December’s – ‘The Winter Escape Issue’ – Download Now
Luca Allegri, Managing Director of Le Bristol Paris on reinventing classic traditions with a modern touch.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
The very first thing I do is drink coffee, then I move on to reading my emails, before starting with my daily fitness routine.
What makes Le Bristol superlative in terms of stay?
Le Bristol Paris is an icon of French elegance and art de vivre, boasting 190 completely renovated rooms and suites in the heart of Paris. It is an exceptional setting best known for its outstanding dining tradition. There are two Michelin-star restaurants onboard, one being Epicure (which has three Michelin stars) and the other 114 Faubourg (which has one Michelin star) – both exceptional. The other facilities include a lush courtyard garden and an iconic rooftop swimming pool.
What is the Hero Dish at le Bristol Paris?
The most iconic dish is called ‘Candele’ – a stuffed macaroni with black truffle, artichoke and duck foie gras, gratinated with mature Parmesan cheese and black truffle juice. This is served at Epicure, in Le Bristol Paris and is a true signature dish.
What is luxury in the industry today?
Each person has a different and very personal, vision and interpretation of luxury. For my part, if I had to have an image, it would be the possibility of dining in a Michelin starred restaurant such as Epicure to name one. This three-star Michelin restaurant situated in the heart of Le Bristol Paris, allows diners to have time, to take advantage of every moment, to have space, to feel almost alone in the world and to witness the beautiful ballet. Broadly speaking, the art of living in the moment undoubtedly represents luxury in my eyes.
I truly believe in Mahatma Gandhi’s quote: “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our business. He is part of it. We are not doing him a favour by serving him. He is doing us a favour by giving us an opportunity to do so.”
What has been your approach to client retention and scaling the business to date post COVID?
We closed the doors of Le Bristol Paris for six months from March to September 2020 during the pandemic, giving us the opportunity to renovate our rooms and suites and to reimagine our 1,200-metre square garden. Since reopening in September 2020, we are grateful to have been able to continue our activity and to welcome guests from all around the world. I am sure that you can feel our happiness in the air throughout the hotel. Every detail counts, even if we haven’t seen our guests for a few months. When they come back, they will still feel at home. The team anticipates our guest’s every wish and truly cares about the details for them to feel the same.
What unique features set Le Bristol Paris apart from the other hotels?
I think Le Bristol Paris strikes the harmonious balance between preserving traditional values, service, and elegance with a truly modern outlook. We are ready to adapt and evolve to the ever-changing trends in hospitality. Over the past couple of years, we have been carefully developing our ‘Ateliers du Bristol’, starting with the creation of our Living Bread, we became the first hotel in Paris to add a flour mill to our kitchens, to not only bake our own bread but to be able to grind our own flour from freshly milled heirloom wheat to create, what we think is some of the best bread in Paris. We’ve also added a chocolate factory, for our guests to sample the delicious 100 per cent handmade chocolates that have been added with a personal touch. Most recently, we have also added our own fromagerie with an ageing cellar, where a seasonal selection of cheese, some of which is prepared in our own kitchen, is laid to develop and mature in the cool. It’s left in a dark cellar, that is lined in wood and maintained with the perfect balance of humidity. Cheese served from our in-house cellar is served at Epicure, 114 Faubourg and Café Antonia, while a selection is also made available for takeaway from the Epicerie des Ateliers du Bristol, located adjacent to the hotel’s entrance on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Our Jardin Français is truly unique too, especially for our location in Paris. It is an unexpected oasis of flowers and calmly lined by plush drawing rooms and a colonnade adorned by blossoming orange trees. The garden is a jewel of serenity and is only steps away from the bustle of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
You have a hotel cat – tell us more…?
Le Bristol is partial to furry friends because for the past 11 years, we have been home to one highly treasured permanent resident, a male Birman cat named Faraon (Pharaoh) as a nod to Ancient Egypt. Just last month, we announced the birth of Faraon’s son, Socrate (Socrates), born June 15, 2021, in the Paris suburb of Bazoches-sur-Guyonne. A proud father, Faraon has now retired from his role as Le Bristol’s permanent feline resident, leaving Socrate to take the reins as his successor.
Oetker Collection hospitality is known for its sustainability measures. How has this been implemented for Le Bristol Paris?
Le Bristol Paris is committed to the social and environmental responsibilities that come with being a bastion of privilege. We created the ‘Bee Green’ team, made up of 12 members representing all professions in the hotel. It is dedicated to ensuring our sustainability commitments are respected throughout, including the reduction of plastic use, waste management and reducing our carbon footprint, to name a few. Among all of this, our desire to protect the environment and increase biodiversity was actioned during our six-month closure, where the garden design was reimagined. Over 5,000 plants were planted. Additionally, to maintain the garden’s abundance, Le Bristol Paris vows to use only 100 per cent plant-based and biodegradable products with beneficial impacts on the planet. An insect hotel has been built in it, along with six rooftop beehives which recently produced 198kg of delicious honey in a year.
Another project we are very proud of is the launch of our Living Bread. In 2018, Chef Eric Frechon brought a flour mill to the hotel to bring 100 per cent natural ‘Living Bread’ back onto the gastronomic table. We give our guests the option of not changing their bed and bath linen daily, in order to enable significant savings in water and energy. We also collaborate with the cosmetic brand, Tata Harper in order to offer high-end, natural and clean green products.
This is December’s – ‘The Winter Escape issue’ where would you like to escape to?
To a hot destination in the Caribbean, either to Eden Rock – St. Barts or Jumby Bay Island, which is Oetker Collection’s private island in Antigua and Barbuda.
December’s – ‘The Winter Escape Issue’ – Download Now
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