Thursday, March 01, 2007

George V

I will be the first to admit that I'm jaded when it comes to hotels. It just comes with the territory of growing up in them - but I continue to adore hotels and the individual qualities and idiosyncrasies of each one. I also love hotel flower arrangements, and the ones in the George V in Paris, from where I just returned, were wonderful.

It was also a step back in time in some ways. In the very French hotel restaurant Le Cinq, the gentlemen were presented with menus that displayed prices while the ladies' menus were price absent. I hadn't seen this in years and this is how I ordered a cup (cup, not bowl) of soup that cost $240 Cdn. Seriously. (I was also taken on a tour of Le Cinq's wine cellar, which really is in a cellar deep in the bowels of the hotel. Jagged chunks of rock formed the walls and I learnt that it was this exact site from which the rock composing the Arc de Triomphe was excavated.)

Hotel service is always lovely and welcome, but I rarely see anything particularly original anymore. In Dubai a few months ago, everytime we left things out in the room we returned to find them on doilies. And all of our bathroom products were also placed on doilies, but in height ascending order. Cute. But at the George V, I experienced something I had never seen before. When I crawled into bed and opened my book, which I had left on the night table, I discovered that the page I had dog-eared was repaired to its usual smooth position and a bookmark now reserving my place. Brilliant.

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