Hotels in the Mountains, Hotels in the South…Séverine Pétilaire-Bellet, General Manager of the LOV Hotel Collection Group, lets us in on her vision of the French art of welcoming that she applies each day in her hotels.
The LOV Hotel Collection group brings together the following splendid establishments: Les Airelles, Chalet Ormello, Aman Le Mélézin, and Chalet de Pierres in Courchevel, La Bastide de Gordes in Gordes, and Pan Deï in Saint-Tropez.
What is your vision of the French art of welcoming? How do you pass on this art of welcoming to your teams?
It seems to me that there really is—and I say this without any pretention—a French art of welcoming in our establishments.
This is characterized, among other qualities, by:
- The dress code that our employees respect;
- The kindness built into the service;
- The history behind the buildings that we attempt to communicate.
We convey these qualities in two ways: the first and the richest way is through the long histories of our employees in our establishments who then impress upon newly arrived staff with values that are important to us. Then, we map out all the details of the art of welcoming according to a handbook.
You have quite a number of hotels based in the Côte d’Azur and others in the mountains. What kind of organization have you put in place to manage your hotels? Why do you close off some hotels at some points during the year? Are you working off of the concept of a true seasonal hotel? Do your clients follow you from your winter hotels on to your summer ones, or do you have a separate clientele respective to the hotels in your mountains and the hotels in Provence that are open during the summer?
The organization is identical to those of a luxury hotel establishment, with the primary difference coming through in human resources. We are lucky to be able to have a ‘traveling’ team between the winter and summer seasons.
In fact, the seasonality in the mountains is quite pronounced. Whatever anyone may say, the snow settles, and it’s the white gold that allows us to attract our clientele for our properties in the mountains.
I’m not a fan of the word ‘concept’ because it’s a word that is too often thrown out. In place of that, all our current hotels in our collection are hotels with a true sense of seasonality. Each of our exceptional sites possess a true history mixed in with the passion for welcoming.
We are lucky to have many of our guests visit our summer and winter properties. Which is a true pleasure because, for instance, and this is what happened last July, I was greeting one of our clients at the Bastide de Gordes who was having dinner at Table Pierre Gagnaire, and who was leaving the next day to stay in our establishment in Saint Tropez, or there was a client at Les Airelles whom I met at breakfast and whom I found several hours later having lunch at Chalet de Pierres.
How do you manage your staff team given the seasonal organization? Do they change hotels regularly from year to year?
Many of our employers—and this is actually one of the things we’re proud of—often have several establishments in the collection in their work log and for various seasons! With the help of our human resources teams and directors of each of our establishments, we have put in place procedures for our service teams that allow us to keep our employees within our group. This way, our recruitment process takes place in each of our hotels according to the seasons by the service of human resources and our directors.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.