A 4-star establishment in Bordeaux, the Vatel Hotel appears for the first time in the 2018 edition of the Michelin Guide. We had an opportunity to meet with Nicolas Baudet (Operational Manager) and Éric Pourtau-Mondoutey (Accommodation Manager). They provide an overview of the history and future of the Hotel.
After 22 years of experience in the international hospitality industry, Nicolas Baudet felt the need to return to France, more precisely to Bordeaux. Éric Pourtau-Mondoutey, born in Béarn, had always worked in the hotel and restaurant industry between Béarn, Médoc and Paris. They both joined the Vatel Hotel in Bordeaux in May 2017. Enthusiastic and assisted by Mathilde Sanfratello, they promote the upscaling of the establishment. All three supervise, prepare and motivate the future international hotel management professionals who graduated from Vatel. Students continue to play a key role at Vatel Bordeaux Hotel.
The legendary Michelin Guide lists Vatel Bordeaux Hotel among its best places to eat and stay.
What does it mean to be listed in the Michelin Guide?
Nicolas Baudet: This is a great honor for the Vatel Bordeaux Hotel.
Éric Pourtau-Mondoutey: Being listed in this guide gives us additional visibility and proves that our efforts have not gone unnoticed.
How do you explain it?
N.B: From the time Eric and I arrived, we have been working gradually to improve the lobby, the reception services, the reception of guests and the rooms.
What do they consist of exactly?
N.B.: We improved reception procedures at the front desk and changed the furniture in the lobby. Welcome towels are provided in each room. We provide bamboo fiber slippers in line with our eco-label.
E.P.M: With Mathilde Sanfratello, we started to redesign the rooms. We added some nice cups and displayed the capsules on small Nespresso units.
Are the guests satisfied?
N.B.: Vatel Hotel went from the 75th best establishment in Bordeaux to the 39th in just a few months on TripAdvisor. Above all, guests are surprised by the great service provided by the students. The excellence of the training received at Vatel Bordeaux next door to the hotel must be emphasized. The goal is to help students become professionals.
E.P.M: Our rate on booking went from 8.3 to 8.7 out of 10 in 6 months. Our occupancy rate reached 85% in January. We owe this success to the leaders of tomorrow trained at Vatel Bordeaux. We give them a sense of responsibility by letting them respond to reviews on booking. I send a thank you e-mail to students who came to work in our department each month.
What are some up-coming innovations for your guests?
E.P.M: In each room, throughout their stay at the hotel, guests can use a pocket-sized concierge, named Handy. He provides them with a map of Bordeaux and tram lines, places to visit and great locations. At the time of their departure, all their browsing history is erased. We created a loyalty program via the app WanUp, which includes independent hotels.
What is your 3- to 5-year plan?
N.B. We are not setting ourselves any limits. We wish to be in the top 3 hotels in Bordeaux. I hope that our students continue to be motivated when enrolling in our work/study training program. That they are excited to spend three years at the hotel in order to be ready to work as an operational manager after graduation.
E.P.M: Being listed as one of the best hotels in Bordeaux seems feasible within two years. We also want to increase our number of direct online bookings.”
Encouraged by our listing in the famous Michelin Guide, the team hopes to put Vatel Bordeaux Hotel on the podium of the top establishments in the region of Gironde