How did you get into the hospitality industry?
This is a family story, we have been working in the hospitality industry from father to son. We liked it and we stayed in this field by passion. I love the hotels.
Tell us about Hotel San Regis. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the hotel?
The townhouse, 5 star rated, was built in 1857, the same year the Suez Canal was inaugurated. At the time, the Champs-Elysées Avenue had already become the place to be, people of the high Parisian society parading in their carriages or sauntering down the avenue to meet friends.
In 1923, Mr. Simon André Terrail, owner of the famous restaurant “La Tour d’Argent”, acquired this stylish residence to turn it into an elegant hotel located in what was already the crossroads of fashion, entertainment and business. The San Régis was born to accommodate the British tourists for whom Paris had become a famous destination. In the 1950s, its enviable location close to the Christian Dior boutique and Avenue Montaigne, made it the headquarter for famous fashion personalities as well as other celebrities: Carmel Snow, Editor of Harper’s Bazaar, Lauren Bacall, Romy Schneider, Gene Kelly, Jacqueline Bisset, Candice Bergen et Louis Malle…
In 1984, looking for the hotel of my dreams, I fell in love with the Hôtel San Régis, captivated by its unrivaled location, the proportion of its beautiful façade and lovely interiors. Then, I undertook a complete renovation with the ambition of making the San Régis shine again as a luxury hotel, while keeping the character of a private home. A remarkable work has been achieved with the close collaboration of the talented French interior Designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. From then on, I never stopped improving the hotel in every little detail, pushing the San Régis to its new position within the very privileged circle of best Parisian hotels. As I did since 30 years now, my aim is to keep a top position among the luxury hotels worldwide, those kind of properties which figures among the best places to stay from one generation to another.
What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Hotel San Regis' success?
Our marketing strategy is mainly built on the hotel renown. Effectively, since the “Fifties”, the Hôtel San Régis has been benefiting from a strong reputation among the world of fashion and entertainment, and especially in the USA. The big renovations that we achieved just after having bought the hotel, have strongly revived the reputation of the Hôtel San Régis, generating a large exposure in the high-end American publications. Spontaneously, our property has been selected year after year among the best hotels in the world, by Town&Country, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel&Leisure, Travel Weekly, Forbes, etc. Together with the great investments on the décor, the wide coverage in key publications pushed up again the reputation of the hotel among the travelers and not only. Then, our appropriate communication, partnership and membership choices naturally leaded the good results.
What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?
The digital distribution together with the social medias are changing our lives, and consequently the hospitality industry means of work. The expectations of the new generation of travelers oblige us to adapt ourselves to these new requirements. We need to anticipate the changes not only by using new tools and developing new partnerships, but also by investing on training our team.
Among nowadays trends, fortunately what the leisure travelers are mostly looking for is an experience. On that point, the Hôtel San Régis offers an authentic Parisian experience!
Live with passion and talent today and everyday!
Your greatest success as Proprietor of Hotel San Regis? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?
I faced the most difficult job when I had to start the first renovations of the hotel. I needed to find the right design which could both preserve the style of the hotel in order to keep the loyalty of our customers and improve the refinement of the property according to my own vision of luxury. I started with only 10 rooms to see how this new décor was going to be welcome by the guests. Finally, this difficulty quickly became a great success, and the whole renovation of the building could be undertaken.
Your advice to an aspiring hotelier?
Don’t do things by half.
Describe the ideal experience at Hotel San Regis.
To enjoy a long drink cocktail or even a dinner, in the private terrace of a Deluxe Junior Suite offering a panoramic view on Paris rooftops, from the Eiffel Tower to the Grand Palais, and Madeleine Church.
How important are architecture/design to the success of Hotel San Regis?
To choose the right interior designer is very important as well as to work on a long term basis. My challenge was to preserve the soul of the hotel while creating a new San Régis atmosphere built for a long life, in opposite to an ephemeral show-off decor. Also, even if I am passionate for interior design, I never forget the comfort of ours guests which is also crucial. That’s why I am used to closely supervise the designer works.
How do you motivate your employees?
Due to the San Régis unique state of mind, we don’t talk about employees because each team member is an integral part of the hotel. Most of them have been working there for 15 to 20 years. The success of the Hôtel San Régis is the result of a team work.
One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?
I would choose the John Dory with Asparagus and Candied Tomatoes prepared by our Chef Christophe Lericolais, and one glass of the finest Chablis.
What literature is on your bed stand?
Role model - business and personal?
I don’t have a special role model. I just truly appreciate the persons who succeed in reaching their goal with talent.
Decoration and hotels. I love discovering new hotels.
Favorite travel destination?
I don’t have any favorite destination, but I do have favorite places, where to stay and where to eat. I travel frequently mainly because I am interested in discovering the new hotels and new restaurants. I am curious to learn more about the new concepts and fine decors all over the world. I definitely pay more interest in the place to stay than in the destination itself.
What's next for Hotel San Regis?
A brother for the Hôtel San Régis on the Left Bank.