Recently «A tout France » the french National Tourism Administration, has created a new category to tag those hotels at the very top of the luxury segment in France: the «PALACE» hotels
A panel of experts decide which hotels fulfill the excellence requirements and the quality standards previously set, the maximum number of hotels with this category will be only 20 hotels in the whole country.
Among others, one of this strict requirements are the followings:
.- the hotel must be in a heritage building
.- exceptional architecture and decoration
.- services and infrastructure of the highest level
.- restaurant with Michelin stars
.- a ratio of 2,75 employees per room
.- between 50 and 200 rooms
.- a higher number of suites above the average among the 5 stars hotels
This measure has been necesary due to the increasing number of 5 star hotels in the country (currently 150, but expected to reach 200 very soon), specially with the entry in the european market of well knowm asian luxury hotel chains such as The Peninsula , Shangri-la , Mandarin Oriental or Raffles, who will have to wait a period of 30 months to be able to enter in this selected category.
The priviledged hotels awarded with the highest category were only 8:
- Le Bristol (Paris)
- Le Meurice (Paris)
- Park Hyatt Vendôme  (Paris)
- Plaza Athénée (Paris)
- Hôtel du Palais (Biarritz)
- Les Airelles (Courchevel)
- Le Cheval Blanc (Courchevel)
- Grand Hôtel du Cap Ferrat (Saint Jean Cap Ferrat)
Controversy has appeared since names as Georges V and the Ritz in Paris, or Martinez in Cannes are not in the list, and some people think that those absences does not speak well of the distinction and neither of the jury.