The luxury Interview of...

Patrick CALVET
Managing Director - Club Med Exclusive Collection

Conviviality becomes a structuring element of luxury

In 2019, to support the development of the Club Med Exclusive Collection range, Patrick Calvet was appointed Managing Director Club Med Exclusive Collection and Mountain Leadership.

In 1976, Patrick Calvet began his career at Club Med as a GO, before rising through the ranks: Village Manager, Director of Club Med Business, Director of Human Resources for Club Méditerranée World Villages, then Managing Director of Villages Europe Africa Resorts.

At the head of the Club Med Exclusive Collection, he brings the Club Med spirit to life in the service of the top-of-the-range. His mission is to coordinate the development of Club Med Exclusive Collection Resorts and Spaces, and to ensure the implementation of the global strategy for the Mountain.

The Club Med Exclusive Collection, "is the Exclusive collection of our most beautiful products in the world, the best of our know-how around 4 unique experiences", underlines Patrick Calvet :
- The Exclusive Collection Spaces
- Villas & Chalets
- The Resorts Exclusive Collection (Dominican Republic, Italy, Mauritius and in a few months’ time the Seychelles), 
- And our cruise ship, the Club Med 2.

"For us, this is the experience of a new luxury, one that combines the refinement, the sense of detail, the consideration of each of our clients with the kindness, the simplicity, the authenticity of relationships and the legendary relaxed (festive spirit) of Club Med."

With these exceptional offers and environments, Club Med Exclusive Collection takes an unchanging commitment: to guarantee its customers excellence in service at all times. This is why he requested the expertise and experience of Bureau d’Image to train - before each reopening - all of the Club Med des Arcs and Club Med Cefalù teams, by building a close collaboration innovative and tailor-made grooming training course.

Bureau d’Image: How would you define luxury?
Patrick Calvet: Luxury is a subtle combination of elegance, quality, surprise, experience, and personalization without ever having to worry about anything. It is the sense of service, ultra-consideration and therefore, ultimately, the human factor that makes the difference. Luxury is also emotion...

BI: Does French luxury exist and what would its characteristics be?
PC: When I think of French luxury, I think of the art of the table. An ancestral know-how that is part of our heritage and for which France is an international reference. We find the sense of detail, precision, quality in the execution and above all the surprise in the choice of flavours for example. And this, with always a local anchorage and "made in France".

BI: What have been the major developments in luxury hotels in recent decades?
PC: Luxury has not stopped evolving over the last few decades. In fact, I would say that there is no such thing as luxury, but luxuries. In the most striking evolutions, conviviality becomes a structuring element: the decor, the infrastructure, the materials are obviously important, but in the end, it is experience that takes over today. More than ever, our customers have a strong need for consideration and ultra-customization. It is therefore a less "strict", less "traditional" luxury. A luxury to be shared, more human, more concerned about its impact on the environment and the host populations.

BI: How are luxury institutions stand out?
PC: If I take the example of Club Med, we have defined our own vision of luxury for those who, in the usual codes of luxury, prefer to live precious moments and share them. Club Med Exclusive Collection combines refinement, attention to detail and intimacy with the unique and legendary spirit of Club Med: friendliness, authentic relationships, and relaxation. We offer intimate spaces on sites of exceptional beauty, accommodation with original designs inspired by local culture, and of course, tailor-made services and special attention from our teams.

BI: Which leader are you? What principles guide your professional life?
PC: Above all, I am a passionate leader who is very committed to the Club Med mission. My principles are trust and closeness to the teams and, to never deviate from the reality on the ground, I make sure to keep "my fingers in the grip and my head above water".  

BI: What requirements does the management of a luxury hotel require?
PC: A 360-degree look and attention with a posture of anticipating the client's needs. Never say "no" while keeping the right balance between professional and human qualities.

BI: What quality do we require from teams?
PC: Demanding and caring.

BI: What fault inspires you the most leniency?
PC: An error of technical competence.

BI: How important is it to train your teams to service excellence?
PC: Because our clients need to feel and experience the combination of luxury and the Club Med spirit. This requires very specific know-how and interpersonal skills that combine relaxation with rigor and precision to guarantee consistency.

BI: Even as Managing Director, do we continue to learn a little more about luxury, its codes, and its many ways to embody it?
PC: Yes, because the notion of luxury is not set in stone, it moves with realities and sociological developments. Yesterday's luxury was still the Palace and the Rolls Royce. Today's luxury is space, authenticity, choice, reconnection with oneself and one's loved ones?

BI: What advice would you give to young professionals?
PC: First, that there are no limits, except those that you set yourself? When passion is your main driving force, everything is possible. Then that it is essential to be curious and always on the move to learn.

BI: What do you recommend for men: neat beard or close shave?
PC: The most important thing is to look neat, with or without a beard!

BI: For women: for or against red polish?
PC: I would also say that the important thing here is to have a well-groomed look that is in harmony with one's personality.

BI: If luxury hotels were a color, what would it be?
PC: White.

BI: An animal?
PC: The cheetah.

BI: An adjective?
PC: Sincere.

BI: An emotion?
PC: The awakening of nature.

BI: An object? / A work of art?
PC: A guitar / Beethoven's 7th symphony.

BI: A motto?
PC: Every day is a life.

BI: A virtue?
PC: Courage.

BI: A historical figure?
The Marquis de Lafayette.

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