Millésime: Philippe Monnin et Alexandra Patek want you to keep great memories from your stay!
Millésime is a hotel group born in 2014. At its head, 'Alexandre Patek and Philippe Monnin, wanted to create houses they dreamt of, and have a very special charm! In our different properties, we want to offer endearing places where you feel at home!" Interview with Katya Pellegrino...
Can you tell us more about your respective careers?
Alexandra is a specialist in business law, having had her own firm. For my part, I worked for 25 years in the fields of wealth management and finance. We had both toured our professions and wanted to take a new direction.
How was born the idea of Millésime?There was no real predefined idea behind this project. An opportunity arose and we followed our instinct.
What was this opportunity?A friend told me one day: "Hey Philippe, there's a house in Arcachon that should interest you, you should go see it!" I returned to Paris, I told Alexandra that we could do something about this house, a guest house for example, that we had to buy it because it seemed like a nice operation. So, we bought it together! It was in the summer, 2013. This is the Villa Pastels. Then we said we would like to do something in the vineyards, in the city, to open also restaurants, and everything started. In September 2015, our houses in Arcachon, Pessac Léognan and Bordeaux were in operation. Our business was going well and we decided to invest 100% of our time in this "Millésime".
Why this name by the way?As I am from Bordeaux, says Philippe, the reference to wine was obvious! And wine illustrates better than anything else, sharing!. It also means "a year". And each of our homes has a landmark year, which we can talk about. Finally, it's an international word.
What criteria do you choose for these houses?
Château de Sacy in the wineyards
Château de Sacy
Château de Sacy
We like properties that have a magic that we can't explain. We don't look first for luxury. There are just places that definitely have something more...
How many properties do you have today?10 hotels and 8 restaurants. Our hotels have an average of 10 rooms. Only the establishment that we will open in Megève soon, will have 28 units, or 16 rooms in the historic building and 3 cottages with 4 bedrooms. These small structures allow us to reach a unique level of detail, which goes from site selection to that of the sugar tongs!
Your interior designer is doing wonders! Tell us about her, Philippe?
Marie-Christine Mecoen was the daughter of my grandfather's baker! I know her since I was 5 years old! She is not only a decorator but also an antique dealer. She was 17. She's a visionary. She is looking for new atmospheres. They are inspired by the environment of the hotel, as in Porto for example, where you find all the colors of the city into the rooms. She adapts while keeping a red thread. She is able to find incredible pieces! Sometimes we do not always agree with her choices but she always ends up convincing us! We trust her completely. Finally, The curtains of the Castle of Sassy took for example a year of work, made by three seamstresses! This way, our customers always have the opportunity to come across something remarkable. They often tell us that our houses are "instagramable"!
Cocorico - Porto
La Course à Bordeaux
Another woman also takes care of your restaurants. Who is she?
Cocorico - Porto
This is Flora Mikula. Alexandra and I wanted a bistronomic type of cuisine, which highlights the products and the terroir. We did not want to do brewery or gastronomy. We wanted above all "a kitchen of the smile"! And we discovered her restaurant L'Auberge de Flora. Her cuisine is generous in taste. We took her to Bordeaux for the creation of our first restaurant and the success came right away! We do 22,000 covers a year! We took a nice cruising speed immediately. Flora got into the game and we opened other restaurants. Domaine de Raba has 3 restaurants, including a healthy restaurant.
What is the concept of Millésime hotels and restaurants?
Domaine de Raba
With us, customers feel at home, and even better! The formula is probably already a little overused but that's really it. Our teams are in shirts and sneakers. We wanted to break the "castle spirit", even if it upsets the habits. Our customers can help themselves in the fridge! There are also no breakfast hours. They do what they want. We are "anti-buffet". There is nothing worse than having to get up and sit down all the time to pick up pastries, queuing or having to wander between the tables. We prefer to serve instead.
And international development?We would like Greece, Paros island, but before developing internationally, we needed to become a brand effect, a reference in terms of authenticity and welcome.
What is the average price of the night in your houses?
La Palmeraie - La Baule
Our prices are reasonable, from 200 € to 600 € per night, for the most expensive. As for our menus, we are around 38 € for three courses.
What is the best compliment a customer has made to you after your stay?That he did not want to leave!
By Katya PELLEGRINO