What It Means to Have Three New Palaces in France:
“The Palace Label has profoundly transformed the landscape of luxury hotels. Originally conceived in 2010, it was awarded for the first time in 2011 to 8 French establishments, including classic hotels from Paris (Le Meurice and the Plaza Athénée) as well as those in other regions of France (Hotel du Palais and Les Airelles). We are talking about some of the most historic institutions in the hotel world. In earlier years, the ‘Palace’ title was reserved to designate a select few hotels without any particularly distinctive criteria. The renown of the hotel, its age, its tradition, and its clientele were what endowed it the quality of being a Palace. At the time, therefore, a new hotel could not aspire to be considered a Palace.”
“The new award jury for the Palace label has just awarded three new Palace distinctions to three hotels, following a selection process that analyzed at least ten candidates. The OETKER COLLECTION Group received its second Palace distinction with the hotel Cap-Eden-Roc. LVMH also earned its second Palace label with the Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France – Saint-Barthélemy. The Peninsula Paris, which first opened in 2014, can now show off its Palace label.
“The battle for the Palace label that has frequently surfaced in the media is certainly exaggerated, but it remains largely true. The establishments that win the Palace label are selected because they fulfill a number of strictly defined criteria. There is therefore, at the very minimum, a certain norm that all the establishments uniformly respect. And at the same time, these hotels can’t all resemble one another. Each establishment must find an element of differentiation and offer a unique experience to its clients. After all, what pleasure would clients find in uniformity?
“Today an establishment that is over a year old can have a shot at the label which was once reserved only to hotels whose reputations were rooted in history. The label has thus favored the entrance of new arrivals in the sector, and the market has greatly expanded. In my own rubric of analysis, there are two categories of Palace in France, the older and the newer hotels:
- The older hotels, which enjoy a mythical reputation, an expertise transmitted from generation to generation that consequently emphasize excellence in service and the added human touch.
- The newer establishments, which certainly benefit from more modern décor and all the latest technology but that don’t yet have the history and where the level of service is less refined compared to those of older hotels. It will take many years before a fresh team of over 500 staff-members can excel in providing their services and learn to work together between and across the various departments. It is, needless to say, a royally difficult challenge to recruit 500 luxury craftsmen in several months and train them to achieve a level of excellence in only a matter of years.
Who’s Missing in 2014 from This Exclusive List? New hotels in Paris like in the regions possess the desire to apply to this precious label. It’s surprising to not have this year in the club of the Palaces the hotel La Reserve in Paris. The Michel Reybier Hospitality Group already possesses the Palace La Réserve at Ramatuelle. In fact, the group recently announced that La Réserve Paris was the first Palace in Paris to offer a butler service to all of its guests. They will thus have to keep waiting before being able to officially claim that they are a Palace. To be continued….
These 19 establishments have henceforth received official recognition as Palaces In 2014:
- Hotel du Palais – Biarritz
- Hotel Les Airelles – Courchevel
- Hotel Le Cheval Blanc – Courchevel
- Hotel Le K2 – Courchevel
- The Four Seasons Hotel George V – Paris
- The Bristol Hotel – Paris
- The Mandarin Oriental Hotel – Paris
- Le Meurice Hotel – Paris
- Park Hyatt Hotel Paris Vendôme – Paris
- The Plaza Athénée – Paris
- The Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris – Paris
- The Shangri-La Hotel – Paris
- The Peninsula Hotel – Paris
- La Réserve Hotel – Ramatuelle
- Hotel Le Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat – Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
- Hotel Le Cap Eden Roc – Antibes
- Hotel Le Byblos – Saint-Tropez
- Le Château de la Messardière – Saint-Tropez
- Hotel Le Cheval Blanc Saint-Barth Isle de France – Saint-Barthélemy
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.