What's higher rated than 5-Star Hotels? In France, the answer is Distinction Palace, an official government rating for hotels that go beyond the already high 5-star standard. This relatively new and very coveted rating has been awarded to only a handful of hotels in Paris, in fact, in all of France.
It seems likely that the reason a number of Paris 5-star hotels have closed for renovations over the past few years is they were shocked not to have received a Palace rating. The Ritz, the Crillon, and the Lutetia have all recently shut down for complete makeovers. Here, though, are the superior hotels in Paris that have been designated as Palaces.
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Mixing the tradition of luxury with state-of-the-art technology, the Mandarin Oriental is something new and unique among Paris luxury hotels.
Just step into the lobby and view the verdant courtyard through ceiling-to-floor windows and you'll know what we mean. Then take a peek into the rooms to be amazed by the modern aesthetics. Better yet, visit the rooftop dining terrace, surrounded by greenery and with absolutely stunning views of the sights and vistas of Paris.
Le Bristol has a special significance for us. Not only was it the first hotel in Paris to be awarded Palace designation, it's also home to Chef Eric Frechon whom we've been following since he had his restaurant out in the 19th. Today, he oversees the kitchen in the 3-star Epicure restaurant at the Bristol.
It's hard to choose the top feature of Le Bristol, but if we had to we'd cite it's amazing inner courtyard — a true green oasis in the middle of a very busy city. We love the rooms that look over this courtyard.
This is one of the newest hotels on the Paris luxury scene and one the whole city was holding its breath to see.
It took three years and umpteen-million Euros to renovate the Shangri-La Paris and turn it into a luxury classic. The rooms are apartment-size — every room has a terrace with views on the Eiffel Tower and the River Seine. Any superlatives you might have heard about this hotel are all true.
If you're looking for a modern luxe hotel in Paris, with a hip and innovative design (created in part by Philippe Starck), look no further than Le Royal Monceau-Raffles Paris (to give it its full name).
Of course the service is what you'd expect as well — the concierge, waiters, cleaners and valet go the extra kilometre to make your stay an unforgettable one. Oh, and if you happen to need some extra leisure activities, the hotel has a recording studio in case you want to cut an album while in Paris.
Just steps off the Champs-Elysées and a stone's throw from the Louis Vuitton flagship store is this very popular Paris Palace hotel. Le Sank (as it is pronounced) is authentic luxury. Even lunch at their restaurant, Le Cinq, combines gourmet food with a near-transcendent service.
In the rooms and suites a mix of modern amenities and antique touches make you feel at home. (Maybe better than home!) Traveling with children? They go out of their way to make your kids feel welcome with kid-size bathrobes and slippers, a children's menu and plenty of video and board games.
The Park Hyatt name usually means a unique luxury experience, but we think the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme goes even farther.
There's a zen vibe to the combination of classic design and contemporary elegance. You'll find underfloor heating, a modernistic spa, as well as Japanese-inspired baths and other touches. You'll feel at home with the clean lines and classic comfort of the public spaces. The fab restaurants and the location can't be beat.
Stunning views can also be had from most of the luxurious rooms at Le Meurice, found on Rue de Rivoli facing the gardens of the Tuileries.
At this majestic Palace hotel, every room is a peaceful oasis of calm. The classically-decorated rooms feature marble bathrooms with both shower and bath. Each room is soundproofed and has air conditioning and multiple telephone lines. But what really makes Le Meurice special are the small details: their Honeymoon Package includes strewn rose petals, champagne and an in-room couples massage.
This well-liked Parisian luxury hotel is another one filled with elegance and charm. Located between Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower, the Plaza Athénée's gorgeous rooms, top-notch service, and fine décor make it one of the standards of luxury in Paris.
On top of all that, the Athénée's Michelin-starred restaurant is run by (and named after) Alain Ducasse, one of the greatest names in the history of French cuisine.
Superior Palace Hotels
• Shangri-La Paris…
• Hotel Bristol Paris…
• Hotel George V Paris…
• The Mandarin Oriental…
• Le Meurice…
• Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme…
• The Royal Monceau Hotel…
• Plaza Athénée Paris…
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