François Delahaye, General Manager of Hotel Plaza Athénée and COO of Dorchester Collection has recently spoken exclusively to CPP-LUXURY.COM about the performance of the hotel and the Parisian luxury hotel market.
How has your hotel performed last year and what are your expectations for this year?
The luxury market in Paris has been affected by the events of last year but Hotel Plaza Athenee has managed to maintain its position as one of the leading hotels in the city.
What is your perspective on the disruptors of the luxury hotel market in Paris such as AirBnB? Are there any other particular disruptors you take into account in your operations strategies?
AirBnB is very dominant in Paris, especially at the mid and lower ends of the market. It’s difficult to give its precise impact on the luxury hotel industry; however, it does soften the hotel market in general by providing more choice. Our guests choose us for the myriad and exceptional services and experiences we offer.
We are one of the first companies to utilise the social listening tool Local Measure to enable us to engage more deeply with our guests and ‘surprise and delight’ them. It’s great to see all departments collaborate through the intelligence that social media provides and to communicate more regularly with our guests through their chosen channels.
Has the luxury hotel market in Paris recovered following the terror attacks?
The market remains tough but it is improving and we are seeing moderate growth in the last year compared to the previous one. However, it’s still not at the same levels as pre 2015.
Which are the key inbound markets which have recovered and which are the ones yet to show a come-back?
We have seen improvement across most demographics including the US market, which has taken longer to return to Paris than others. However, the US remains our top revenue producing market.
With the opening of Le Crillon there will be a considerable increase in luxury rooms inventory in Paris. Do you expect pressure on rates?
The opening of Le Crillon and The Ritz will place pressure on rates but Hotel Plaza Athenee is maintaining its position in the five star market and there are no plans to reduce rates given our product and service offering.
What are the competitive advantages of Plaza Athenee in regards to its direct competitors?
Our guests love our haute couture positioning and our location on avenue Montaigne with exclusive labels such as Dior, Chanel and Valentino. Located near the Eiffel Tower and River Seine, in the heart of the Triangle d’Or area, the hotel is also renowned for its Bar, designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku, which has become the place to meet in the capital, and its three Michelin-star restaurant, Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athenee, which highlights healthier, more natural cuisine
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