Founded, owned and operated by a family of four generations, Groupe-Floirat is a collection of three hotels and several restaurants and nightclubs in France. The hotels in the group include La Réserve in the Basque town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Les Manoirs in Normandy and the five-star classic flagship property, Hotel Byblos in St. Tropez.
Antoine Chevanne is the great grandson of Sylvain Floirat, who originally founded Groupe Floirat. He is the fourth generation to lead the family company. As CEO of Groupe Floirat since 2006, Chevanne continues the family tradition of hotel management and entrepreneurship, and has been instrumental in the expansion of the Groupe’s portfolio of properties, focused on luxury hospitality, charming boutique hotels and upscale nightclubs. The Groupe Floirat properties are a true reflection of Chevanne’s exceptional management skills, know-how and commitment to his family’s legacy.
How did you get into the hospitality industry?
This is a family story ... It all started in 1967 with my great-grandfather Sylvain Floirat, a brilliant French business man, CEO of many companies, including Breguet Aviation, Matra, French Television Company Europe Following the Arab-Israeli conflict, Jean-Prosper Gay-Para (the founder of Byblos) decided to return to Beirut to manage his hotels and to sell the Byblos. It was at this time that my great-grandfather decided to buy the Byblos, just three months after its opening ... so begins another story, the one of the Floirat family and his heirs.
(Byblos Pool at night)
In such a competitive industry, how does your Hotel stay so successful?
Le Byblos is a beautiful family story... but it is also a story linked to the importance of human relations and to its staff who have been working there for more than thirty years for some of them. The staff turnover is nearly non-existent, which is a real asset in the hotel industry.
The human factor remains crucial and is part of our competitive advantage. Over time, we have succeeded in renewing ourselves while preserving our ancestral values.
What partnerships/marketing strategies did you implement that attributed to the success Byblos Hotel?
On the occasion of the 40 years (in 2007) and 45 years (in 2012), the Byblos Hotel worked with establishments, symbols of luxury, quality and elegance like Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Pinel & Pinel, as well as Cristal Roederer and Perrier Jouet.
We commissioned a range of unique and exceptional products, designed exclusively for the Byblos.
A lot more is coming soon, with exciting surprises for Byblos 50th Anniversary !
(Les Caves du Roy Nightlclub)
How important is location selection to the success of your hotel?
Yes, absolutely! This is one of the numerous advantages of the hotel that our clients prefer...
The Byblos Hotel is located in the heart of Saint-Tropez, close to the Place des Lices, yet giving the feeling of being away from the world, in an oasis of silence lulled by the water runoff and birdsongs. Place des Lices, luxury boutiques, the harbour of Saint-Tropez...everything is a few minutes’ walk from the Byblos!
What are your greatest successes and mistakes as a CEO and what have you learned?
My main success was to succeed in preserving the values of the Groupe Floirat, while making every product evolve with the times and according to the customers needs.
My main mistakes were to try to go too fast on certain projects and to get carried away by my enthusiasm to go forward.
What qualities make a 5 Star Hotelier?
The welcoming, the sense of service, the expertise and the knowledge to being unimpeachable, but also the eye for details...
(Rivea by Alain Ducasse)
Describe the ideal customer experience at your Byblos?
Start by lounging on the terrace of the room with a breathtaking view of Saint-Tropez (I recommend the Suite 621), by the pool savor a fabulous cocktail and taste the menu at the "B" restaurant. Take then a dip in our pool with turquoise water before lying down on one of our chairs to enjoy sunbathing. Finish the day in our Spa by Sisley Cosmetics to discover exceptional cares. And finally succumb to the Mediterranean flavors at our second restaurant, the Rivea at Byblos by Alain Ducasse. Do not forget to go for a glass of champagne in our famous night club, Les Caves du Roy!
What is your life motto?
Even if this enthusiasm is of paramount importance for the fullfilment of my projects, I now take a little bit more time to think, analyze and discuss before acting.
What is your favorite travel destination?
BRAZIL ! Love the country and the people
Who is your role model - business and personal?
My great grand father Sylvain Floirat... he was a visionary
What literature is on your bed stand?
An Irvin Yalom book. Love Philosophy
What's next for your hotel group and you personally?
Working hard on Byblos 50th Anniversary in 2017. Personally ? Being a father at the end of October : a huge project !
A graduate from Paris-Dauphine with a DEA in economics, Chevanne received his masters in Hospitality Management at Cornell University. He then went on to serve as Director for Hotel Byblos for five years before becoming CEO of Groupe Floirat.
Groupe Floirat properties include:
Byblos Saint Tropez - Located in beautiful Saint Tropez, in the South of France, Byblos opened in 1967 and is part of the Groupe Floirat collection. The legendary hotel is home to Spa Byblos - a haven of peace and serenity, created by Sisley Cosmetics; Alain Ducasse’s latest culinary concept – Rivea; Algandra - Byblos’ own 65-foot luxury yacht; Le Black Legend Monaco, Lounge Bar and Night Club; Le Red Monaco; as well as the famed French nightclub – Les Caves du Roy.
Les Manoirs de Tourgville, Normandy - Located nearby the stylish resort towns of Deauville-Trouville and the picturesque Honfleur harbor, this outstanding property became part of the Groupe Floirat collection in 2009. Purchased by CEO of Groupe Floirat, Antoine Chevanne from the French Film Director, Claude Lelouch, Les Manoirs de Tourgville welcomes guests for a stay of leisure, fitness and gastronomy.
Hotel La Reserve - Saint-Jean-de Luz - Conveniently nearby the historical town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and its lovely beaches, La Reserve is an inviting haven for relaxation featuring breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean – all of which can be enjoyed from each guestroom terrace, the hotel’s infinity swimming pool and gourmet restaurant.
Le Black Legend Monaco, Lounge Bar and Night Club - Designed like a Manhattan loft, this retro-chic nightclub brings back the 1970s spirit with authentic Motown music and ambiance.
Le Red Monaco - This restaurant is a new ‘chic and modern’ bistro, where Chef Julien Tosello concocts a generous gourmet cuisine with an Italian accent