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There are no five star hotels in France

Château-Les-CrayèresThis is a fact. But it doesn’t mean that no hotel is of a five star standard. The problem lies in the national classification system which only goes up to four star or four star luxe but never five star. France’s recently appointed Secretary of State in charge of Tourism, Luc Chatel, looks set to overhaul this outdated structure which puts French hotels at a disadvantage when being compared to their European neighbours. Not only do five star hotels not exist in France but the way hotels are given their stars depends on size of rooms and amenities and has nothing to do with service or state of (dis)repair. So for now when choosing a hotel in France your best bet is to ask around for recommendations or put your faith in a travel agency you trust. Watch this space as the new hotel categorization is put into place… Sophie LeBrozec runs Le Brozec, specialising in luxury holidays on the French Riviera.

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One Comment

  1. Just think of “4 étoiles-luxe” as 5 stars. Most ratings systems rest heavily on the facilities provided. Five, 6 or 7 stars is just sales hype. What most ratings systems seem to forget is that the main function of hotel is to sleep. Bad soundproofing in a supposedly 5 star should be unacceptable. Who cares whether it’s got a gym, a conference centre, shops, or air salon, when you cannot sleep will because of the noise.

    I find, the most difficult place to find decent hotels is the USA. They may have a rating system with five stars but you have to go through such a painful exercise to find something which does not look the same as all the others: the king’s size bed with a mountain of useless pillows facing a massive box containing a TV and a noisy minibar. The worse is when the designers tried to imitate European antiques to give a feel of luxury.

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