Good news from the City of Light this week. Atout France, the French Agency for Tourism Development, has awarded Le Royal Monceau- Raffles Paris with the prestigious “Palace Hotel” distinction, an elite status shared by just 12 other hotels in France.
Atout France revamped the hotel classification system back in 2009, creating this category to distinguish the super-luxe hotels that have a serious “wow” factor-- boasting facilities that far exceed the average five-star property. After all, there is no global hotel classification system, and five-star hotels in different parts of the world can offer vastly different guest experiences. Atout France has a check list of stringent requirements for its five-star hotels, and needless to say, the “Palace” label signals the crème de la crème.
Originally, only four Paris hotels were deemed worthy of the distinction: Le Bristol, Le Meurice, Plaza Athénée and Park-Hyatt Vendome. Four Seasons George V was originally overlooked, but was awarded the status later in 2011. Other palace hotels in France include: L’hôtel du Palais in Biarritz; Les Airelles and Le Cheval Blanc in Courchevel; Le Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat; La Réserve Ramatuelle; Le Byblos and le Chateau de la Messardière in Saint-Tropez.