Hôtel Le Bristol in Paris is often referred to as one of the city's top "palace' hotels, a denomination created in 2009. Now the title is official. Four hotels in Paris and four others in the rest of France have been designated "Palace" hotels. The award was decided by a jury headed by the writer and member of the French Acdemy, Dominique Fernandez, and included members of the media, architecture, and hotel groups.
The Paris Hotels are:
• Le Hôtel Bristol, owned by Oetker Collection
• Le Meurice, part of the Dorchester Collection
• Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, owned by the Hyatt family
• Plaza Athenée, also part of the Dorchester Collection (their two other top Paris hotels, the Ritz and George V, failed to make the Palace grade)
• Biarritz: L'Hôtel du Palais Biaritz (pictured above), the only one actually built as a royal palace, for the Empress Eugenie
• Courchevel: Cheval Blanc, owned by LVMH, and Les Aireilles, owned by Stephan Courbit, whose superyacht sank in the Aegean last month.
• Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat: Grand Hôtel Cap Ferrat, bought by Len Blavatnik, a Russian billionaire with American citizenship living in London, in 2008. Does he still own it?
Each hotel will receive a special plaque. The first one was fixed onto the front of the Paris Bristol in the presence of Tourism minister Frederic Lefebvre.