The Newest Hotel Rating: Michelin KEYS!

by olivia hoffman
Photo © Saint James

The Michelin Guide – the most trusted resource in restaurant recommendations around the world – has always suggested hotels and attractions among its pages. The little red book ultimately encourages travel and making the most of the journey by visiting the best stops along the way.

With so many restaurants to recommend, the guide devised the star rating system whereby a dining establishment could earn one to three stars based on the quality of the food, service, and ambiance. Read more about the Michelin Guide here. However, when it came to hotels, there had never been a technical rating system – until now.  


As the purveyor of the best places to eat, it only makes sense that the guide would also lead travelers to the best places to stay! Read on to learn about the newest addition to the little red book: the Michelin Keys.

What are Michelin Keys?

Michelin Keys are the new rating standard to recognize excellent hotels in the same way that Michelin Stars recognize outstanding restaurants. A project that has been in the works for the last four years, the Michelin selection team has revisited the hotels they have been including in the guide for decades with a more deliberate evaluation system in order to give more organized recommendations to the best of the best.

Similar to the Michelin Stars, hotels can earn between one and three Michelin Keys:

One Key: a very special stay
Two Keys: an exceptional stay
Three Keys: an extraordinary stay

This approach takes into account five universal criteria when determining if a hotel deserves a Key rating and how many keys to award. According to the Michelin website, these include: “excellence in architecture and interior design, quality and consistency of service, overall personality and character, value for the price, and a significant contribution to the neighborhood or setting.”

How many hotels will have Michelin Keys?

More than 5,000 remarkable hotels around the world have been included in the Michelin collection. Of these, the most outstanding will receive the Key distinction. Beginning in April 2024, the guide began releasing the results of the Michelin Key recipients starting with hotels in France. Gradually, more countries’ Key hotels are being revealed.

As of June, the Key selections have been released for hotels across France, Italy, Spain, the United States and Japan.

Where are the Michelin Key hotels in France?

On April 8th, the Michelin Guide announced the hotel selection for France which includes 24 Three Key hotels, 38 Two Key hotels, and 127 One Key hotels across the country. Ranging from official Palace hotels (a designation awarded by the French government for the most luxurious hotels in France) to design-forward boutiques to châteaux in the countryside, the hotels are wonderfully diverse.

Paris accounts for 39 of the hotels to earn a Key distinction, while the remaining 150 blanket the whole country. Find the full list here.

Planning a trip to France and don’t know where to start?

Head to the MFCH Travel website to find free travel guides to regions all around France. After identifying the region you are most interested in, check out our detailed itineraries to purchase a full hour-by-hour schedule ranging from two to eleven days. The itineraries include a manageable route to the best spots along with recommendations to our favorite restaurants, shops, and hotels. Each day includes a QR code to scan for an interactive Google map to guide you along the way.

If there is a Michelin Key hotel you are particularly interested in, use the Michelin Guide in combination with our itineraries to ensure you have the most extravagant and authentic French experience!

Written by Olivia Hoffman

Read Next: The History of the Michelin Guide

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