France Names New Palace Hotels
PARIS, France - In 2011, a new classification system for hotels in France was established, announcing eight hotels in France who were given a new rank of "Palace," distinguishing the very best among five-star hotels.
In May 2011, the following hotels were awarded this new rank: in Paris, Le Bristol, Le Meurice, le Parc Hyatt Vendome, Four Seasons George V and the Plaza-Athénée; outside of Paris, l'Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, Les Airelles and Le Cheval Blanc in Courcheval and the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.
As of June 2012, three more hotels, all in the beautiful region of Provence, were awarded the "Palace" ranking: L'hôtel La Réserve in Ramatuelle, and Le Château de la Messardière and L'hôtel Le Byblos in Saint-Tropez.
The new Palace category was officially created in November under former Secretary of State of Tourism Hervé Novelli in order to continue the development of hotel classification, after the birth of the 5th star.
The deciding jury, headed by Academie Francaise member Dominique Fernandez, was comprised of members of the media, architecture, and hotel groups, among others. By selecting these exceptional hotels among some 130 established five-star hotels, the jury hopes to allow these hotels to gain international recognition and stand out amongst all of the recent luxury hotel openings in Paris.
Prior to the jury's decision, Atout France was in charge of pre-selecting hotels based on objective measures, such as room size. Ultimately, the jury's decisions were based on certain criteria such as quality of service, history and architecture of the buildings. The rank is valid for five years.