I guess we all needed to be able to turn the hotel amp up to 11, which is essentially what adding “palais” to the old star distinction means. Of all the new “palais,” we’ve only stayed at the Hyatt Vendome, which is certainly a wonderful hotel, but is it a palace? Like any expensive hotel the world over, it has it’s over-priced closet rooms that overlook an airshaft, as well its million dollar a night arena-size apartments. P1190660

PARIS (Reuters) – France granted a few top hotels the right to call themselves a “palace” on Thursday, a label which distinguishes them from rivals and is designed to boost the country’s profile as a luxury destination.

The eight winners of the accolade include Paris hotels Meurice and Plaza-Athenee, both owned by the Sultan of Brunei, as well as the Bristol hotel, owned by Germany’s Oetker family.

and 39 rue de Vaugirard…

“We expect significant commercial and notoriety boosts from this accolade,” Didier Le Calvez, head of the Bristol told Reuters.

“Perhaps other countries, such as the U.S. and the UK, might now think of giving the same label, countries which have the same hotel heritage as France….The palace label means winning a prestigious decoration which is valid for five years.”

Criteria to obtain the palace label include the hotel’s location, historical significance, room comfort, personalized service, multilingual staff, health and spa facilities.

The Ritz hotel in Paris, the Four Seasons George V, and the Negresco hotel in Nice all failed the exam to get the label.

The Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, owned by the Hyatt family, also got the right put the palace plaque on its front door along with the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat.

Other winners include LVMH’s Cheval Blanc and Les Airelles, owned by Stephane Courbit, former chairman of media company Endemol — two neighboring hotels nestled between trees right on the slopes of luxury French ski resort Courchevel.

L’Hotel du Palais in Biarritz, on the French Atlantic coast, also won the right to call itself a palace.

[From France doles out new “palace” label to top hotels – baltimoresun.com]