Meeting with Stéfany and Jean-Pascal Phélippeau
I had the pleasure of discovering the Château des Tourelles Hotel (****) and its affiliated Thalassotherapy Center—Relais Thalasso—located in the Bay of La Baule. The history of the site is a very interesting one. At one time, it was a center for holiday resorts where parents sent young children who were sickly to recover, relying on health benefits from the sea. The Phélippeau family resumed control over this site and constructed a hotel in addition to a thalassic center. The original castle was renovated and became affiliated with the hotel.
I made my way to meet Stéfany and Jean-Pascal Phélippeau. Stephany is the interior designer of the home, and Jean-Pascal oversees Maison Phélippeau with his sister, Anne. I leave you to discover our exchange on the French art of welcoming and the concept of thalassotherapy—one that they have begun to reinterpret in La Baule by bringing in a fresh wave of modernity and well-being.
Stéfany and Jean-Pascal Phélippeau, what is the art of welcoming for you? Is it an art that is unique to France?
The art of welcoming plays a role in those places that inspire emotion and make us feel at home. That’s what is most important. After all, the hotels where we form the best memories are those establishments where we could happily see ourselves living there. For my part, when I find myself pleasantly welcomed to a place where there are various little attentions delivered on my account, it makes me not want to leave.
But I don’t see all this as something that is unique to France because we have also been graciously welcomed in Asia and Italy. In the French art of welcoming, it’s truly about all the little touches, all the small attentions, and the unique and authentic character that go on to characterize this art.
What we always like in a hotel is its history, what has taken place there. In fact, it becomes a forum for exchanging ideas. It’s these little things that also go into creating the magic of the hotel: knowing what the motivation and the original spirit were that have allowed the hotel to come into being. This research forms a part of the French art of welcoming, where the history of the sites always remains a source of inspiration for cultivating excellence.
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.