Designed by French architects Lefranc and Wybo under the direction of American owner Joel Hillman, also an architect, and opened in 1928, the original George V immediately set new precedents in the hospitality industry. This famous venue was described in early press coverage in that year as “conceived in the spirit of modern and elegant luxury, and endowed with the latest technological innovations.”
At that time, these innovations included the installation in each guest room of a telephone with both outside and hotel service lines; suites with two bathrooms “allowing two people to take a bath at the same time and to be ready to go down to dinner together;” fitted closets; extra-wide corridors on guest floors to eliminate luggage grid-lock; fire alarms; and an elaborate dumbwaiter system to expedite delivery of hot food from the kitchen to guest rooms. The budget for design, construction and installations amounted to 60 million francs, representing in 1928 over U.S. $31 million. Opening rates started at 150 francs per night for a four-bedroom apartment with two bathrooms.