Created by the French Ministry of Tourism in 2010, the prestigious “Palaces de France” distinction, recognizes the hotels that go far above and beyond the five-star hotel requirements: hotels with exceptional geographic location, architectural heritage, outstanding service and aesthetic design. The distinction promotes French hospitality worldwide and is valid for five years.
Following the Palace Commission’s latest deliberations, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, has awarded the distinction to six new hotels and has renewed it for three. This brings the number of Palaces to 31 throughout France.
The Lutetia – Paris
A meeting spot for Paris’ artistic and literary elite since its opening in 1910, this palace in Saint-Germain-des-Prés on the Left Bank appeals to Art-Deco fans. Completely renovated under the leadership of Jean-Michel Wimotte, the Lutetia now offers a bright atmosphere framed by 19th-century frescoes and contemporary works. It’s the first Parisian address for chef Gérald Passedat, who has taken over the kitchens of Brasserie Lutetia.
Hotel Le Cheval Blanc – Saint Tropez
Opened in spring 2019, Saint-Tropez’s Cheval Blanc has been designed as a private residence between the beach and pine forest. From the 30 rooms, the view stretches over the sea and the village with its recognisable bell tower. Decorated in a chic Tropézien style, the hotel invites guests to relax on the beach, beside the infinity pool, at the Guerlain spa or at restaurant La Terrasse. All this is without mentioning its three-Michelin-starred restaurant, La Vague d’Or, led by chef Arnaud Donckele.
Villa La Coste – Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade (Provence)
At the heart of the Provençal vineyards within the Domaine Château La Coste, this intimate hotel is a haven of peace with its 28 suites, some of which have a private pool. Relaxation continues in the spa where treatments use local products including jasmine, lavender, rose, olive and apricot. Guests enjoy an appetiser before moving on to eat in the salon, library, garden or clean-lined dining room.
Château Saint-Martin & Spa – Vence (French Riviera)
This hotel is nestled in a verdant landscape in Vence, Côte d’Azur, perfectly conducive to healing and wonderful walks. From its 45 rooms and suites, guests overlook Provence’s abundant nature while six private villas offer an even more exclusive setting. As for food, Restaurant Le Saint-Martin has a Michelin star. In the summer months, have lunch at L’Oliveraie where dishes are inspired by the garden’s crop.
Hotel Barrière Les Neiges – Courchevel (Alps)
One of the oldest hotels in Courchevel, in the Alps, the Barrière Les Neiges has been completely reinvented. After a day on the slopes, enjoy the comfort of one of the 42 rooms and suites, before a visit to the Diane Barrière spa. The hotel has two restaurants: Le Fouquet’s, which perpetuates the brewing spirit of its Parisian brother, and the Bfire by Mauro Colagreco serving dishes cooked over a wood fire.
L’apogée – Courchevel (Alps)
It’s all about comfort and luxury at the Hotel L’Apogée in Courchevel, with every detail ensuring visiting skiers’ utmost pleasure. There are 53 rooms, as well as chalets ideal for meeting friends or family while enjoying the services of the hotel. As far as dining is concerned, Koori’s Japanese specialities offer a welcome surprise, while classic French cuisine is championed at Comptoir de L’Apogée. Catch an evening concert at the buzzing Bar de l’Apogée.
Hotels with the Palace distinction renewed:
Le Mandarin Oriental – Paris
Near the Louvre, the Mandarin Oriental is closely linked with the elegance of haute couture. You can enjoy a truly unique dining experience and savour tailor-made, exquisite dishes from chef Thierry Marx. A 900m ² spa awaits you, where you can indulge all your senses in this relaxing oasis of well-being.
Le Shangri-La – Paris
Former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte and a listed historical monument since 2009, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris merges Asian hospitality with the French way of life. Located just steps from Avenue Montaigne and Avenue George V, the hotel offers iconic views of the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine. Executive Chef Christophe Moret’s dishes are sure to satisfy the most refined of palates.
Le K2 – Courchevel (Alps)
At the heart of Courchevel mythical summits, the K2 offers ample space and a traditional atmosphere in its elegant alpine woodwork rooms with views of the surrounding forest. An intimate haven, the Kintessence welcomes you for a divine haute cuisine experience where connoisseurs will be delighted by the inventiveness and culinary finesse of chef Nicolas Sale. Goji Spa offers a wide range of facials and exceptional body care including the famous caviar care.
Found out more about the Palaces of France here