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Q& A FRANÇOIS DELAHaYE , Chief Operating Officer ,

Dorchester Collection

The charming and debonair François Delahaye became Director of Operations for Dorchester Collection 2004. Since then he has been responsible for a number of major hotel and restaurant renovations within the collection, including Hôtel Plaza Athénée   and Hotel Principe di Savoia. As if that didn't give him enough to do he is also General Manager of the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, which , with its distinctive red awnings is one of The Luxury Travel Bible's favourite Paris hotels. He has transformed the hotel's fortunes, collaborating with Alain Ducasse on the hotel's Michelin-star restaurant and developing the new Bar. Delahaye was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite in 1998.

Coming in September from Dorchester Collection, the extravagant country manor, Coworth Park in Ascot .

What is the single best/defining thing about Dorchester Collection?
Individuality.
As well as being COO you are also General Manager of Hôtel Plaza Athénée, what is the hotel innovation you are most proud of?
The Plaza Athénée's association with Alain Ducasse & also our Bar, designed by Patrick Jouin, with it's unique cutting edge mix of trendy & tradition, in all concepts, which has since been copied in endless variations.

What is the next big luxury travel trend?

Eco/green

What is your own personal litmus test for whether a hotel is worthy of the 'luxury' tag?

The feeling of "space"& staff intuition

delahaye

Apart from your own, what are your favourite hotels/resorts? (and why)

"Les Airelles" in Courchevel - who have the most attentive and genuinely friendly staff.
 
What is your favourite city to visit?

Recently I discovered Istanbul....

What is your best overseas restaurant experience?

Of late, Matoi, sushi bar in Roppongi, Tokyo

What is your favourite airline for business or first class? Why?

Private aircraft - ultimate in luxury!

presidential suite plaza athenee
Presidential Suite - Hôtel Plaza Athénée
le bar du plaza athenee
Le bar du Hôtel Plaza Athénée
What three things do you never travel without?
A book, ear plugs & white shirts!

What is the one luxury travel experience you will never forget?

A Mediterranean cruise with the family

What is the most important thing (travelwise) that money CAN buy?

Comfort

What is the most important thing it can't?

Protection from delays & strikes.

the dorchester china tang restaurant
China Tang restaurant, The Dorchester

delahAye's Choices

Alain Ducasse www.alain-ducasse.com
Patrick Jouin www.patrickjouin.com
Les Airelles  www.airelles.fr

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