Grandson and son of hoteliers
Grandson and son of hoteliers he even used to say that the first word he prononced was «hotel». From his childhood in the 11th and 12th arrondissements of Paris, he remembers always been in an atmosphere so particular, that of French hospitality. He was already working during school holidays at the Grand Hotel Francais, has never been unworthy. And even if he became general manager of both properties, this Stakhanovite defender of a human hospitality business is not prepared to rest on its laurels. His career, started in the early 90’s as the general manager of the Grand Hotel Francais, has also a challenging start: to get tourists to eastern Paris. A not easy task since they were always «drained in the same neighborhoods», confesses the hotel director, referring to «the Champs Elysees, the Latin Quarter and the Opera».
And so in 2006 proposing a design hotel with three stars near the Place de Nation was seen by skeptics as a crazy gamble, almost lost in advance. It was without counting on the unwavering motivation of the general manager and his visionary perception of the Internet. In developing an early presence of his hotel, the hotel director was able to reverse the phenomenon that was to «minimize» the importance of this area and thus take his revenge on those who «closed the door to his face» early in the project. «I’ve always believed in it, otherwise I would not have throwed myself into it» he says, demonstrating today that «we can sell at high prices quality establishments in the 11th or 12th arrondissement». Because for this Parisian with Mediterranean origins who believes that «each district of Paris has its own identity and history», it was essential to «break away from mass tourism». He does not hide « that encouraging the guest to discover the French culture » is part of his priorities. An ideology directly attached to a new type of traveler, the urban nomad: a tourist who has a background, who wants quality and especially «value», this mixture of «know-how and savoir vivre».
The hotel director thinks the same about hospitality, his purpose being to «make the guest understand that we can take care of him in an emotional level and meet authentic people.» As such, he sees himself as a staunch defender of traditional French hospitality. He wants to remove the check in – check out standard which is to make the hotel « just a business ». « What they can not rob from us is the knowledge of Paris » says he. « Each guest arrives, we give him a plan, a list of restaurants in the area that we selected. We try to explain where are the highlights of Paris and we stay at his disposal: the customer may return at any moment, there will always be someone to answer his questions », he explains. He sometimes takes care himself of the reception to be in contact with the customers so dear to him. He says he hasn’t been on vacation for three years, because without doubt the love he has for his profession seeks energy all the time.
In 2009, after renovating his hotels reconciling design and purely French decoration, he sets two goals: boosting the area around the Grand Hotel Dore like he did with the Grand Hotel Francais and still polishes the image of a French hospitality he considers the «best in the world» although he adds not everyone has realised that. For the first one, he hopes to participate in the legitimate recognition of the avant-garde of this district, located just minutes from Bastille, which breathes innovation (the Viaduc des Arts and Bercy Village are the best ambassadors). For the second one, he relies on a philosophy that success is more evident.