OVER the next two years, the privileged position of Paris’ luxury hotels is set to be shaken up by several new openings and the introduction of an official ‘Palace’ award to distinguish the very best five-star hotels in France.
The first new luxury hotel to open its doors will be the Raffles Royal Monceau on October 18th. The hotel will provide an exceptional service to guests with a love of culture with a private library and art gallery. The hotel will even employ an art specialist concierge, charged with informing guests of the latest goings on in the capital’s art community. It also features a cinema with a 100-person capacity.
In December, Le Shangri La Paris becomes the second challenger. It lays claim to the biggest rooms in the capital – the smallest being 50m² – in a building constructed by Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon’s great-nephew, in 1896. Rooms boast an exceptional view of the Eiffel Tower and guests can relax in 900m² of magnificent salons or in the interior garden.
Le Mandarin Oriental is set to open in mid 2011. The Art Deco rooms of the 1930s are being transformed by renowned interior designer Sybille de Margerie, overseen by the former Managing Director of the luxury Crillon hotel. The building surrounds an enormous interior patio and will also be home to Michelin Star chef Thierry Marx’s first restaurant. Shoppers will adore the hotel’s proximity to boutiques on the rue Saint Honoré and jewellers on the Place Vendôme.
Summer 2012 sees the opening of Le Peninsula Paris in the former International Conference Centre of the French Foreign Ministry, sold by the government in 2007 for €460m. A further €50m will see this building, which saw the peace treaty between the USA and North Vietnam signed in 1975, transformed into a hotel of around 200 rooms.
In total, these four hotels are set to create 1,000 new jobs in the capital.
A new ‘Palace’ label is set to be introduced by the Secretary of State for Tourism, Hervé Novelli, to award the handful of hotels which display “excellence, perfection, luxury and timelessness”.
Only a fifth of the 100 five-star hotels in France are due to receive this honour. Included in the label’s official criteria; the ability to deliver luggage to rooms less than ten minutes after arriving, an exceptional geographical location and a certain percentage of investment each year.
The first official Palace Hotels will be announced by ATOUT FRANCE by the end of 2010.
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