I had the pleasure of meeting Stéfany and Jean Pascal Phélippeau, who allowed me to discover the Hotel Château des Tourelles (****), as well as the Center of Thalassotherapy—Relais Thalasso—located in the Bay of La Baule. I leave you to discover the rest in the following interview.
How do you translate the art of welcoming in thalassotherapy?
I think that today, the art of welcoming in thalassotherapy is about the art of listening. In fact, what is most important is great active listening. That is, you have to know why the client has chosen to come to your establishment for thalassotherapy, in order to be able to provide him or her with the best possible service in terms of care.
How have you developed and reinvented the art of welcoming around the concept of thalassotherapy?
We try to develop this in our Relais Thalasso suites. The thalassotherapist is not just there to fill the pool—she’s actually dedicated to one couple or one individual who will express to her their needs. And this gives way to the moment where the therapist listens carefully to the client’s expectations; and what comes about from our end is a real tailored service. This is completely new; it is a true service that we offer our clients. What more, it is reassuring for them to have a person who understands their expectations and accompanies them throughout the various stages of their experience.
How did you conceptualize the hotel and the thalassotherapy center? Could you tell me more about the history of the hotel room and the concept behind it?
What you will find are things that are 100% rational, and nothing else, because with this space of constructability and the volume, we can only handle it in one way and not the other. And even with a blank page, we quickly realized that there were constraints that had to be accommodated. Then, we had to consider the flow of movement; it had to be simple enough so that the clients can know where they are going in the hotel and in the thalassotherapy center.
When we took over the Château de Tourelles and deliberated over the plan for the hotel, the most important thing for us was to offer our clients a view of the sea from their room. Because our product is one that is closely associated with the sea, we had to maintain this continuity in each and every room. We also wanted to create a sense of space, an enormous comfort particularly where it concerns the bed, since this is the first thing that the client perceives.
We also constructed balconies with huge spaces measuring between 12 and 46m², bringing in an element of oxygen.
We sought to create a product that was both welcoming and endowed with acertain warmth, without imposing too much on the design aspect. We decided to go for a Scandinavian touch with relatively timeless colors that would be pleasing to both women and men.
View from one of the rooms in the Hotel Château des Tourelles
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.