For a city long renowned for having some of the finest hotels in the world, Paris adopted the five-star category very late. It was only created a couple of years ago, when the French state awarded the designation to a select dozen luxury establishments. Sprinkled with Michelin stars as well as hotel stars, these acmes of accommodation include names synonymous with the glamour and history of the city itself, among them the George V, Le Meurice, the Ritz and the Bristol.
But not all the best hotels reek of history and Hemingway - the Square is a contemporary haven of calm and modern art, while the modern Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme offers splendid views of the city centre sights from its presidential suite on top floors.
The city's hoteliers are not resting on their laurels. Paris is spoiling its visitors with several more luxury hotels. The new hotels already open - Le Royal Monceau-Raffles and the Shangri-La - have not been rated yet, while the Mandarin Oriental's new Paris property is expected to open in the summer and the Peninsula next year.
Meanwhile, some of the five-star hotels have decided that they are even more stellar than their current rating and have got together to propose a "palace" category. From the interviews being given by the Bristol's manager, it seems fairly sure that this venerable hotel will be among the palace elite, while Hôtel Fouquet's Barrière - less well-known but ideally located where the Champs-Elysées crosses avenue Georges V, seems to have distanced itself from this new competition. Nothing will be announced until the summer.
10 Avenue d'Iena
10 place de la Concorde
15, Place Vendôme
31 av. George V
12, Rue Jean-Goujon
Prime location, excellent service... read more
5 rue de la Paix
112 Rue Du Faubourg St-Honore
11 Avenue de l'Arche
Paris La Defense 6 Cedex