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Hotel Lead – Etincelle Collection Simplicity & Exclusivity

Hotel Lead - Etincelle Collection Simplicity & Exclusivity 1

The mission of Etincelle Collection is to show guests a new way of life in the mountains and it is this mantra that their dedicated teams carry with them as they welcome holidaymakers to their resorts in premium locations with guaranteed snow and a mountain of entertainment. Here, RLI spends some time with Nicolas Chatillon, CEO of Etincelle Collection to learn about what makes their offer unique and keeps bringing customers back to their locations.

The team behind Etincelle Collection, company CEO Nicolas Chatillon and Guerlain Chicherit, ski free-ride world champion and motor racing aficionado, believe that emotions are a source of positive energy, joy and pleasure and are essential to setting the world and people in motion and living a fruitful life.

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Hotel Voulez, Vous Tignes le Lac
Tignes, France

Whether literally or figuratively, beautiful emotions are born from an initial spark – or étincelle in French – and create stimulation. With this in mind, the idea behind Les Etincelles was to curate an aspirational collection of high-altitude hotels, the perfect environment for a spark to come alight. Taking a new approach that focuses on the client rather than the product, the duo set out to create a new experience in the hospitality sector.

“To stay in one of our resorts offers a new perspective and a guarantee of snow,” highlights Chatillon. “We provide an offer and a range that caters to the needs of the current consumer and today we do this across our collection of 16 hotels, 21 Carte Blanche chalets and 10 residencies.”

This guarantee of snow is a fundamental part of the Etincelle offer and when the CEO explains that the length of winter has decreased from 23 weeks to 16 weeks, the importance of real snow cannot be underestimated.
Simplicity is another key part of what makes Etincelle Collection stand out, whether this is in the simplicity of their resort offer in that they are purely ski resorts, or in the way that everything is designed in their locations to make things as simple as possible for the customer, so they can concentrate on what they came to do during their stay and that is ski.

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Carlina Hotel Belle Plagne
La Plagne-Tarentaise, France

“In terms of simplicity, we offer an experience to our guests and this is done through a combination of different factors across their stay with us,” Chatillon explains.

A key part of this experience is the transition people go through to and from skiing. Traditionally, when people get ready to hit the slopes or return to their hotel or chalet, they can spend upwards of 20 minutes getting changed and storing all of their ski equipment, meaning around 45 minutes is added to any ski session. At Etincelle, associates are on hand to assist at all times, to bring and also take away and store all equipment for guests. This cuts transition time down to mere minutes, a huge factor considering people may wish to have a long lunch in-between skiing sessions on a single day and it becomes even more important when you consider this offers more treasured holiday time for many visitors.

Another area where Etincelle has looked to simplify the guest experience is queuing. “Guests to our locations are welcomed by our members of staff and are taken directly to their room with their luggage immediately, so there is no waiting around and losing time on arrival. Visitors to our sites may only be there for a number of days and they do not want to lose any precious vacation time waiting to check-in and get settled in their room or chalet,” Chatillon highlights.

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HUSKY – Chalets de Môh
La Malbaie, Québec, Canada

While the company’s portfolio has focused heavily on France to date, the company is looking to expand to new locations in the future. They are currently investigating potential sites in Switzerland, the Greek Islands and even a few properties in the US.

So when looking for new assets, the company only considers sites that possess excellent skiing characteristics, combined with those that are five-star location or of the premium and high-end variety that are close to the snow.

“The main thing we look for in new sites is definitely the location on the slopes,” says Chatillon. “However other important aspects are the attractiveness of a site, the development potential of a site, whether it meets our investment criteria and whether it is an asset that can be flipped into an Etincelle location.”

The CEO feels that digital distribution is an important factor today and that it is vitally important to have a smooth booking system online as more and more people book through websites on tablets and mobile devices. He also feels that this combination of a smooth e-commerce offer before arrival along with a strong in-person approach upon arrival is an excellent mix.

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Hôtel Taj-I Mah by Les Etincelles
Bourg-Saint-Maurice, France

The company has come a long way in a short space of time and is looking for more of the same in the future. The concept behind Etincelle Collection is breathing new life into the high-mountain leisure experience thanks to its dedicated teams and bespoke service while simultaneously fostering a creative environment and setting up new projects with sustainability in mind. “Watch this space,” Chatillon concludes.