Hotel Online  Special Report

The Relais & Châteaux Association Reorganizes; Appoints Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, Chief Executive Officer


Monday, 7 June 2004  - President Régis Bulot and his Board of Directors have just appointed:

Jacques-Olivier Chauvin, Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Since 1999 Jacques-Olivier Chauvin has been Deputy Director General in charge of marketing and communication. Aged 36, he takes over fom Jean-Louis Bottigliero, who recently became the new owner of Hostellerie de Levernois, a Relais & Châteaux in Beaune ( Burgundy ). Jacques-Olivier Chauvin will continue to be in charge of the following departments: marketing, promotion, communication, guide, coordination of the international offices and international sales.

He started his professional career as a Deputy Sales Manager with Air France for the United Kingdom. From 1992 to 1996 he worked the Taillevent Group as Deputy Director General in charge of the commercial development of the brand in France, Japan and the United States. From the end of 1996 to 1999 he was sales manager of the Louis Vuitton Malletier store on Avenue Montaigne in Paris, and then of the new Global Store on the Champs-Elysées.

Frédéric Laroche,  Deputy Director General

Since 1999 Frédéric Laroche has been with the Association as Director of Administrative and Financial Affairs. Aged 43, he is directly responsible for administration, human resources, legal affairs, brand management, new technologies, financial affairs and the management of the Association and its subsidiaries. 

Before joining the Association he was a member of the Board of Management of Unilog, one of the largest IT service providers, for 13 years. As a project manager he helped several companies to revamp their information systems.

In order to consolidate the international commercial development of the Association, the Board of Directors also decided to create two new positions with recruitments starting immediately:

  • A Director of International Commercial Affairs in charge of the worldwide activities relating to gift certificates and Lys offers as well as the central information and reservation system of the Association. Sales revenues 2003 gift certificates and special offers: EUR 13. 2 million (+ 15 %). Sales revenues 2003 central reservation system: EUR 28 million (+ 43 %).
  • A manager in charge of the international promotion offices  ( Berlin, Barcelona, London, New York and Tokyo ) as well as the coordination of the 18 national and regional delegations around the world.
“18 months before the election of a new Board of Directors and my resignation as President after 18 years at the helm of the Association, this reorganisation draws on experienced and competent professionals who have an in-depth knowledge of our Association, its values and its priorities”, said Régis Bulot.

The priorities of the new executive management will be support of the brand and its international promotion, with a particular focus on marketing and commercial developments through major 

Régis Bulot
projects such as:
  • Consolidation of the competitive edge of the Association in the field of high technologies (new website, development of a new online reservation engine).
  • Opening of new subsidiaries on the 10 key markets of Relais & Châteaux around the world
  • Opening of new outlets under the label Maison des Relais & Châteaux.
After the success of Maison des Relais & Châteaux in Paris, the Board of Directors has decided to take the next step and has approved the opening of a Maison des Relais & Châteaux in New York at the end of 2004. Further openings of Maisons des Relais & Châteaux in European capitals are envisaged in the months and years to come.

“These projects open up major opportunities for all the Relais & Châteaux and Relais Gourmands properties around the world. Our ambition is to continue the development of the Relais & Châteaux brand which is synonymous with prestige, exclusiveness and French art de vivre exported today around the world”, stresses Jacques-Olivier Chauvin.

History of Relais & Châteaux

Marcel et Nelly TILLOY (Hostellerie La Cardinale à Baix) created the "Relais de Campagne": 8 properties situated along the Paris-Nice route joined forces. This was the Route du Bonheur.

15 European members joined the Association. The brochure became the first tourist guide in colour.

Creation of the "Châteaux-Hôtels", a rival chain of the Relais de Campagne.

Joseph OLIVEREAU, General Manager of the Domaine de la Tortinière (Montbazon), took over from Marcel TILLOY as the head of the Relais de Campagne.

Joseph OLIVEREAU created the "Relais Gourmands", highly renowned gourmet temples. He asked Pierre TROISGROS to become its President.

Merger of the Relais de Campagne, Relais Gourmands and Châteaux-Hôtels in 1974 leading to the establishment of the Relais & Châteaux - Relais Gourmands label on 1 January 1975.

Régis BULOT, owner of the Moulin de l'Abbaye in Brantôme (Périgord) and member of the Board of Directors of the Association, was elected as the International President of Relais & Châteaux.

The Relais & Châteaux Association was voted the "Finest Association in the World" by its guests. It now numbered some 375 members in 36 countries on five continents.

Relais & Châteaux put an official stamp on its internationalisation: the 411 properties around the world (153 in France and 258 outside France) were given equal voting rights.

The Association opened its central information and reservation system and turned its attention to the new media by creating its own Internet site.

The exclusive membership of a hotel/restaurant in Relais & Châteaux was officially recognised by the Commission of the European Community (Brussels).

Creation of the Luxury Alliance between Relais & Châteaux and The Leading Hotels of the World.

Opening of the Maison des Relais & Châteaux (33, boulevard Malesherbes - 75008 Paris).

The Relais & Châteaux Association celebrates its 50 th anniversary.

Brenda Homick
Director of North America
Tel: 212-856-0151
Also See: Theresa & Thomas Henkelmann's Homestead Inn Receives Relais & Chateaux Designation / Jan 2002
The Board of Directors of Relais & Châteaux Grant Admittance to Malta's Xara Palace Hotel / Feb 2001

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