The global luxury hotel market faced a significant downturn in 2020 due to the pandemic, with a sharp decline in occupancy rates, average room prices, and revenue per available room (REVPAR), notably impacting the high-end segment which saw a decrease in REVPAR by 73.7%. Despite this, the market was valued at $174.9 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 4% through 2026. North America is recognized as the most dynamic market within this sector.

The luxury hotel sector, driven by tourism development and higher living standards, has had to address the challenges of the technological environment by building more direct relationships with customers through social media platforms. In France, 5-star hotels have been particularly affected with a 51.4% revenue drop in 2020, suffering more than the wider French hotel industry due to the absence of international clients and events. Five-star establishments represented 14.3% of the total hotel revenues in France in 2020. Luxury hotels continue to remain a key part of the hospitality industry, appealing mainly to leisure clients, with a significant decrease in business clientele during the crisis.

Understanding the Demand Trends in the French Luxury Hotel Market

In France, the luxury hotel market exhibits certain trends and characteristics that shape the demand. Catering to a mere 9% of hotels in the provinces and 11% in mainland France, luxury hotels, particularly those rated at four and five stars, play a significant role in the regional hospitality landscape. An interesting aspect is that about a quarter of foreign tourists opt for luxury accommodations, with a majority preferring chain hotels over independent ones. The demand for luxury hotels in France can be dichotomized into two main categories, namely, business and leisure clientele.

Business clientele consists of a diverse group, ranging from executives and sales representatives to technicians and workers, with varied lengths of stay. These are further segmented into groups like full-fare business travelers, those with agency or corporate rates, and individuals enjoying special prices due to events. The leisure side sees individuals traveling for personal reasons, with distinctions among full-fare travelers, those with agency-discounted trips, and beneficiaries of special events or last-minute rates. A notable trend is the predominance of leisure customers in five-star hotels and those with the Palace distinction awarded by Atout France. In 2020, leisure clients constituted the majority at Palaces, significantly higher compared to a diminished business clientele that represented between 10% and 15% of all Palace guests.

The luxury hotel market saw a shift with the emergence of the health crisis in 2020. This downturn disproportionally affected the high-end segments dependent on international tourism, conventions, and trade shows. However, despite such challenges, the revenue per available room in the upper tier remains above the French hotel industry average, signifying resilience amid adversity. With the majority of high-end and luxury establishments choosing closure in the lack of business during the critical months of the crisis, the luxury market demonstrated its vulnerability to global events that stifle international travel and large gatherings. The anticipated trend for luxury hotels is a revival as travel restrictions ease and consumer confidence returns, but the demand composition might evolve based on emerging travel patterns and the economic aftermath of the pandemic on both corporate and leisure sectors.

Pinnacle of Prestige: Deciphering the Titans of the Luxury Hotel Industry

The luxury hotel market is a realm of exceptional service, unparalleled comfort, and unforgettable experiences, where titans of hospitality set the benchmark for indulgence and exclusivity. The most prominent players in this elite circle have created dynasties that span the globe, offering the discerning traveler a passport to opulence and pampering in the world's most coveted destinations.

  • Westin Hotels & Resorts: Pillars of Well-being Westin Hotels & Resorts represents a sanctuary of health and rejuvenation within the luxury hotel segment. Their commitment to guests' well-being is showcased through signature offerings like the Heavenly Bed® for a restful sleep and rejuvenating spa treatments that embody their philosophy of empowering guests' well-being.


  • St Regis Hotels & Resorts: The Epitome of Timeless Elegance St Regis Hotels & Resorts are legends in the luxury hotel sector, providing experiences that go beyond expectations. Known for their bespoke service and refined opulence, St. Regis properties around the world offer guests the chance to enjoy iconic rituals such as the evening sabering of champagne, which encapsulate their tradition of grace and grandeur.


  • Leading Hotels of the World: A Collection of Unrivaled Distinction As an umbrella organization, Leading Hotels of the World curates a selection of the world's most magnificent independent hotels. Each property is distinctive, with its own identity rooted in its locale, providing travelers with authentic and immersive experiences that cannot be replicated.


  • Waldorf Astoria: The Legacy of Signature Luxury Waldorf Astoria has set standards in the hospitality industry for over a century, standing as beacons of timeless glamour. Iconic in every sense of the word, the Waldorf Astoria collection promises guests a journey steeped in luxury and a storied heritage that's meticulously preserved. Personal concierges ensure that every stay is as extraordinary as the hotel's illustrious history.


  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts: Environmentally Conscious Opulence with a heart for sustainability and a passion for outstanding service, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts blends eco-friendly practices with luxury. Their locations, often in buildings of historical significance, offer a perfect blend of modern conveniences and environmental consciousness without compromising on the indulgent experiences sought by guests. Each of these esteemed institutions has masterfully positioned themselves as more than just places to stay—they are destinations in their own right, delivering grandeur, well-being, and culture to every guest who crosses their thresholds. 
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and presentation

Luxury hotels are a form of accommodation with exclusive, personalized and unique services, where the customer is the focus and the experience must be impeccable. Hotels in this market are 5 star hotels or more. On a global level, luxury hotels are often chains. Among the largest are:

  • Westin Hotels & Resorts
  • St Regis Hotels & Resorts
  • Leading Hotels of the World
  • Waldorf Astoria
  • Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

In France, luxury establishments welcome a quarter of foreign tourists each year, and the majority of them are part of large hotel chains. Moreover, the number of visitors to independent hotels is lower than that of chain hotels.

Luxury hotels in France are found in remarkable sites, urban areas and winter sports resorts. Four- and five-star hotels account for 9% of the total number of hotels in the provinces and 11% in mainland France. Five-star hotels account for 3% of regional capacity in the provinces and are smaller: they have an average of 56 rooms per establishment in the provinces and 68 in metropolitan France. Luxury hotel capacity represents 21% of the total in metropolitan France and 17% in the provinces.

The technological environment has a significant impact on the luxury hotel sector, which must evolve with technological progress by building more direct relationships with its customers via social networks. So the evolution of technology is very important for this market.

1.2 The global market

The global luxury hotel market was valued at $***.* billion in **** with a forecasted compound annual growth rate of *% through ****.

Global luxury hotel market World, ****-****, USD billion Source: ****

The most dynamic market is North America.

Although the global market experienced a sharp decline in ****, due in particular to restrictions linked to ...

1.3 The French market

To obtain the weight of *-star hotels in the French hotel industry as a whole, we used the number of rooms available per hotel category provided byINSEE, and to obtain an estimate of the weight of each category, we multiplied this number by the number of rooms available per ...

2 Analysis of the demand

2.1 Typology of demand

From the outset, we distinguish between two very different types of customers in the hotel industry. These are the business and leisure clientele.

In the business clientele, we find: executives, sales representatives (***), researchers, technicians, workers, or even professionals who travel for varying lengths of time depending on the work or intervention ...

2.2 Demand trends

This more obvious decrease in Paris can probably be explained by the decrease in business clients observed in the previous section, given that the business clientele is more important there.

Occupancy rate of French Palaces France, ****-****, in percent Source: ****

According to INSEE, **% of overnight stays in *-star hotels ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Operation of a hotel

The necessary staff

Organization chart of a typical hotel

Source: ****

Here is an organization chart, not exhaustive, allowing to see the structure of a hotel and the personnel necessary to its functioning. obviously, the size of the establishment will have a great influence on the staff of the latter: on its ...

3.2 French luxury hotels

According toINSEE, France had *** *-star hotels in ****, offering a total of **,*** rooms.

The website lists the establishments that have received * stars since **** and counts a total of ***. The following map shows the regional distribution of these establishments and shows that a minority of regions have a large majority of ...

3.3 Sales structure: distribution of reservations and distribution of revenues

In the cost structure, we will detail the distribution channels through which hotel room reservations are made, as well as the distribution of revenues, which gives us a vision of the sector's cash inflows and outflows.

Distribution[***] Direct reservations: these are sales that are made directly with the hotel in question, ...

4 Analysis of the offer

4.1 Average prices of French luxury hotels

While the average price of Palaces shows a *% decrease from **** to ****, the average prices of those in Paris and the Riviera have held steady with slight growth of *.*% and *.*% respectively.

The other regions (***) are showing strong price growth, mostly driven by an unusual interest in French regional destinations between the two ...

4.2 Online presence and OTA competition

Two independent factors make the online life of hotels not easy:

The emergence of OTAs that attract customers and even steal customers from hotels by offering more attractive prices The neglect of the hotels' e-reputation does not improve their visibility, which leaves the field open to OTAs

With the digitalization of ...

5 Regulation

5.1 Classification of stars

Tourist hotels in France are subject to a new regulation developed in **** concerning their classification.

This classification allows to review the positioning of hotels.[***]

For the five categories, the following elements are guaranteed by this new classification

A careful welcome in a clean and well-maintained establishment providing family-friendly facilities. Complete and ...

5.2 Rights and obligations of hotel professionals

Since January *, ****, hoteliers are subject to new price information obligations (***).[***]

First of all, if it is a hotel creation, before the opening of the establishment, the operator must obtain an opening authorization from the prefecture of the defollowing this, and after an on-site investigation, a conformity visa may be issued, followed ...

List of charts

  • World luxury hotel market
  • Revenues of 5-star hotels
  • Répartition du chiffre d'affaires
  • Contribution des centres de profit à la marge globale
  • Typology of the Palaces' clientele
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Latest news

Hilton sets up in France - 13/11/2023
  • The number of Hilton establishments in France has quadrupled since 2017, from 7 to 27.
  • The Hilton group aims to reach around 50 establishments in France in the medium term.
  • The Hilton Group is targeting cities with populations of over 100,000
  • Its Waldorf Astoria, Canopy, Curio, Tapestry, Double Tree and Hilton Garden Inn brands have been introduced in France.
  • Its Home2 and Motto brands may soon be introduced in France.
  • Hilton adopts an "asset light" development model, through franchising or management contracts.
  • Hilton is the world's third-largest hotel group, with over 7,000 hotels and 1.1 million marketed rooms.
  • Hilton has some 173 million members in its loyalty program.
  • First hotel to open in Monaco under the Curio brand.
  • The group plans to convert existing establishments, such as the current Crowne Plaza in Lille, to the Hilton brand.
Sébastien Bazin has transformed Accor in 10 years | Accor: Bazin's transformation in 10 years - 07/09/2023
  • Sébastien Bazin has been CEO of Accor since August 27, 2013.
  • Accor will have 5,487 hotels in 2021, compared with 3,500 in 2013.
  • The group has 46 brands in 2021, compared with 13 in 2013.
  • Accor has become number one in hotels in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific (excluding China) and Latin America.
  • Accor spent 6 billion euros on acquisitions.
  • The group earned 8 billion euros mainly from the sale of hotel properties.
  • Accor owns 30% of AccorInvest, which manages 800 hotels.
  • Accor's largest shareholder is China's Jin Jiang, with a 12.8% stake.
  • Accor is ranked number six worldwide in the hotel industry by MKG.
Online casino, moving upmarket: the group's new ambitions - 05/09/2023
  • The Barrière group was founded in 1912.
  • Alexandre Barrière and Joy Desseigne-Barrière took over the chairmanship at the end of July.
  • Groupe Barrière bought out Fimalac for 325 million euros.
  • The group's Fouquet's brand is present in New York, Abu Dhabi and Dubai.
  • Groupe Barrière already operates online casinos in Switzerland.
  • The Barrière group owns all its hotels, with the exception of the one in New York.
The Barrière family regains control of its entire group - 31/07/2023
  • Barrière is a major French player in the casino and luxury hotel sectors.
  • Fimalac owned 40% of Société de Participation Deauvillaise, but has now sold its shares for around 325 million euros.
  • The succession to the company's presidency took place last April with the arrival of Alexandre Barrière, the eldest son of CEO Dominique Desseigne.
  • The family's children, who already owned 60% of the capital before Fimalac's exit, now have full control of the company.
Heirs to Barrière hotels and casinos regain control - 31/07/2023
  • Founding of the Lucien Barrière Group: 111 years ago
  • Today, the group is the leading casino operator in France and Switzerland
  • Coexistence with a minority shareholder, Accor, since 1989 and Fimalac since 2011
  • Purchase of Fimalac shares by the group's heirs: 325 million euros
  • Group made up of two entities: Groupe Lucien Barrière and SFCMC
  • Number of properties: 19 hotels (mostly 5-star, including a palace in Courchevel), 32 casinos, 1 gaming club, over 150 bars and restaurants, 16 spas, a thalassotherapy center and a balneotherapy center
  • Number of employees: approx. 6,500
  • Sales in 2022: €1.3 billion.
  • The SFCMC group includes a casino, three beach hotels and seven restaurants.
Joachim Jacob General Manager, Four Seasons Megève - 22/06/2023
  • Joachim Jacob has over 15 years' experience in the hotel industry.
  • Four Seasons Megève Collection comprises two hotels: Four Seasons Hotel Megève and Les Chalets du Mont d'Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel.
  • The Four Seasons Hotel Megève features 55 rooms and suites, as well as a 900 m2 spa.
  • The winter restaurant La Dame de Pic-Le 1920 has been awarded a Michelin star.
  • Les Chalets du Mont d'Arbois, Megève, A Four Seasons Hotel, has 41 rooms and suites.
  • Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts currently operates 126 hotels and resorts and 53 residential properties in 47 countries.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

Accor Hotels
Intercontinental Hotels Group
Barrière Groupe
Egencia France
Relais & Chateau
Radisson Hotels
The Originals Hotels
Logis Hotel
Mandarin Oriental
Peninsula Hotels
Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts

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