CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed Gregory Millon, the General Manager of iconic luxury Parisian hotel of Molitor, MGallery by Sofitel
Molitor Paris is a brand in itself with a DNA defined by lifestyle. Tell us more.
I am thrilled to be taking the helm of such a historic and iconic location in Paris, especially during the exciting 90th year. To me, Molitor is more than just a hotel; we are a lifestyle location, with varied experiential offerings. Molitor is considered a destination in itself for those looking to be immersed in a hotel rich in arts, culture and wellness. Located in western Paris in the 16th Arrondissement adjacent to the prestigious Roland-Garros tennis-courts, we are also in a perfect spot for sports fans.
As the hotel celebrates 90 years, to what extent has its bohemian past been preserved?
At Molitor, whilst we strive to look to the future and continue enhancing and improving guest experience wherever possible, everything we do has an inextricable link to the past, adding a touch of sophisticated nostalgia and paying homage to our rich heritage. The building closed in 1989 and was classed as a listed historic building; it was then occupied by artists who transformed the space into an immense art hub, which gradually became a mecca for the Parisian underground street and graffiti art scene. In 2014, the building reopened as Hô tel Molitor Paris, part of the MGallery by Sofitel.
It is highly important to us that this vibrant history is preserved, and when the building reopened as a hotel, the street art and art heritage played a key role in the design as it is omnipresent throughout every touch point of the guest experience. Street artists from the world over have left their mark here, from the Legendary New-Yorker Seen to the Parisian Psyckoze and the Gouzous of Jace from Réunion. Originally, the cubicles that line the winter pool afforded swimmers the necessary privacy to undress; swapping a city suit for a bathing suit. Today, each of the 78 cubicles surrounding the winter pool have been taken over by an artist, from floor to ceiling, in order to produce a huge gallery of contemporary urban art.
How important is the Accor association and MGallery by Sofitel?
Accor is our family and we are proud to be part of such a prestigious hospitality brand, which instils guest confidence. The MGallery by Sofitel collection is known as being a collection of historic hotels, each with their own unique individuality. With our rich history, vibrant art installations, iconic swimming pools and wide- ranging wellness facilities we are proud to be considered one of the flagship properties within the collection.
What is the profile of the returning guest?
We welcome many different types of guests, from families looking to enjoy our two swimming pools: one of Paris’ only and most famous Art Deco outdoor pools, measuring 46m, and a 33m indoor winter pool, which are both maintained year-
round at 28°C, to wellness aficionados who want to make the most of our Spa by Clarins – the largest in Paris. Something our guests often have in common is that they are looking to discover Paris from a different perspective. Perhaps they have visited before and want to escape the city’s hustle and bustle, or maybe they are sports fans looking to capitalise on our location adjacent to the Roland- Garros tennis-courts.
To what extent does Molitor Paris attract local patrons besides hotel guests?
We also welcome many locals who want to enjoy our pools, spa and in particular our roof-terrace, known as being one of the best in Paris. Our roof-terrace has just re-opened for the Summer season. Serving food and cocktails with stunning views across the sparkling lights of the city with the Eiffel Tower on the horizon, the terrace is a must-visit destination for both tourists and locals alike. Overlooking both the city below as well as our outdoor pool, visitors can enjoy the relaxed vibes of this chilled-out suntrap whilst sampling an extensive menu, which is new for this year.
The hotel’s offerings expand year round both colder and warmer months. Tell us more.
Our guests are always impressed with the range of activities to engage in at the hotel, year-round. Wide wellness facilities are provided at Club Molitor – stretching over 1,500 m2, perfectly equipped for work-outs from circuits to pilates, urban dance classes or Qi Gong. We also have a dedicated Yoga Studio with daily classes including Hip Hop Yoga Flow and Yoga Vinyasa.
Guests can also discover Molitor’s Spa by Clarins – the largest spa in Paris featuring eight treatment rooms and one 50m2 private suite, sauna, steam room, hammam, reading room, and Shu Uemura and Redken hairdressing salon for men and women respectively.
Art lovers will enjoy exploring the hotel’s various nooks and crannies as they take in the fabulous art collection. Guests can also easily access Paris’s most famous landmarks by using public transportation, or by talking a leisurely walk down the Seine. 25 minutes from the city-centre, the centre of Paris can be easily reached via two Metro lines, whilst the Eiffel Tower is just 10-minutes away. The 16th Arrondissement is one of Paris’ most charming districts, known for its colourful art-deco buildings, leafy parks and world-class museums – from large institutions such as the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris, to the Marmottan-Monet Museum, a highlight for fans of the impressionist painter, or small bespoke collections such as the Musée Baccaret, a private museum of Baccarat crystal. But of course in the summer months, Molitor’s roof-terrace is the place to be.
Which are the key initiatives of your first year at the helm of this iconic property?
In 2019, our priority is very much celebrating the 90th Anniversary and ensuring it becomes a fitting commemoration of the hotel’s vibrant, creative history. I’ll also be looking to strengthen the positioning and awareness of Molitor as a unique luxury hotel and artistic creative hub, focusing on markets including attracting the UK traveller.
To mark the 90th anniversary, there will be a series of activities held at the roof- terrace throughout the summer, alongside a planned launch later in the year of a celebratory book, which will focus on the Art Cabins and illustrating the creative history of the hotel.
Besides a great product a successful hotel is inherently dependent on delivering a consistent standard of customer service. Tell us more about your approach.
I completely agree and at Molitor we pride ourselves on working together as a strong team to enhance the guest experience from start to finish through excellent customer service. Each time we welcome a new or returning guest, I am thrilled to be welcoming them to our corner of Paris and myself and my team strive to offer them a smooth experience from start to finish, whether they’ve come to take a dip in the pool or for an extended stay with their family.
My background is steeped in the hospitality industry, having started my career at the Novotel in West London. I have also worked at the Pullman World Trade Centre in Bucharest, before taking the position of General Manager of the Grupa Hotelowa, part of the Orbis Group, the biggest hospitality collection in Eastern Europe. I then took the same role at Poland’s prestigious Sofitel Grand Sopot, a five-star hotel that has been at the heart of Sopot for 90 years, giving me a wide experience across different types of property and markets which I am now bringing to Molitor.
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