Chateaux & Hotels Collection Becomes Les Collectionneurs

Chateaux & Hotels Collection Becomes Les Collectionneurs
A glittering soirée at L’Hotel de Ville in Paris was the occasion for superchef Alain Ducasse, President of Chateaux & Hotels Collection, to announce the evolution of the brand (since 1975) together with Xavier Alberti, the group’s General Director. “Not to revolutionize but to bring a revolution to our business.” Discussing the change of brand, Xavier Albert remarked that “the passage from Châteaux Hotels Collection to Les Collectionneurs showcases new encounters and discoveries” – to treat yourself or others with gift packs such as the iconic ‘Promenade in the Vineyards’ or ‘Gourmet Promenade’ from €98-€700 valid for 18 months. “We are all Collectors,” explained Ducasse. With a new name and attractive new guidebook (easy to slip into the Birkin or computer case) containing 585 addresses in 17 countries, the concept is to reunite and make a community of restaurant and hotel owners who become elected members of Les Collectionneurs via anonymous visits from inspectors. These are “a petit comité of a dozen clients who love to travel, share their experiences and help with the choice, because we are all collectioneurs,” confirmed Xavier Alberti – who, in fact, collects guitars!  With your first booking you receive an orange “credit card” and become a collectionneur curieux; from the second you’re dubbed connoisseur; after eight you are considered experts and from thereon passionnés. Members’ loyalty program benefits include upgrades where possible, priority bookings, in-room gifts, and you are encouraged to, “make your own collection.” For example, 45 minutes south-east of Paris at Barbizon, located on the edge of the fabulous Fontainebleau forest, is one of France’s most beautiful villages and home to the Barbizon School of Art. This refers to a community of mid-19th-century painters who worked in and around Barbizon including Millet, Rousseau, Diaz, Corot and Daubigny. They painted landscapes and scenes of rural life, sometimes working in the open air– precursors of the Impressionists. In the heart of the village – at 22 Grande Rue – eat, drink, swim, sleep at the historic Hôtellerie du Bas-Bréau (20 rooms and suites from €230-€550). You’ll experience the most elegant welcome from owners Dominique and Jean-Pierre Fava. “Bas-Bréau was originally a hunting lodge; we have created rooms in the former stables,” explains Domique Fava. “It was then known as L’Hotel Siron and around 1881 the writer Robert Louis Stevenson stayed (5 francs a night !) and wrote Treasure Island here,” adds Madame Fava. Book your table for “The Hunting Horn Evening” on Thursday, the 8th of December. Chef Fabien Bard sends out mouthwatering, soothing seasonal dishes, with accents on game like white tailed deer, wild boar and partridge. Book either Le Bistro menus – from €29 – or the romantic Restaurant Gastronomique (average spend €90). The walls are dotted with artwork, a roaring log fire in the grate. For Christmas – there’s a gastronomique menu (€80 and €45) in the bistro. And New Year’s Eve is priced at €110 and €60. In Paris, note Les Collectionneurs addresses: Champeaux, Flottes, Le 39V, Restaurant Le Meurice, Drouant by Antoine Westermann, Anicia, Hôtel Londres & New York, L’Assiette de David Rathgeber etc. Dear readers, orange is your new “little black book” don’t leave home without it! “We are always on the lookout for new addresses, keep in touch,” winks Monsieur Ducasse. For more information, visit

Lead photo credit : Alain Ducasse announces the brand change from "Châteaux Hotels Collection to Les Collectionneurs." Photo: Margaret Kemp

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Born in Hampton, Middlesex, UK, Margaret Kemp is a lifestyle journalist, based between London, Paris and the world. Intensive cookery courses at The Cordon Bleu, London, a wedding gift from a very astute ex-husband, gave her the base that would take her travelling (leaving the astute one behind) in search of rare food and wine experiences, such as the vineyards of Thailand, 'gator hunting in South Florida, learning to make eye-watering spicy food in Kerala;pasta making in a tiny Tuscany trattoria. She has contributed to The Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend and FT. How To Spend, The Spectator, Condé Nast Traveller, Food & Travel, and Luxos Magazine. She also advises as consultant to luxury hotels and restaurants. Over the years, Kemp has amassed a faithful following on BonjourParis. If she were a dish she'd be Alain Passard's Millefeuille “Caprice d'Enfant”, as a painting: Manet’s Dejeuner sur l’herbe !