I remember years ago – I was working for a large Hotel Group and was responsible for the development of the UK market! VERY exciting times organising groups, travelling to London and other major towns to bring more business to the Cote d’Azur. Amazing clients who all became close friends – a lifestyle second to none – cocktail events, trade shows – yes they were great times!
Out of all the years there was one person who stood out – a great person humble, successful, wise and extremely clued into the Hospitality business – and there was one phrase which has stayed with me throughout my working and personal life!
“The hospitality business is all about bums in Planes and Beds!! “
A simple phrase, which reminded me at all stages, we have to keep to the basics and not complicate issues! – make the client feel at home, comfortable, cared for and they WILL COME BACK! –
Years went by – and the hotel industry brought in new philosophies – “Yield Management” – hhhhmmmm what is this all about?? Basically we make the clients think they are getting a great deal, but the hidden end goal was to maximise profits!! Wait a second! and what about “bums in beds”?? What about the basics???
It was at this stage I decided to leave the hotel industry – much to my regret!
THEN – one day we get invited to OKKO Hotel Cannes – this is a new hotel in the very newly renovated train district of Cannes – palm trees, open spaces, coffee shops, boutiques – wow what a refreshing change – Bravo to the Maire de Cannes –
The hotel has 120 bedrooms, a top floor club, fitness room ….in other words a hotel which we can find in any major city in Europe! Modern, clean cut – BUT is this the case??…..
We walk through open green space of the train station and make our way towards the newly white building – totally in phase with the surroundings – nicely tucked away and ideally placed for travellers.
We get the entrance and to our surprise no door men, where is the reception? simply a nice bright entrance leading to 2 elevators. Then we see the sign – reception 6th floor – we step in and were off to the 6th floor – exit the lift to find our selves in a small clean cut hall with a single desk, and a portable computer! – with a very elegant OKKO sign on the wall – all very designer – the employees welcomes us and takes us through into the Club area – a space dedicated to all the “bums in beds” .
Now this is where we certainly feel the difference, the uniqueness welcoming feeling about OKKO – the warmth, its all in the air, just like being back at home! All I want to do is put on my slippers, sit down to a cuppa and read the local newspaper!
This is the concept hotel, philosophy of OKKO Hotels – with Patrick NORGUET as the contemporary designer for the group and the family DEVYS – their main focus being – the clients should be made to feel at home, they have travelled most of the day! So the welcome and the services provided should be tip top and what I mean by services, is that once you have booked the room, the access to the club floor is free!! YES FREE… access and not only this, but it is like your lounge at home, you simply have access to all the facilities – fridge for the soft drinks, coffee/tea, that amazing buffet breakfast, computers for surfing, lounge chairs to simply chill out and an open top roof terrace to soak in the whole atmosphere!
We had the privilege to meet the team of OKKO Cannes and a great sit down with Solenne DEVYS – the Groups Communications and Product Director, to chat about the OKKO philosophy, the birth and where they are going!
HOSPITALITY is definitely one of their top priorities, the designer rooms and lounge club – are all very clean cut!
However, the difference remains in the STAFF and getting down to the basics – making the clients feel special! BRAVO
We definitely recommend to all travellers whether for business or for pleasure – this is a definite stop over, an experience to simply soak in, and enjoy Cannes to the fullest.