Anthony Torkington, director of the Saint-James in Bouliac, shares his experience with MBA international students
On 14 January, Anthony Torkington, Managing Director of the Saint-James in Bouliac (member of the Relais et Châteaux association), spoke to our 1st year students undertaking the International MBA course.
As a hospitality professional recognised for his understanding of the international luxury hotel market, he began by describing his own professional background, from his beginning in Cannes at the Pullman Beach Hôtel to his arrival at the Mas Candille in Mougins in 2001. This marked the beginning of a long history with the great Relais & Châteaux family. He was Managing Director of the hotel in 2004 before heading over to the Cap Est Lagoon Resort in Martinique then returning to France in September 2012 to take over the management of the St James in Bouliac.
It was this latest job that aroused the interest of the students. They asked him a number of questions on various topics e.g. the gourmet restaurant (run by chef Nicolas Magie since September 2012), the wine cellar (20,000 bottles and 2,000 names under the care of head sommelier Richard Bernard), support from the city of Bordeaux and his views of the future for this hotel.
Anthony Torkington was delighted to answer all their questions. He insisted on the fact that his hotel did not offer clients a simple overnight stay but rather an experience, a “chance to get away from it all, enjoy a certain lifestyle and take some time”.
The students were very enthusiastic about his talk, citing his professionalism, the quality of his answers and his search for excellence.