After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in international hotel management on 2008, it did not take long for Médéric Demelle to attain his goals. He has been the General Manager of the very elegant Boutique Hotel in Bordeaux since 2012, perpetuating the Vatel spirit by sharing his experience with students, whom he regularly takes on as interns.
We interviewed this man who loves his job and knows what he wants.
- You were appointed General Manager of the Boutique Hotel in early 2012, thus fairly soon after graduating from Vatel in 2008. Could you please tell us about your work experience since then?
Well, first of all I went to Argentina for 7 months, where I was a managerial assistant in a Relais & Châteaux establishment in the middle of vines. I also looked after concierge services and reception. Then I came back to France to work at the Réserve au Pavillon du Château Rabat in Talence as a receptionist and, once again, as a managerial assistant. As this was not really what I had in mind, and I wanted to leave, the owner offered me the possibility of making an audit of the hotel, which I did. Then I went to do volunteer work in Vietnam, for a bit of a change before going back to my chosen career. When I returned, I contacted my former employer, who appreciated my work, and he offered me this job as General Manger of the Boutique Hotel.
- Do you think that travelling abroad once you left the school enhanced your professional opportunities?
For this type of hotel, yes, because we welcome guests from all over the world. My foreign experience opened my mind to many things and taught me what customers are really looking for according to their nationality and culture.
- The Boutique Hotel opened in late 2011. Please tell us about this establishment.
The "boutique hotel" is an Anglo-Saxon concept that is somewhere in between a guest house and a luxury hotel. This initiative was gradually introduced in France, first in Paris, and then in major provincial cities. This is the first boutique hotel in Bordeaux. We are housed in a magnificent 18th century building in the historic centre of Bordeaux and have 12 rooms, a wine bar, and an atrium looking onto an inner courtyard with trees. We work hard to provide personalised service as well as a luxurious, unabashedly modern decorations that customers can buy if they so desire. Everything possible is done to welcome guests warmly and make them feel at home.
- Could you please describe your job as General Manager?
Most of my job obviously involves managing the staff and human resources. This goes along with making sure that guests are satisfied, because it is absolutely essential to be open to their comments and to call ourselves into question, if necessary, to improve things. Last, but not least, the position involves looking ahead and defining goals in order to have a development strategy. For instance, we are going to create 5 new rooms as well as a spa.
- How did your education at Vatel help?
It's not easy to say at the beginning, when you have just graduated. But, once you've started working, and as time goes on, you see how useful the training is. What I found really advantageous was the foreign internships, and the experience I acquired there. The alternating course/job placement formula opens your eyes to many things, both on a practical and administrative level. That was highly useful to me.
- Did the training you received meet your expectations?
The first year was somewhat difficult because it was very "operational". However, I understood afterwards that this was necessary to test students' motivation to see if they really should continue on this path. I found the 2nd and 3rd years much more interesting.
- You assist Vatel students all year long, as well as during two-week practical internships in the summer. How would define working with them?
During the course of my career, I have worked for both small and large establishments. I explain to students that you learn many more things in places like the Boutique Hotel, because you acquire an overview of all aspects of running a hotel and hands-on experience, and there is far less compartmentalisation between different departments. As a Vatel alumnus, I am well aware of the expectations of the young people who come here to learn the business.
- What message would you like to share with future students and graduates of Vatel?
If they are truly enthusiastic about working in the hotel and restaurant business, they must give their all to succeed. As for myself, my aim was to become a manager, which I have achieved. I was lucky, and had the right opportunities. You need to give all you've got for what you love.
Each year our Group School directors, getting together for the Vatel International Convention, use today’s experiences to continue to invent tomorrow’s schools for our future hospitality professionals.Read more
Vatel cultivates the qualities required to be a good professional in the hospitality industry: being fluent in foreign languages, knowing how to work with other cultures... Hoteliers are attracted by Vatel students’ resumes, as Vateliens can tell us.Read more
François Perraud feels both a hotelier and a financial controller, an expertise that he likes to pass on to Vatel students.Read more
Jeremie de Fombelle has always loved resorts and has seen many of them, before coming to Mauritius. And this is where he really fell in love! But economic competition is stiff. How can you stand out, if not by the quality of your management?Read more
A professor of marketing, corporate promotion and negotiation, Sophie Lot loves adult education and teaches at Vatel Switzerland.Read more
Thanatat Boonpeng: a young Vatel graduate at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.Read more
Every day, Vatel students and instructors prepare for class, study, and fan the flames of their curiosity, thanks to the cutting-edge digital library provided by the ScholarVox platform. Come right this way for digital access to knowledge!Read more
An MBA specializing in ecotourism opens in Madagascar. This island has all it takes to materialize this demanding approach of responsible and innovative tourism.Read more
New ideas, enthusiasm, the desire to embrace a gourmet universe: Jerome Ferrer’s story has all the ingredients that inspire the best “success stories” to strategy professors!Read more
The hospitality and tourism industries are particularly concerned by sustainable development. And what if Vatel alumni played a key part in this transition towards more environmentally friendly hotel management?Read more
Travel broadens the mind, as the old saying goes. It also leads to unconventional restaurants. Let’s meet two Vateliens who founded Le Kaya Restaurant in Tignes.Read more
Besides having a Bachelor or an MBA Vatel, what does being a Vatelien mean?Read more
Throughout their entire careers, Vatel alumni remain in touch with their schools. This is also true for Kevin Tessieux, who has never forgotten that he was also once a student, and who now shares this knowledge with students today.Read more
Chahrazade Baroudi, a Vatelien since 2013, describes her job as Marketing and Communication Manager in IDAM, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant on the top floor of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, in Qatar.Read more
Future hospitality professionals, welcome to Vatel’s 100% management simulation serious game! For an entire week and on three continents, MBA students met the challenge of managing a 4-star hotel and a resort in the Indian Ocean. The winners are...Read more
Who is Gaelle Garnier, the new manager of the network of 35,000 Vatel alumni throughout the world? Let’s meet a Vatelien who works with Vateliens!Read more
The 25th Eurhodip conference, which Vatel took part in, took place in Croatia. Targeting responsible tourism, this conference allowed participants to have more information on opening higher education courses in the field of sustainable development.Read more
Designed to address the needs of the global hospitality industry, the Marco Polo program strengthens the international profile Vatel students have and has just received the prestigious Best Innovation in an Educational Program Award.Read more
Graduated in 2011, Alexis Bouche began his career in England. Six years later, he returned to France and is now the Sales Manager of the 5-star hotel, Villa Maïa.Read more
Nearly 40 years old, and now 50 campuses in 32 different countries: Vatel Group opened its first school in Paris and is continuing to grow and duplicate its innovative educational concept in schools abroad.Read more
Trained at Vatel Nimes ten years ago, Chloe Wu has a brilliant career in China. She no longer works in the hospitality industry, but has not forgotten her passion of hospitality and service...Read more
The Vatel International Research Center in Hotel and Tourism Managementhas just published the 10th edition of its Journal, which targets research and reflections on changes taking place in the hospitality and tourism industries.Read more
Curiosity, humility, team spirit... A Vatelien shares his commitment to values his school transmitted to him.
The same international spirit that students have Vatel and 4 students in nursing undertake a humanitarian project in Madagascar.Read more
A traveler - salesman - ambassador, Marco Polo introduced Asia, at that time nearly unknown, to Europe. This inspirational fate has given its name to Vatel’s international exchange program, where students can study at another Vatel campus for a year.Read more
The most senior representatives in the international hospitality industry give Vatel the Best School Hospitality Award. An entire profession thus acclaims them.Read more
Learning the skills needed to be a manager, quick employability, international careers... Vatel, the passport that gets you hired. See the video.Read more