While a tense international context, « grande hotellerie » is on the reopening track

On the  road again

We can not ignore the so terrible and invasive Covid-19 China born virus still hurts dramatically the whole world, and specifically high-end hotels. We know it came from the rather small chinese city of Wuhan – a city that still gathers more than … 11 million inhabitants,  that is to say more or less the size of the european capital city of France, Paris with its suburbs.
Imagine what could have been the impact, if this virus came from Beijing or Shanghai locals : more than twice as large cities, where population is even more able to travel worldwide than Wuhan inhabitants do.
The fact is that those infected Chinese from Wuhan who had the virus in them, spread it largely all over the world during their famous annual New Year trip that they love to do abroad. In 2020  Chinese New year began on January 24 and continued for a total of 15 days.

The world was forced to stop spinning
What could we do ?
We have been quickly ordered by our governments to … stay at home ! No travel, no move, close airports, stop trains and stay home ! We’ve been very quickly ordered to close immediately our premises, hotels, theatres, offices, restaurants and without previous notice terminate all our profitable activities whatever they are in order to fight at best this terrible lethal virus that nobody knew. So most of us obeyed,  we did it, not just for a few days nor a few weeks but for months. More than 6 months closure at this day !!! The world was forced to stop spinning because of Covid-19 …
Very few companies in the world can resist this treatment.
Very few companies in the world can live without any cent of turnover.
Very few companies have a really wealthy uncle and passionate shareholder funding without any limit expenses when there is not anymore cashing.

The art of war…
That being said, do not think that I am an inveterate opponent of the Chinese and of China in general. I am just a simple reader of one of their big blockbuster book by Sun Tzu, the famous  « Art of war » . We should always remember  that at the very beginning of the Sun Tzu book, the very First Commandment to win a war easily and as quick as possible is to arrange to make the target as weak as possible. Eventually it would enable you to avoid declare war and gain the territory without even fighting. Just look at today’s situation in the western world and situation in mainland China, then make your assessment, draw your conclusions. Of course nobody can even imagine that Chinese did that on purpose, nobody. Because if only a single country has the intention of using bacteriological weapons, retaliation would be inevitably devastating. Let be optimistic and believe that it is a very unfortunate accident with just terrible effects and  that the whole world pays for that a tremendously high price.

Despite that, reopening time with the best ones has started
In this rather chilling context,  I really want to encourage all those hotels owners and managers who took the initiative to reopen and relaunch their activities in spite of the situation. Let me quote some of  those hotels in Europe – that  won at least once a Villegiature Award proving their level of excellence in a so competitive world-  with the date of their restart action :
La Reserve Paris, the first grand hotel in Paris from the Michel Reybier galaxy of luxurious hotels. La Reserve Paris was the first to reopen as early as last May 5th. On June 26 the Royal Evian on the Geneva lake could greet again golf enthousiasts and hedonists fond of literature, great music and exquisite gastronomy. Nearly 16 weeks  after La Reserve Paris,  probably the most well known hotel of Paris :  Hotel Ritz de Paris reopened last Aug. 24th, 2020.  Its Grand Jardin is just a must if you need to relax in total calm and forget about all this mess! Rosewood Hotel de Crillon Paris started its reopening process last Aug. 26th. See what Sandra Iskander wrote this summer about Crillon unique ice-cream truck! Hotel Principe di Savoia Milan, from Dorchester Collection reopened last Aug. 31st : Ezio Indiani the flamboyant  General Manager is one of the most efficient, accessible and smart hotel director I’ve ever met. The next day, on Sept. 1st, reopening wave starts with Hotel Plaza Athénée and Hotel Meurice in Paris , as well as Hotel Eden in Roma; all hotels from Dorchester Collection – the best Hotel group at 2019 Villegiature Awards  (The Dorchester London starts on Sept. 4th). Hotel Le Bristol Paris the flagship of Oetker Collection also reopened on Sept. 1st. From the Marriott group, The Luxury Collection hotel Le Prince de Galles will reopen next Sept 7th with the launch of a brand new bar. The Four Seasons George V Paris plans reopening on Sept. 22, probably also by this date the Paris Mandarin Oriental will reopen and the Shangri-La Paris is scheduled to reopen on Oct 1st. Many other ones in the world start their reopening process.

On behalf of all the journalists jury members of Prix Villegiature Awards I wish them all the best for a good recovery and a long prosperity.