Palace (hotel) : The term "palace" generally means a Hotel de Luxury. The word "palace" is English and comes from French Palace.
In France, this term is particularly reserved for certain establishments, in a strict sense. Indeed, since 2010, the name “Palace” has officially been a distinction awarded to certain luxury French hotel establishments. It is exclusively awarded to five-star hotels offering the highest levels of service to their customers. At the end of August 2017, only 24 French hotels out of 343 applicants were admitted in this category.
The term is also used by other French establishments (including in their trade name, such as the former Elysée Palace) which do not yet meet the criteria defined by law.
Origin of the term: Since 1834, the English word "palace" has been associated with a large commercial establishment, synonymous with refinement and good taste, embodying an idea of a luxury hotel, reserved for a certain elite. At that time, “palace” therefore meant a “palace, [a] luxurious residence”. The origin of this term comes from the old French "paleys" (1290), or "paleis", "palace" according to the Latin word "palatium".
The term "palace wagon" appears in the account of a French traveler in 1881. In 1884, the first use of "Palace Hotel" was found in the United States of America. Finally, just like the term " Hotel ", The word" palace "returned to France to designate" a luxury hotel "with the opening in 1898 of the Élysée Palace Hotel of the Compagnie des wagons-lits on the Champs-Élysées, symbolically. Thus, the poet Léon-Paul Fargue (1876-1947) classified in 1935 the customers of Parisian hotels in his essay Le Piéton de Paris:
“The George-V (sic) has nothing either of the monumental and melancholy palace where luxury and boredom merge. This is exactly the hotel that is intended for a clientele […] intimately linked to jazz, speed, fluctuations in exchange rates… ”
Lexicographical and etymological definitions of "palace" of the computerized French language treasury, on the website of the National Center for Textual and Lexical Resources.
In Austrasian, pallas means palace where justice is administered.
History of the palace : The clientele belonging to high society gave birth to the concept of palace. France was at the forefront of this movement, in particular by welcoming the English elite, then the American or Russian, in particular in its seaside or spa resorts. Even before the French Revolution, the wealthy English loved to stay in Nice, Hyères, Cannes and Pau in winter. But above all, following the industrial revolution, the phenomenon of the English tide became a reality. More and more English people began to settle on the Continent, in particular in Paris as well as on the Côte d’Azur . It was therefore necessary to build prestigious establishments at the beginning of the XNUMXth century to accommodate these wealthy clients.
Some of these establishments were installed in prestigious old buildings from which they inherited standards of comfort and quality. Thus, in 1909, the residence of the Duke of Crillon (*) was transformed into a luxury hotel, Hôtel de Crillon. Likewise, the Hôtel du Palais in Biarritz was the former “Villa Eugénie”, the favorite summer residence of the Napoleon III family.
(*) Louis Des Balbes by Berton de Crillon, Duke of Mahón, born February 22, 1717 in Avignon and died in Madrid in June 1796, is a French soldier of the XNUMXth century.
Among the clients, some were from European royal families. In 1928, the Hotel Prince de Galles, a prestigious establishment intended for the stays of the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VIII, and his neighbor, the Hotel George-V, named after his father, were thus born in Paris. However, usage hesitates on the exact spelling of the hotel name: George-V, Georges-V, George V, Georges V. The hyphen is necessary for an establishment because of the metonymy (Maurice Grevisse and André Goosse, Le Bon Usage, 14th edition, p. 112, De Boeck, Brussels 2007). However, when the first name is followed by a subordinate element, we do not put a hyphen (p. 114, for example, the restaurant Le Louis XV in Monte-Carlo, the Louis XV style). For the metro station, we therefore write "George V". The old avenue de l'Alma took the name of the hotel when it became avenue George-V, and this is the origin of this hesitation. In this article in French, we simply use "George V", according to the Guide rouge - Michelin (p. 1296).
On Côte d’Azur , we must underline the role of King Leopold II of Belgium. Charmed by the beauty of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, he built several villas there, acquiring up to 50 hectares of land. According to the king's wishes, the Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat opened its doors on this land in 1908.
In this context, certain luxury hotels proclaimed themselves “palace”, in the absence of any official label. Particularly in Paris, the six high-end establishments were distinguished: the Bristol, Crillon, George V, Meurice, Plaza Athénée and Ritz. Some unofficial recognition existed for this qualifier. In a government document, the consulting firm PKF Hotel experts specified in 2005 the definition of the palace:
“The palaces are establishments whose quality of the site (historic building, architecture testifying to a certain period), the infrastructures and the services are exceptional, with staff assigned to a personalized service. This excellence is reflected in an average price of over 600 euros excluding tax (in 2001), strongly influenced by the number of suites. "
The 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville also prompted the creation of a new upscale establishment to accommodate the Olympic committee and personalities. The region lacked an establishment of this category, but the municipality did not want a hotel of a hotel chain to be established there. This is how the independent palace Les Airelles was born in Courchevel. Nowadays, this very chic ski resort has another palace, the Cheval Blanc of the LVMH group, inaugurated in 2006. LVMH wishes to take advantage of its major brands there, with its Spa des Neiges Givenchy (which became Guerlain in 2011) and the name “Cheval Blanc”, reminiscent of one of the four Premiers Grands Crus Classés of Saint-Émilion, Château Cheval Blanc, also owned by the group. Its restaurant, the 1947, evokes the greatest vintage of the twentieth century of this vintage.
Hotel business Luxury et gastronomy : It should be noted that the history of the palace is also linked to that of its gastronomic restaurant. Thus, before inaugurating his own Ritz hotel in Paris in 1898, César Ritz had been a huge success in London, within the Savoy Hotel, with a legendary chef, Auguste Escoffier. Of course, the latter attended the inauguration of the Ritz Paris gourmet restaurant.
However, until the end of the XNUMXth century, restaurants in Parisian palaces normally only had one star in the Michelin guide. The luxury restaurants of the palaces are still functioning, helping to reinforce the prestige of the hotel. In order to satisfy their regulars, the original atmosphere and personalized service are carefully maintained.
Since the Plaza Athénée announced on May 18, 2000 the installation of the restaurant Alain Ducasse for the month of september, this establishment is considered one of the most distinguished parisian hotels, like the ritz paris. Chef Ducasse is the first Cordon Bleu to obtain three stars from a luxury establishment, namely Le Louis XV at the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo. It was a real upheaval.
There is another example: in the red guide - Michelin, Le Ritz Paris, located in the 1st arrondissement, is always in the first rank of the hotels of Paris, until the restaurant of the Meurice obtains its third macaroon in 2007. Since that date, it is the Meurice which is always the head of all the Parisian establishments in this guide. Moreover, the Bristol has also received the three macaroons since 2009, plus an additional one obtained in 2013 thanks to its second restaurant.
The Les Ambassadeurs restaurant at the Hôtel de Crillon remains a symbol of luxury French hotels. While retaining the original decor dating from the reign of Louis XV, this former ballroom of the Duke of Crillon had two macaroons from the Michelin Guide and adhered to Relais & Châteaux. It was therefore one of the most prestigious restaurants in France. It was indeed, before its sale to Starwood Capital Group in 2005, owned by Taittinger, one of the great champagne houses. In favor of the house of Reims, it was first of all the exhibition shop in Paris, which was able to distinguish theHotel de Crillon other palaces. Moreover, between 1992 and 2012, it hosted each year twenty-five young girls of the international elite during the Debutantes Ball. The ball was followed by an exceptional dinner, as was the presentation of several literary awards.
Problems of the old classification and creation of the Palace distinction:
Towards the Palace distinction: Despite several modifications made in 1988, 1989, 1991 and 1992, the old French hotel classification under the terms of the decree of February 14, 1986 no longer ensured the competitiveness of French establishments in relation to the competition. international.
On the one hand, the classification system in six categories, from zero to four luxury stars, lacked consistency with international standards. The lack of a five-star category made it difficult to read for the main customers of upscale establishments, in particular the English and Americans, while more than 85% of customers of said Parisian palaces were foreigners and mainly of these two nationalities.
On the other hand, its standards mainly included around thirty physical or equipment-related criteria, i.e. surface area, number of rooms, existence of heating, presence of a telephone booth, etc. Due to the lack of criteria concerning services and quality, this classification sometimes caused confusion among customers.
A new classification was therefore prepared, in five categories, from one to five stars, which correspond to each level of comfort and quality, according to 240 criteria examined. The fifth star is designed in particular to meet demanding international customers. For example, staff speaking several foreign languages, at least two including English, are required. Reception must be ensured 24 hours a day from 24 rooms and in a disabled situation.
However, it was increasingly clear that even the new five-star category would be insufficient for the most distinguished French establishments. This is the reason why studies began for a sixth category. Office PKF had analyzed the diversity of the former four-star category in the capital. It was made up of several groups (average price of four stars in Paris, in 2001: € 245,2):
- the Bristol, Hôtel de Crillon, George V, Lutétia, Meurice, Plaza Athénée and Ritz (€ 631,7): so-called palaces
- the great luxury (352,4 €): renowned hotels, belonging to large international chains
- charming hotels (€ 337): smaller capacity, offering exclusive products on a site with less visibility
- large carriers (152,2 €): characterized by a large accommodation capacity (400 to 1 rooms)
- first class (206,6 €): corresponding to the current standard five stars
Then, a first legal definition was issued by the judgment of the Paris Court of Appeal (first Chamber section H) of September 26, 2006, following decision no 05-D-64 of November 25, 2005 of the Council of Competition: "... based in particular on the analysis of the firm PKF, that the demand emanates mainly from a clientele "tourism", most often foreign and very wealthy, not very sensitive to the price, for whom the prestige and the luxury image of these establishments play an essential role, and that this image comes from the conjunction of a set of characteristics that the six establishments in question were then only able to bring together, namely a prestigious address, a large staff assigned to customer service, a set of luxury ancillary services, a prestigious restaurant, a high proportion of suites, some of which are very prestigious by their size, decoration or history. "
The five-star hotel classification in France was implemented by the law of July 22, 2009, by Hervé Novelli, Secretary of State for Tourism. The one from Palace followed: By letter of July 29, 2009, Hervé Novelli instructed two luxury hotel professionals to create an additional category. They were François Delahaye, general manager of Plaza Athénée, and Pierre Ferchaud, president and general manager of Bristol until June 2010. With the participation of Alain Simon, controller general, 70 pages of report were completed in September 2010 .
This report also examined the title for this sixth category. Since the word “luxury” was already used in the old four-star category, this term was avoided. Among the words "privilege", "premium", "prestige" and "palace", the last was finally recommended. This term, long established in the French language, easily represents the characteristics of the category.
The official distinction since 2010: The appellation received official recognition with the creation of the “Palace distinction” by a decree of 8 November 201020, following the analysis of the report.
On May 5, 2011, out of fourteen luxury hotels selected, eight, including four in Paris and two in Courchevel, obtained the distinction for a period of five years.
Nevertheless, this first classification caused disappointment as well as discontent among the candidates. Also the new Secretary of State for Tourism Frédéric Lefebvre announced that a next application session would take place without delay to allow other hotels to obtain this distinction. In addition, the jury asked him to reduce the length of service required. In fact, for the first session, the deadlines were set at 30 months for new hotels and 24 months in the case of renovation. Consequently, from the second, the delays were reduced.
A jury meeting held on September 8, 2011 enabled the Hotel George V to receive the distinction a week later. Then, after the second session ended on June 30, 2011, three other establishments were admitted in June 2012. France now had twelve palaces, including five Parisian establishments.
The number of French palaces would still necessarily be limited compared to establishments classified as five stars, because in 2010, the boss of Bristol Didier Le Calvez had foreseen: “Given the standards required, France could have eight to twelve palaces initially. . This is a good ratio to underline the exceptional character of these addresses. ".
On June 27, 2013, Atout France authorized its 13th distinction for the Royal Monceau.
Then, in July 2014, three new hotels received the Palace distinction: the Mandarin Oriental et Shangri-La in Paris, the K2 in Courchevel.
In July 2016, three new establishments received this distinction: the Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in Saint-Barthélemy, The Peninsula in Paris and the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes.
In September 2018, the Hôtel de Crillon, A Rosewood Hotel, in turn received the Palace distinction.
Two-step procedure : The session consists of two phases:
Only establishments classified with five stars in France are eligible. New establishments must wait twelve months, six months for those which have been renovated, until the quality of their activities has stabilized. Applicants must submit their application to Atout France, agency created on May 19, 2009 and charged by the State to grant the distinction. They must meet 203 mandatory criteria and 31 optional criteria, concerning quality. If the establishment is eligible, the office forwards its file to a committee made up of personalities from various universes.
Chaired by academician Dominique Fernandez (2010-2015), then by Jean-Robert Pitte (since 2015), the commission analyzes the quality of the candidates, according to several objective criteria: a dense history, a pleasant location, personalization and precision service, excellence in catering and the environmental approach. If nothing is officially announced, it is possible that the verification will be carried out, before the final decision, by a team of anonymous inspectors.
France is the first and currently the only country to have formalized the “Palace” category. The definition and criteria are therefore not yet established in other countries.
Since January 2016, a new allocation committee whose members were reinforced up to fourteen staff has been in operation, following the decree of December 9, 2015. This second committee is also responsible for examining the renewal. of the first establishments admitted.
Thus, no hotel located in an industrial zone, near a motorway or in front of an airport parking lot, even if it can be classified in the five-star superior category, will not be able to obtain the “Palace” distinction. It is located in the City of Light or the village between sky and sea. Either in the really chic ski resort or in the Roman spa town. “The location of the establishment must be exceptional”.
The history is taken into account, not only that of the hotel itself, but also that of the building, namely "the exceptional architecture of the building whether historical or contemporary". For example, the hotel du Biarritz Palace benefits from its rich history. It is also necessary that the history of the clientele be rich, because the client is one of the important components of the palace, which increases the splendor of the establishment. Thus, during the inauguration of theByblos hotel in Saint-Tropez on May 27, 1967, the establishment invited more than 700 people including the general administrator of the Comédie-Française Maurice Escande as well as Françoise Sagan, René Clair, Bernard Buffet and Paco Rabanne. The jury therefore appreciates “the legend, the history and the personality of the establishment”.
Likewise, before finishing their report in 2010, two experts, François Delahaye, manager of the Plaza Athénée and Pierre Ferchaud, of the Bristol, underlined “a ballroom effect”:
“There is in palaces, by their size and their history, a ballroom effect. Chandeliers have something to do with it, as well as chic people who pass by in the wake of a perfume or a beautiful dress. Perfection is an instinct, the large salons rustling with conversation or soft living music, a marvel, and the search for pleasure, constant attention. "
It is The Peninsula Paris, a new palace since July 2016, which welcomed many girls from Gotha on November 26 of the same year, as a new partner of the Debutantes Ball. Previously it was theHotel de Crillon, between 1992 and 2012 (more precisely, from its foundation and for twenty years), until the latter closed its doors for work. As a result, this distinguished ball moved definitively from Place de la Concorde to Avenue Kléber. Several daughters of international stars participated, including those of Kristin Scott Thomas and Bruce Willis. This palace will henceforth benefit from this "unique character of the establishment".
Quality of the bar, restaurant and cellar : The French palace is also distinguished and illustrated by the quality of the bar and the restaurant. Since one does not stay there to sleep only, one needs "the excellence of the restoration and the bar".
The bar in the French palace is not just an atmospheric place with a cup or a drink. This is the little crossroads where people cross and meet, creating the new spirit or the new culture. In Paris, in the 7th arrondissement, the basement of the Hôtel Pont Royal housed a legendary bar, before and after the Second World War. Due to its excellent proximity to Éditions Gallimard, then located rue Sébastien-Bottin, this almost official Gallimard bar was a Parisian cultural hotspot, where André Gide, Consuelo and Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Léon Werth, André Malraux met. , Albert Camus, Simone de Beauvoir and Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Juliette Gréco, and. The establishment however renovated its bar. Although it is still a pleasant space with a small library, the old legendary bar in the basement no longer exists.
Another myth was born at the same time, in 1923. In the Hemingway bar of the Ritz frequented by the American writer, the “Ritz Sidecar” cocktail was renowned not only for its exceptional taste but also for its price of several hundred euros. . A particular Cognac, Fine Champagne 1865, was indeed included in its composition, distilled just before the phylloxera disaster. For a long time it remained the most expensive cocktail in the world. This bar also closed its doors on April 16, 2012, before the start of the total renovation of the establishment in August 2012.
As for restaurants, in 2016, three establishments, Le Bristol, Plaza Athénée and Hôtel George-V, had the honor of welcoming their customers to their three-star restaurant. Five palaces have their gastronomic restaurant with two stars. Admittedly, the report in 2010 recommended "a high level catering with a chef distinguished by the major international guides (stars for example) and with at least one French restaurant". The jury's current criterion is however simpler: "a gourmet restaurant of international renown (recognized by the main international gastronomic guides)". Admitting that the red Michelin guide is not the only reference in this area, there are several palaces lacking publicly appreciated restaurants. Yet following the arrival of Michel Guerard, one of the most distinguished chefs today, in this category in July 2017, it is true that the Palace label experienced an improvement in this tomorrow.
A French peculiarity still affects the restaurants of palaces. French gourmet restaurants, especially those of three stars and two stars, are generally closed on weekends, according to the tradition of Sunday rest. This is why the “possibility of dining at the hotel 7 days a week” as well as that of lunch are “à la carte”. Certainly, this weekly closure is absolutely necessary in order to retain several stars, due to the need for perfection. All the steps must always be checked under the supervision of the chef. However, the French are poorly represented in the clientele of luxury hotels, while foreign customers sometimes lack knowledge of Sunday rest. The solution for establishments is therefore to install their second restaurants without weekly closing. Also, catering is well assured at palaces, seven days a week. In addition, in March 7, the Bristol's second restaurant, Le 2013, Faubourg, obtained its first star. This palace currently has four macaroons from the Michelin guide, in particular.
It should be added that the jury appreciates "the quality and importance of the references on the wine list". The cellar is one of the French traditions. On February 9, 1477, the King of France Louis XI dictated a letter, but no doubt enviously or mockingly:
"Messeigneurs les tales, I have received your letters and thank you for the honor that I want to do to put myself in loot …… .. Touching the wines of the Duke of Burgundy, which are in his cellars, I am happy that you have them. Written in Peronne, the XNUMXth day of February.
To our soul and feal cousin, advisor and first chamberlain the Lord of Craon, tale of Ligny, and to our soul and feal counselor and chamberlain the tale of… "
Since the three-star restaurant, especially its cellar, is really expensive, wealthy palace clients are ideal for maintaining its quality. Because no one can predict when precious wines will be ordered, either tomorrow or in ten years. During this unpredictable period, it is impossible for the owner to take back those he has placed in the cellar and reinvest them. With palaces, there are more possibilities: room service, meetings, banquets, especially wedding ones.
Most pleasant establishment and complete renovation : The official distinction is then awarded on condition that "the aesthetics, the generosity of the premises, the remarkable quality of the equipment and elements of comfort" are satisfactory.
France stands out for the variety and richness of its furnishing and decoration styles. Thereby, Le Meurice is characterized by the Louis XVI style. As for thehotel du Palais de Biarritz, it is a synthesis. Certainly, the basis of the establishment was the Second Empire style. However, after having suffered a fire, the hotel was rebuilt between 1903 and 1905 by Édouard-Jean Niermans with the collaboration of Marcel Dourgnon, painter and architect. The establishment was able to benefit from the talent of Niermans, who was an architect and designer as well as a decorator.
In order to preserve the high quality of the equipment, it is sometimes necessary to renew it. As the bathroom ages quickly, renovation is necessary on a regular basis.
Looking at the bedroom, it seems that the contemporary renewals started with hotels located in upscale neighborhoods, but only having small rooms. For example, the Hôtel Astor Saint-Honoré Paris, former Sofitel Demeure Astor, located near the former residence of Marcel Proust, transformed its small rooms into pleasant spaces, under the direction of the interior designer, Frédéric Méchiche, when his restaurant had two guide stars Red michelin. Likewise, the decorator Pierre-Yves Rochon had worked on all the interior architecture of one of the establishments of Relais & Châteaux, Château Cordeillant-Bages de Pauillac, during its renovation in 1989. Presumably inspired by this artistic improvement, several luxury establishments including the Bristol and the Plaza Athénée began to carefully renovate their rooms in the 1990s. In particular, Le Bristol succeeded in create a pleasant space thanks to its collaboration with Hermès. More recently the George-v and Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat also benefited from the work of Pierre-Yves Rochon. Since 1997, the Plaza Athénée has spent more or less 1,5 million euros per year for its work.
So in France, the improvement was meticulously and modestly carried out according to the degree of necessity, generally first that of the bathroom, then the bedroom, finally the common space. Indeed, the latter is especially illustrated by its high quality which must be preserved. Thus, the Hôtel de la Cité de Carcassonne, owned until 2011 by Orient-Express, carried out the modern renovation of its rooms in the 1990s, just like Le Bristol Paris. However, it preserves its excellent historic lounge, except the installation of a bar counter in 1998, because it is a real library.
However, following the recent arrival of Asian hotel chains in Paris, the coherence of the so narrow circle was upset. If these new hotels, Mandarin Oriental et Shangri-La, are mainly intended for Asian customers with special characteristics, its inaugurations caused quite a stir. Because after the opening of the Park Hyatt Vendome in 2002, the capital had 1 rooms and suites in this luxury category. The creation of two hotels added 150 completely new rooms according to the Atout France website. In addition, it was the Royal Monceau acquired by the Raffles group of Singapore and owned by Qatar, which in October 2010 completed its improvement after a complete two-year shutdown, following 120 million euros of works. Moreover, by acquiring neighboring buildings, the Bristol and Plaza Athénée always enlarge their size but without closure. For the comfort of its customers, even the Plaza Athénée closed on October 1, 2013 for ten months, in order to integrate its three acquired buildings.
Consequently, their competition worsened considerably. It is significant that the Ritz Paris, without having undergone any renovation for thirty years, closed its doors entirely in August 2012, also for two years. The next closure was that of the Hôtel de Crillon on March 31, 2013. From now on, strongly affected by the luxury hotel war, the official distinction will mainly be awarded to entirely renovated establishments. It is true that the one who won the 13th official distinction on June 27, 2013 was the Royal Monceau. However, this trend risks undermining the unique characteristics of each establishment and causing the disappearance of historic settings. So theHotel de Crillon auctioned off from April 18 to 22, 2013, for its decorative art collection.
Suites and service customization : The official palace is not a six-star or five-star superior category. Indeed, even at the beginning of the 38st century, the customers of the Ritz Paris did not carry a key. It was literally the janitors who kept the keys, as the staff circulated regularly and frequently through the hallways. This peculiarity can be explained by the proportion of suites at the Ritz, 2001% in 2010. It is a question of reflection and a return to European tradition, namely the invitation of the nobility. In the residences of the nobleman, "personalization, speed, precision and permanence of service" were ensured by a number of servants. This is why "the capacity of the establishment and the significant presence of suites" are essential. The report in 30 proposed establishments with between 250 and 20 rooms, so that these qualities of service are ensured and optimized by a sufficient number of staff. Moreover, in order to meet one of the criteria of the Palace distinction, 1990% suites are required. However, the Hôtel le Bristol constantly increased the number, size and quality of suites, starting in the XNUMXs, according to the wishes of the European owner.
In 2013, the establishment had 92 suites and 96 rooms while in 2001, its proportion of suites was only 26% 53. Le Bristol is spending considerably on this transformation, thus improving quality: 60 million euros in 2009, ten in 2010 and 25 million in 2011. The La Réserve hotel has only seven rooms and sixteen suites.
Consequently, "the structure of their costs presents fixed costs higher than the variable costs". In order to maintain their reputation, their level of performance and superior services considerably increases their share of fixed costs. For other establishments, it is the variable costs of water, electricity, towels, for example, according to the actual number of customers. In 2004, the director of three establishments, including the Les Airelles hotel, specified: "We employ more than 112 people for 59 suites and rooms" to satisfy the most difficult customers. In Paris, you need at least 2,5 employees per room, according to Didier Le Calvez, general manager of Bristol. In 2010, its hotel had 540 employees for 190 rooms and suites (in addition, 188 in 2016), while the Ritz needed 550 people for 161 rooms and suites in 2007 (159 in 2016).
As a result, “the involvement of teams in the search for excellence” is appreciated, including the training budget.
Obligations of institutions : Before the file is prepared, it is necessary that "economic indicators distinguishing service excellence" have already been established and stabilized:
- the commercial performance of the establishment compared to the average of establishments classified with five stars in the market place;
- the average annual workforce per key reported by occupancy rate of the establishment:
1 ° greater than or equal to 2,2 for Parisian establishments.
2 ° greater than or equal to 1,5 for non-Parisian establishments.
In order to obtain the Palace distinction, the establishment must also respect "an exemplary and responsible approach". On the one hand, it is about the quality of the working conditions offered to the staff. On the other hand, it is necessary that the growth of the establishment is completed, on condition of the promotion of sustainable development.
What is a palace? : François Delahaye and Pierre Ferchaud conclude: "a place which gives you the feeling of living a rare, unique moment". It is about the prestigious French establishment which is able to charm the world clientele, thanks to the exceptional qualities as well as distinguished characteristics.
This is also what a Plaza Athénée brochure announced long before: “A charming palace, the Plaza Athénée is much more than a luxury hotel. It is an institution, a privilege. It resists fashions and eras, it is unique. We cannot explain it because we cannot explain the exceptional. This is the Plaza itself, the best way to appreciate French hospitality, an international must. »- Brochure of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée (1998), p. 3.
2019 list of distinguished French palaces
Note: The classifications before 2012 are mainly those of traditional palaces. From 2012, new establishments are admitted as palace hotels. But, some lack gourmet restaurants. Including these 24 establishments in 2018, the organization Atout France awaits applications until December 15, 2018. In November 2019, the new ranking was published by Atout France, bringing the total to 31 establishments having received the Palace distinction.
Important note about theritz hotel in Paris (1st arrondissement) : The Ritz is one of the seven Parisian palaces in the unofficial sense of the term, but, at the start of 2020, it does not have the official distinction of "Palace", despite its complete renovation from summer 2012 to summer 2016.
It is nevertheless listed in many guides as one of the most prestigious hotels in the world.
- L'Apogée Courchevel in Courchevel
- La Bastide de Gordes in Gordes
- The Reserve in Ramatuelle
- La Réserve Paris in Paris
- The Villa La Coste in Puy-Sainte-Reparade
- Le Bristol in Paris
- The Byblos in Saint-Tropez
- Le Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France in Saint-Barthélémy
- The K2 in Courchevel
- The Mandarin Oriental Paris in Paris
- Le Meurice in Paris
- The Ritz Paris in Paris
- Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris in Paris
- Les Airelles in Courchevel
- The Meadows of Eugenie in Eugénie-les-Bains
- Les Sources de Caudalie in Martillac
The facades of some famous Parisian palaces:
Palaces in other countries
The facades of some famous palaces in other countries: