The issue with hotel star ratings has been written about before. While there are organizations that award stars, I don't put a lot of weight into them. They care more about the phone next to the toilet than the personalized service of the hotel.

If you want to know if a hotel can have five stars, but still not be a luxury hotel, ask me. One of the few government-awarded hotel rating systems out there is France's "Palace" distinction for hotels.

What is France’s “Palace” hotel rating system?

France is famous for its food and hotels. France has a distinction for hotels called thePalace.

France's official tourism development agency, Atout France, has awarded certain hotels "Palace" distinction. There are only 31 hotels in France that are five-star hotels.

It is possible that a French hotel is not in a former palace. It is meant to describe how grand these properties are.

The idea is to encourage hotels to be their best and increase the profile of these properties on the international scene. Many Francophiles go to great lengths to stay at thePalace properties.

Hotels with the title ofPalace often put it right next to their name on the internet.

Four Seasons Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

How do hotels in France get “Palace” distinction?

How does a hotel in France get the title ofPalace? Here is what we know about the criteria.

  • “Palace” hotels must contribute to enhancing the image of France throughout the world, and must have qualities that embody French standards of excellence; they must have good locations, architectural heritage, great design, and bespoke service
  • Hotels earn “palace” Distinction in two phases — first there’s an initial investigation phase, based on objective criteria, including having certain facilities, and then there’s an evaluation phase, conducted by a panel, intended to judge things like the character of a property, the service levels, the quality of the restaurants, etc.
  • When a hotel receives the “Palace” distinction, it’s valid for five years, and can then be renewed

There were six new hotels added in the last quarter of 2019. There will be more properties added in the future.

Shangri-La Paris

Which hotels in France have “Palace” status?

31 hotels in France have the title ofPalace. I think it's important to point out that a hotel with "Palace" status is probably pretty cool. It is possible for a hotel to be good without being a palace.

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There are some hotels in France with Palace status. Paris is the biggest market forPalace hotels as there are currently 12 properties with this distinction.

Four Seasons Paris George V

The Cte d'Azur is the next biggest market for "Palace" hotels, as there are currently 12 properties with this distinction, though they're more spread out than in Paris.

Airelles Saint-Tropez, Château de La Messardière

There are currently six properties with this distinction, five of which are located in Courchevel.

Les Airelles Courchevel

Only one hotel in Metropolitan France isn't a "Palace" hotel.

  • Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France

The Park Hyatt Paris and Htel du Palais Biarritz are both part of Hyatt.

Park Hyatt Paris

France has an official distinction for its top hotels called the Palace. The majority of these properties are in Paris, Courchevel, and Saint-Tropez. There are also French hotel brands featured.

ThePalace properties have a great sense of place, great dining, and good French service. I know a lot of people who have stayed at the Park Hyatt Paris, so I will add that to my list.

What did you think about your stay at the FrenchPalace property?