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Michelin Guide launches Michelin Keys for hotels

Just as Michelin Stars denote exceptional culinary experiences, Michelin Keys identify the world’s best hotels.

Five-star ratings are a thing of the past. Truly exceptional accommodation experiences are now distinguished by a Michelin Key. While the Michelin Guide has long been associated with the stars it bestows upon restaurants, the organisation has recommended exemplary hotels to discerning travellers since the 1920s. However, only recently did the Michelin Guide establish a clear accolade system for hotels. Echoing the star system of restaurants, Michelin Keys is a coveted distinction awarded to select hotels that meet strict criteria for outstanding accommodation experiences. Judged on a comprehensive list of criteria that evaluate architecture, interior design, service, uniqueness of character, value and the positive contributions it makes to the immediate neighbourhood or community, a Michelin Key is a holistic examination of what ‘luxury’ means within the hotel space.

Michelin keys Bulgari Hotel Milano
© Bulgari Hotel Milano

Michelin Keys by the Michelin Guide

Launched in April 2024, Michelin Keys will be awarded by Michelin Guide inspectors from anonymous stays or visits. The initiative launched in France and has since expanded to include properties in the US, Spain, Italy and Japan soon to follow, with a selection of 5300 hotels now bearers of a key. The system allows each hotel to carry between one and three keys. According to the website:

“Our One and Two Key distinctions denote some of the best places in our selection. And if you’re anywhere, anytime, and you can make it to a three-Key hotel – do whatever you can to get there for a night. It’s one of the most outstanding experiences in the world.”

“The Michelin Key is a clear, reliable indication for travellers. Just as the Michelin Star distinguishes those restaurants that are at the peak of their art, the Michelin Key recognizes the most exceptional hotels throughout the world. It is also an acknowledgment of the teamwork of committed enthusiastic hospitality professionals,” said Gwendal Poullennec, International Director of the Michelin Guide, in an official release.

The Ritz Paris Suite de Prestige Imperiale Chambre
© The Ritz Paris

Michelin Key criteria:

  • Excellence in architecture and interior design
  • Quality and consistency of service
  • Overall personality and character
  • Value for the price
  • A significant contribution to the neighbourhood or setting

The price of the hotel is not necessarily a determining factor in the allocation of keys. While some keyed hotels are quiet, others are lively; some are in big cities while others are in blink-and-you’ll-miss-it locales. The selection includes contemporary design marvels and heritage treasures, castles, hostels, tents and ryokans.

Browse the Michelin Key hotel selection 

VISIT WEBSITE
Alcova Tiepolo Suite Aman Venice
© Aman Venice

Read more:
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These are the most expensive stays in Australia
12 of the world’s best luxury hotel bathrooms
25 of the best destinations for Michelin-starred restaurants

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