Luxury & Gastronomy in France

A new hotel status, luxury mountain residences, a new floating foodie experience and the launch of a new gastronomic writing prize

The French Luxury and Gastronomy scene is in development. The Hôtel de Crillon in Paris was awarded the prestigious rank of a ‘Palace Hotel’ in September. Alain Ducasse has launched a new floating restaurant, Ducasse sur Seine. Atout France is launching a French food-writing competition in order to enhance understanding and knowledge of French cuisine, and working with MGM Hotels and Residences to promote luxury accommodation in the mountains.

Hôtel de Crillon becomes a Palace
After a four-year renovation, the Hôtel de Crillon, a Rosewood Hotel, reopened in July 2017. It now joins the elite group of 25 French establishments awarded the ranking of ‘Palace’. At the last committee meeting of the Palace Commission, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, awarded the distinction of Palace to the Hôtel de Crillon for a period of five years. Since opening in 1909, the Hôtel de Crillon has significantly contributed to the promotion of French hotel savoir-faire and excellence throughout the world, personifying the model of French luxury. Over the years, it has become an iconic address – an institution. Entrusted to the care of architect Richard Martinet for its renovation, today the prestigious hotel welcomes the most discerning guests from around the world to an exceptional location.

Introducing MGM Hotels and Residences
Atout France is delighted to announce its new representation of MGM Hotels and Residences, constructor of luxury, sustainable accommodation in the French Alps. Founded in 1963, MGM has since constructed over 30 mountain residences containing over 8,000 apartments, selecting its sites with respect for the natural environment and using locally-sourced materials such as roofing slates and dressing stones or wood for the structure and cladding. Technical choices also follow the same logic, notably for heating, which relies largely on renewable energy.

MGM has added three new residences to its portfolio in 2018: Hotel and Residence Alexane in Samoëns, with 32 apartments and 33 suites, and the first MGM property to boast its own restaurant, ‘Fabio’, serving Italian cuisine; Residence Anitéa in Valmorel, with 40 self-catering apartments; and Les Chalets Éléna in Chamonix-Les Houches, with 49 self-catering apartments. MGM apartments are available to rent by the week, and often to purchase off-plan on a leaseback basis when construction is first announced.

A Paris river cruise: Ducasse sur Seine
Ducasse sur Seine – these three words say it all.  For the duration of a Seine river cruise, the foodie visitor to Paris can now experience contemporary haute cuisine by Alain Ducasse.  The menu conceived by the multi-starred chef perfectly accompanies this iconic experience.  Four dining rooms with a total of 120 seats accommodate diners on a newly-built, electronic cruise vessel, taking guests on a journey of 1 hour and 45 minutes along the banks of the Seine and passing some of the city’s most famous landmarks. Head chef Francis Fauvel and head pastry chef Louis Taine will serve a three- to five-course gourmet meal using the best of French produce, complemented by the best of what the French vineyards have to offer.

‘Starry Night’ Dinner — from 150€/person for four- or five-course menu, including wine pairing
Lunch on the Seine — from 100€/person for three- or four-course menu, including wine pairing
Reservations online at

French food-writing competition
Following its decision to use gastronomy as a primary vehicle to promote France, the French government has asked Atout France to implement a specific food-focused action plan for 2018. As part of this activity, Atout France is setting up a food-writing prize for the international press, aimed at enhancing knowledge and understanding of French culinary heritage worldwide, and boosting tourist numbers. International journalists are invited to submit their best articles on French cuisine by 15 November 2018. Articles must have been previously published in a foreign (UK) media. A jury will select the best articles and an awards ceremony will be organised at the École Ferrandi in Paris. To apply to take part, please send an email to for the full terms and conditions. Please note that although the article should be in English, the author should have a strong command of French. It is also possible to recommend an article by emailing the above address.

Notes for editors:
Palace hotels
The rank of ‘Palace hotel’ was created in November 2010 to highlight exceptional hotels, one of the strong qualifications of France as a desirable holiday destination. This ranking makes it possible to distinguish and recognise, among the many five-star establishments, those whose exceptional geographical location, historical, aesthetic and/or particular heritage importance and bespoke service places them among the jewels of the French hotel industry.
The Palace hotel distinction also helps to promote the value of these establishments on the international scene and contributes to the influence of French culture, and the attraction of France for visitors. The distinction is awarded for a period of five years, after an initial investigation phase conducted by Atout France based on objective eligibility criteria. A second evaluation phase (including visits and discussions) is conducted by a commission, consisting of personalities from the literature, arts, culture, media and business industries, appointed by the Minister of Tourism.
List of the 25 distinguished hotels with the distinction of Palace in France

MGM Hotels and Residences – the leaseback scheme
The leaseback property buying scheme was introduced by the French government in 1967 to encourage investment in tourist destinations and increase France’s supply of quality tourist accommodation. A leaseback property transaction is the purchase of a freehold furnished property in a serviced residential building. Buyers own the freehold of the property, which is then leased back to a management company for a minimum period of nine years. Buyers are entitled to a refund of the 20% VAT paid on the purchase price and owners are guaranteed a rental income and benefit from a set number of weeks of personal usage each year.
The full press kit can be obtained by contacting

Ducasse sur Seine
The full press kit can be obtained by contacting

French food-writing competition
As outlined, the author of the article should be able to read and understand French, to allow full comprehension of the accompanying terms and conditions, registration form and subsequent ceremony.

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