suites.

It’s right in the heart of the action, within the high-end Golden Triangle of Paris, a short stroll from the Seine. Ask for a suite on the seventh floor at the back – room 718 has a glorious view of the Eiffel Tower and its night-time illuminations.

The food: Chef Christian Squer was brought in to head up Le Cinq with the express challenge to add a third Michelin star – and, hey-presto, a year later he got it in February.

The blow-out is the nine-course tasting menu (€310 without wine), but even the shorter tasting menus (all offered with wine-pairings) are full of surprises, such as French onion soup injected into a one-bite gratinated “onion”. Le Cinq’s grand dining room invites people-watching, it’s that kind of place, a hotel where regulars book rooms in the Galerie wing, just so they can sashay through the lounge in heels.

The Michelin-starred Le Cinq restaurant

Over in the 20 cover L’Orangerie, a new Art Deco-style conservatory in the Marble Courtyard, expect a parade of fancy dishes from chef David Bizet. For a light Mediterranean-style menu check out the recently opened Le George, the flip-side to all those étoiles.

The wine cellar: Deep underground, in a cellar that was quarried for stone for the Arc de Triomphe, is one of the city’s finest caves - 50,000 bottles (with complimentary tours once a week). The list keeps evolving, keeping the hotel’s nine sommeliers on their toes. Pétrus you would expect to find, but a magnum of 1964 will blow your bonus (€40,000).

And after that: If you must venture out of your Palace bubble, then Le Marais is always great for a reality check and that Soho vibe. Au Petit Fer à Cheval is a low-key funky bar-restaurant on a skinny pavement on Rue de la Vielle du Temple – the go-to hangout for a glass of champagne and a slice of tarte tatin. For culture, the Musée Rodin has emerged from its three-year renovation, within a magnificent house and grounds (musee-rodin.fr).

Need to know: Doubles at Four Seasons Hotel George V start from €1,450 per night, room only (fourseasons.com/paris). Eurostar runs up to 21 daily services from London St Pancras International to Paris Gare Du Nord with one-way fares starting from £29 (eurostar.com).

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