Fréderic Martineau, you are the manager of the hotel St-Alban that opened in December 2019 in La Clusaz. Why did you choose to bring this establishment to La Clusaz?
After opening several establishments in Chamonix, Assas Hotels (1) decided to extend its presence into other massifs in the French Alpes. La Clusaz was of course chosen for its authenticity, but also its strategic location, close to Annecy and within easy access to Lyon and Geneva.
The size, design and quality of service of the hotel is naturally a 4-star and attracts a diverse, top-end clientele for stays with family or friends for short breaks or long stays. We also have a corporate clientele with two seminar suites, mostly French companies, but also from the UK and Scandinavia. Our varied accommodation offer means our seasons are longer and our teams now work throughout the year which is a big plus for client satisfaction and loyalty.
Tell us a little about you and your career.
Before climbing the mountain paths of Haute Savoie, I had to carve my own path. I have a degree in English and was looking for a career where I could use the two languages. I’m someone that likes to help out, so I decided that the hotel industry would be a good place to start. Working in beautiful surroundings, informing clients and giving them advice, was something I fancied! I also discovered the downsides of unsociable working hours, working at weekends, interminable working days and having to constantly find solutions as fast as possible…(laughs). But above all, the satisfaction of meeting the expectations of my clients!
Your hotel undeniably stands out for its decoration and design. The establishment pays particular attention to the atmosphere. Where do you get your inspiration?
There is absolutely no way I can thrive in a hotel that doesn’t suit me. I have to be motivated by my surroundings! I feel at one with the St Alban. For example, I love books and there are over 21,000 books all around the hotel! Leslie Gauthier, our loyal interior designer in all Assas projects has a real talent for creating different ambiences. She has meaningfully combined several styles within the St Alban, from the “English club” in the bar, the “Grand Hotel Budapest” atmosphere of the lobby and the alpine chalet references. The hotel was built entirely of wood, apart from the foundations which is a first in France for a hotel of this size! I believe that in her choice of natural materials and graphic elements used in a stunning and stylish way (Art Déco wall, illustrations by Mathieu Persan(2)), she has elegantly reinterpreted the traditions of the French Alps. In short, she has respected all the codes of luxury without the ostentation.
« MY » CLUSAZ
- Skiing, of course !
Trail running : a big dose of fresh air and the right sort of tiredness in magnificent surroundings.
Comic books : I have over 250
- The Col des Aravis in winter and Confins lake in summer !
- The Alpine landscapes are exceptional.
- Le Vieux Chalet (and the Fondue with truffles…)
- Corbassières Farm for the pastoral atmosphere
- Patrick Agnellet for his excellent patisseries