The French hotels are now facing a dilemma for the categories. Till now the official hotel scale in France stops at “four-star luxury.” However, in Paris, half a dozen hotels offering rooms from upwards of €600, or about $840, a night claim the right to call themselves “palaces”. Why and on what basis? Well, it is still uncertain that who qualifies to use that term officially. So the government has wisely decided to raise the bar for the ‘star’ category and create a “five-star” category of top-notch lodgings. Paul Roll, managing director of the Paris tourism office, said a five-star category would make things simpler for international customers, and it was still an open question whether “palace” would continue to exist as a category apart.
“It will make things simpler. A customer who is used to staying in five-star hotels does not really want to go to a four-star luxury one. But in practice it won’t change anything in the Paris hotel landscape,” Roll said, noting the city was currently enjoying record occupation rates. The move was welcomed by France’s largest hotels group, Accor, none of whose luxury Sofitel hotels currently fall into the “palace” category. So keeping at par with today’s international tourism standard, a five-star classification makes sense because it recognizes that there is a segmentation in the luxury world which justifies a differentiation between four and five stars.”