What is a French Palace Hotel?

The ‘Palace Hotel’ distinction was created by the French government in 2009 to recognise the five star hotels in France that possess a certain extra je ne sais quoi. Instead of codifying a criteria for 6 stars, 7 stars and so on, France has decided to create a terminology for the best-of-the-best in hospitality, and they call them — appropriately — Palaces.

To be considered for ‘Palace’ status, a hotel must first meet specific base criteria. For instance, it must be rated five stars, include a fitness gym, a spa, a multilingual staff and a concierge service. Once the above have been confirmed, an agency called ATOUT France sends a delegation to evaluate the establishment for its intangible qualities like character, historical interest, the staff’s drive for excellence and a robust environmental policy.

There are currently 25 palace hotels in France, with an unsurprising concentration located in Paris. Each palace has its own story to tell that is intimately tied to their specific location and unique heritage. For some, that story dates back well over a century. Oetker Collection is honoured to name Le Bristol Paris and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc among France’s 25 palace hotels. From their prominent addresses in the 8tharrondissement of Paris and facing the Côte d’Azur in Antibes, each hotel provides an exceptional experience of these enchanting destinations.

Le Bristol has been welcoming visitors to the French capital since the hotel opened in 1925. For a brief stint during the Second World War, it housed the American Embassy and prominent American nationals living in Paris. In the peaceful and prosperous decades since, Le Bristol Paris has been a bastion of luxury, culture and gastronomy in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Learn more about the Le Bristol Paris history here.

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc will celebrate its 150thbirthday in 2020. The original property on the Cap d’Antibes perch was erected in 1870 by Auguste de Villemessant, founder of French newspaper Le Figaro, and operated as a writers’ retreat called Villa Soleil. Having fallen into disrepair, the villa was bought by hotelier Antoine Sella in 1889, who transformed it into the luxurious Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc. Like Le Bristol, the hotel served an important role during the Second World War when it operated as a strategic military hospital. But before the wartime period — and indeed since — Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc has attracted society and culture’s most illustrious figures. Learn more about Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc’s history here.

Experience the Palace life with Oetker Collection.

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