Behind the new hotel brand that is shaking up the French hotel industry
With a collection of boutique five-star family hotels in Provence, Saint-Tropez and Méribel – with an exciting opening in Paris in 2022 – Maisons Pariente is quickly becoming a major force in French hospitality. Fashion and real estate entrepreneur Patrick Pariente, along with his two daughters, Leslie Kouhana and Kimberley Pariente, are the driving force behind the brand. Along with her father and sister, Kimberley’s mission is to create hotels that offer attentive yet discreet service, the epitome of luxury.
How did you first get interested in the hospitality industry? And what do you think makes French hospitality unique? I have always been passionate about traveling, discovering new places, new hotels and meeting new people.
My family was first in the clothing industry; my father was the co-founder of the Naf Naf brand, and when he sold his business he invested in real estate. Hospitality was the logical decision for us. What is most fascinating about this industry is all the work that goes behind each project. This industry has allowed us to combine all our skills, we have used our understanding of design and fashion, our ability to anticipate customer needs, our passion for travel, our expertise in real estate, and of course our love of accommodation.
France is known for its good taste, a land of luxury and elegance, but also for the mastery of an ancient know how. The uniqueness of French hospitality combines superb designs with delicious food and wine, top-notch services and creates this unforgettable experience, showcasing “the joy of living”.
What is the gap that you noticed in the market that led you to found Maisons Pariente? Our consumption patterns have evolved a lot and the luxury hotel industry is no exception to this change. A few years ago, the five-star hotel market was dominated by hotel chains that standardized their offerings no matter where the hotel was located. The approach has been institutionalized.
Customers are now looking for authenticity, real experiences and real connection. We wanted to create a different hotel, a luxury hotel with an ultra-personalized approach: relaxed but with a high level of service; designed as a large family vacation home where our guests can feel at ease; a family atmosphere but never too familiar.
For those who may not know, what is Maisons Pariente? Maisons Pariente is a family-run collection of French luxury hotels that was created out of the desire to re-evaluate the hotel experience. Maisons Pariente offers a different welcome, just like at home, but with attentive and discreet service, family values, generosity and anticipation of customer needs.
Our collection has a clear positioning of exclusive five-star hotels, designed as private homes that guarantee privacy. Each address has its own unique identity.
To date, the collection is made up of three hotels. Crillon Le Brave is a refuge in Provence, located at the top of a magnificent medieval village facing Mont Ventoux. The hotel is a haven of peace where one comes to seek the calm, the charm and the authenticity of the south of France. Lou Pinet is located in the most famous French village, Saint Tropez. The style of the hotel echoes the Tropezian spirit of the 60s and 70s. The Cuckoo is located in Méribel, directly on the slopes and in the heart of the Three Valleys, one of the largest ski areas in Europe. The hotel offers panoramic views of the superb slopes and mixes traditional Alpine style with contemporary design.
We are also working on our first urban hotel, Le Grand Mazarin, located in Paris in the heart of the Marais, which will open in March 2022.
What are some of the technological innovations that are helping you and your business get through Covid-19? The Covid-19 has forced us to reinvent ourselves and find solutions to replace many hotel services without depriving ourselves of the customer. For example, we introduced our Media Reader, allowing our guests to continue reading the news from a tablet, without using printed newspapers. We have stopped using regular cleaning products and have favored the use of alternative cleaning methods, such as the steam cleaner.
How do you concretely foresee that the hospitality industry will change after Covid-19?Our view of the world has changed. A year ago, no one could have imagined that the whole world could be at a standstill, crippled by a virus. More than ever, people need to reconnect with each other, with themselves and with nature. Travelers are looking for an experience, not just a hotel room, so hotels will need to tailor their offerings. People are becoming more attentive and looking to make smarter choices, especially when it comes to travel. And here again, hotels must adapt and become more socially responsible.
I read you ‘made it your mission’ to make hotels feel like a ‘home away from home’ – how does that translate into during a guest’s stay? Maisons Pariente relies on personalization and makes sure not to standardize. We like to work with renowned residential architects, rather than with well-known architects in the hospitality field, as this ensures that our clients will feel at home away from home. We imagine each hotel as if they were our own private homes and styled them with a mix of contemporary designs with vintage and historical pieces. The ambience and atmosphere are really important, and we create that through the dishes, the characteristic aromas and the choice of room amenities. The restaurant’s menus have been carefully designed so that guests can choose something refreshing and light when in the South of France, and a few more comforting items when staying in the Méribel mountains. Everything that guests see in hotels has been approved by me, my sister or my father. Everything has been personally tried and tested, including mattresses and pillows, ensuring that we provide our guests with the highest quality experience.
What is the story behind the name of the company? We reflected on the essence of what we wanted to convey: the concept of a house. Pariente is my maiden name. When guests book a stay at one of our properties, they don’t just book a hotel stay, but allow us to accommodate them in one of our homes.