The saving solution came, ironically, from diversifying into hotels, a brand new sector which is unfamiliar to the brand – normally most such attempts had the opposite for brands to venture out of their DNA. In March 2018, the company launched Fauchon Hospitality to develop a network of luxury boutique hotels around the world, with a focus on Japan, Europe and the Middle East.
Fauchon Hospitality is headed by Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, previously CEO of Relais & Châteaux and SVP of Van Cleef & Arpels. Samy Vischel, president of Fauchon, is vice president of Fauchon Hospitality. Bernard Lambert is the international business advisor of the project; he was the president of the SBM and the Méridien company.
Fauchon partnered with the upscale hotel group Esprit de France, a subsidiary of Compagnie Lebon, to create and co-manage the first Fauchon L’Hôtel on the Place de la Madeleine in Paris in a building acquired by Qatar National Bank. It opened 1 September 2018 with an affiliation to the Leading Hotels of the World.
Richard Martinet (Affine Design) is the interior designer, assisted by the Atelier Paluel Marmont. The hotel is managed by Jérôme Montantème. It presents a hotel concept created by Emmanuelle Mordacq, president of the agency NeoPlaces agency. No expense has been spared to conceive a top luxury standard, with custom furniture from French luxury brand Roche Bobois. Bathrooms for instance are execute at the same standard of the brathrooms of Bulgari Hotels.
The success of the project lies in the synergy between a coherent interior design which draws on the joy and fun of experiencing a Fauchon macaron and the impeccable customer service standard, very friendly and familiar. For a brand new hotel with such a new concept, it is impressive how fast it achieved a high ranking among Parisian luxury hotels – despite all controversies, I have found all Tripadvisor ratings / rating being extremely accurate.
Achieving a WOW factor through service is very rare nowadays, not to mention the exceptional quality of food in the main Cafe of the hotel. There is also an impressive attention to details, which lies not only in the qualities of finishes, but also, for instance, the uniforms of the hotel (all seemingly made by a tailor), a tea room in a natural light domed room but also the Tesla courtesy car of the hotel which guests can use complimentary within a certain radius from the hotel.
Despite its small size, the Spa has been tastefully designed, with the same WOW factor. The menu is driven by French cosmetics brand Carita, carefully chosen as a French brand. Rooms are generously sized, with the finest beds (including linen), Apple SmartTvs, silent automatically controlled AC.
The suites are exceptional too – I experienced the Duplex Suite, which resembled a unique Parisian residence, with a small living room on the upper level which had a small window that offered a perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Make sure not to miss the giant ‘mini bar’ (looks almost as a wardrobe) with complimentary Fauchon gourmet treats.
Fauchon L’Hotel has once again boosted the DNA of the Fauchon brand, specialised gourmet shops will only benefit from this. Those in control of the project seem perfectly prepared for the second opening, this time in Japan (Kyoto), which has been Fauchon’s traditional largest market outside France. Should they be able to replicate the service, Fauchon Hotel will effortlessly work both as a stand-alone hotel or a hotel within hotel, which is taking over certain floors / rooms within an established luxury hotel.
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