Home Lifestyle Pascal Donat (President of the Valotel Group): “The hotel represents the symbols of the home and therefore must bring emotion and a sense of comfort”

Pascal Donat (President of the Valotel Group): “The hotel represents the symbols of the home and therefore must bring emotion and a sense of comfort”

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Can you tell us more about yourself?

Pascal Donat © Maison elle

After studying at Bo Lyon SciencesI have a master’s degree in engineering, I worked for the first time as a consultant in the field of regulation in Anderson Consulting. A very formative job that helped me a lot later and allowed me to understand how to achieve greater efficiency in running a company.
When I was 30 years old, I joined the family group, and my father gave me the task of developing the restaurant business. At the time, it had a brewery and 5 hotels. Then I completely change my being, but I love it.
At the time, in the 90’s, the hotel business was very hands on, with no rest, so there was a lot of improvement that needed to be done.

In 2014, there is a big change in the group?

Pascal Donat – © Maison Elle

Yes, my dad who owns 25 hotels decided to turn his collection over to my sister and me to manage.
My sister created the Valmavi Group, and I, Valutil.
Since I have a taste for a challenge, I’ve decided to gradually lower the sails, keeping in mind this aphorism I made for myself: PPPP: Pride, Pleasure, Planet and Profit (smile).
I gradually moved away from catering to better devote myself to the hotel industry, which also offered the advantage of becoming less traditional over time. There was a lot of creativity and ideas to bring in a less landscaped area.
In 2010, she worked on developing hotel strategy, focusing on social issues. I want to settle near the stations, because I realized that transportation will also increase clients from the provinces and abroad.

Does Airbnb affect you?

No, I can’t say I’m impressed with Airbnb. On the other hand, I find that there are a lot of drifts and repercussions on the environment, the economy, and cities. You only need to look at what happened in Barcelona to understand the negative impact of the spread of offers of all kinds.

How do you define customer experience?

Maison ELLE Paris-Facade – © Christophe Bielsa

In my eyes, it should be warm, spacious and warm.
The hotel for me is the symbols of the home and therefore it should bring emotion and a sense of comfort.
For example, for the first Maison Elle, in the 17th arrondissement, I put a wooden door at the entrance and not a glass door like a real private house.
Every moment you spend in the hotel should be experienced as a different moment, with a range of emotions.

I know your motto is “a little beauty”! Is this why you invested in Maison Elle, Paris’ first boutique hotel?

Maison ELLE Paris-Cozy Bedroom – © Christophe Bielsa

It all started with a car daydream. I was looking at the Kooples bag and lo and behold what it would be like to have the Kooples Hotel, which in my imagination I translated as “love and rock”.
The creation of Maison Elle was a powerful evocation, addressing all genres such as femininity, cocooning, beauty, escapism, fashion, luxury…and entering into the intimacy of readers.
Because this magazine is an inexhaustible source of inspiration, ideas, styles and atmosphere. It deals with all aspects of life.
The idea was to make all of these feelings resonate in each and every one of us by creating a new hotel concept with an exciting and intimate experience.

How did you get to know your pillars?

Maison ELLE Paris-Bedroom – © Christophe Bielsa

We have identified several of them:
First of all, La Maison Française with its decorations evokes the wardrobe of a Parisian.
Indulge in made-to-measure pastries and icons (a lamp, a table … created by Laurent Bardet, our Artistic Director) with a French breakfast.
Everything is made in France.
Then wellness with Dr. Hauschka’s brand (sensory experience), for an energetic and sassy woman with natural remedies. This brand has great respect for the body.
Not forgetting a space dedicated to yoga (plant mat and meditation cushion)
Finally, a woman’s choice with a digital travel guide created by ELLE Magazine. A concept store where we selected some of the products created for us, collaborating with Jars for cutlery.
Finally, we will launch events, meetings, and launches with artists and creators so that Maison Elle can become a meeting place.

What are the values ​​of Valotel and Maison Elle?
It’s an urban, elegant and comfortable experience in Khayer’s home. It is also the style of Parisian, sassy, ​​capricious, light …

How do you imagine the hotel industry in the future?

Maison ELLE Paris-Junior Suite-Artwork – © LAURENT-LAURENCE

There were 3 main stages.
At first we had a functional hotel.
Then an experimental hotel, offering the customer an additional advantage through luxury, services, gastronomy and activities …
The third hotel will be environmentally responsible.
What are your obligations in terms of the environment?
We are launching a corporate social responsibility project
With the hotel’s carbon footprint, working on water, procurement, and material selection.
Nothing comes from China or Africa.
Our commitment is strong. The environmental side guides all of our choices.

What are your projects?


We want to create other ELLE Homes in Europe, China and South Asia also in Thailand in Bangkok.
My idea is to present at least ten boutique hotels.

What is your definition of luxury?
Luxury in my eyes is space, silence, nature and above all not ostentation.
It is also a space of communication with light, aesthetics and emotion. I need to shake!

How tall are you?


I have an incredible memory in Italy at Casa Angelina on the Amalfi Coast, with the amazing friendliness of the staff and their concern for the customer.
It’s the same for Aman Six Senses Hotels, they know how to elevate nature.

Finally the luxury you can’t live without?
tea (smile)
The Mediterranean Sea
Trail in Porquerolle

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