The prestigious ‘Palace’ distinction goes to 3 French Riviera hotels

La Réserve Ramatuelle

Three new luxury hotels on the French Côte d’Azur can now officially refer to themselves as “Palace”. They were the only 5 star hotels of France to be added to the exclusive Palace club this year.

After a long process over one year, the results of the highly reputable award was announced yesterday in the French media by Atout France, the French tourism organisation which supervises the allocation process. How many hotels that actually applied for the title remains unknown.

The 3 winners are: Byblos, Château de la Messardière, both nestled in the glamorous town of Saint Tropez, and La Réserve in Ramatuelle. The luxurious establishments will keep their “palace” title for a total of five years.

Among the 180 five star hotels of France, we count now in total 12 Palace hotels, 5 in Paris and 7 in the rest of France. The last 3 newcomers will now join the nine other members of the official Palace club, which consists of Hôtel du Palais (Biarritz), Les Airelles (Courchevel), Le Cheval Blanc (Courchevel), Le Bristol (Paris), Le Meurice (Paris), Park Hyatt (Paris), Plaza Athenee (Paris), Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat (St Jean Cap Ferrat) and George V (Paris).

The ‘palace’ label was introduced in November 2010 with the aim of distinguishing certain French luxury hotels from their international competitors, in turn boosting the country’s profile as an exclusive holiday destination, particularly in locations such as Paris and in the South of France. This distinction allows also the Palace Hotels to be different from their other 5 star hotel rivals that are flourishing the last year such as the Royal Monceau (oct 2010), Shangri-La (dec 2010) or the Mandarin Oriental (June 2011). Two others are expected to open, the Majestic Peninsula in 2013 and a Cheval Blanc Hotel in the old parisian shopping center La Samaritaine in 2014-2015.

In order to receive the award from the 10-member jury, a hotel has to comply with a number of specific requirements. It must have larger rooms than those of five-star establishments, more facilities such as a spa and gym, excellent and efficient service including a range of multilingual employees, an excellent restaurant as well as an exceptional and exquisite ambiance – all factors which make the guest’s stay a divine, unique and memorable experience.

For more information about the 3 new Palace Hotels on the French Côte d’Azur: