The Ritz-Carlton has won le grand prix triomphe d'excellence Europenne.
The French words translate to "the grand prize of European excellence," a prestigious French award that puts the Ritz-Carlton on a list with some A-No. 1 competition in the United States: the Pierre Hotel in Manhattan, the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills and the Stanford Court in San Francisco.
The award is from a private group, the Committee of European Excellence, that honors companies for preserving European excellence, according to a committee release. In addition to other top-notch hotels, past recipients have included Rolls-Royce automobiles, Piaget watches, Dior furs and Volga caviar.
For the Ritz, the tribute is the latest in a litany of honors. In January, the ultra-posh hotel was awarded two of the travel industry's highest tributes--the Mobil Travel Guide Five-Star Award and the American Automobile Assn.'s Five Diamond Award.
Schielein isn't sure how many international travelers the French award could bring. "Your guess is as good as mine," he said, but "it definitely couldn't have anything but a positive influence."