A LITTLE more than 30 years ago, Jocelyne and Jean-Louis Sibuet decided to venture into the hotel business with a small boutique hotel in Megève, nestled among the French Alps. Little did they know that their investment adventure would turn into a million-euro empire of nine hotels under the banner Maisons & Hotels Sibuet.
Megève is an all-season resort in the heart of the French Alps, located in the Mont-Blanc region of Haute-Savoie, an hour’s drive from Geneva. The winters are beautiful and see the village turn into a bustling ski resort, while the summers are great as well, with easy hikes, and excellent weather, lots of shopping and good restaurants.
Headquartered in Megève, Maisons & Hotels Sibuet operates nine properties in its native France. Among these properties are the leading five-star hotel in Megève, Les Fermes de Marie; one of the finest jewels in Lyon’s old town, the five-star Cour des Loges hotel; and Villa Marie a five-star luxury hotel in the style of an Italian villa in Saint-Tropez.
“Les Fermes de Marie is very special to us because we built the whole property like a small hamlet of traditional high mountain farm houses,” reminiscences Jocelyne, co-owner Maisons & Hotels Sibuet, in an exclusive interview with TTN. “It’s a great hotel for the family.”
The spa at the hotel has been completely redone last year with Pure Altitude cosmetics, a home-grown brand also owned by the Sibuet family. “We have 20 treatment rooms now. We also added another swimming pool for the whole family, while there’s a pool inside the spa for people who want to swim in peace. There are three different restaurants on the property and cooking classes are also offered.”
When Les Fermes de Marie opened in 1989, its spa was quick to gain international renown. “At that time, no one was using a spa; it was a pioneer in that sense,” says daughter Marie Sibuet, who is actively working on the marketing side of the business. Before opening the hotel, Jocelyne was in the beauty business, and it was her idea to introduce a spa into the hotel.
There are two private chalets in Les Fermes de Marie with five bedrooms each, for families who want complete privacy, but still want all the services of a hotel. “One of our five bedroom private chalets can cost anything between €10,000 to €30,000 ($11,380 to $34,140) per week depending on the season. A normal room starts from €500 ($570) per night.”
The most profitable hotel for the group is Les Fermes de Marie, it is open all year and it is also well known.
“We have on numerous occasions, received the Swedish and Norwegian royal family, also French presidents, of course. Lots of movie stars have stayed with us as well; we’ve had the pleasure of hosting The Beatles and Tom Cruise at the time when he was with Nicole Kidman. When these guests stay, they either take our five-bedroom chalets or book entire floors.”
The Sibuet family presented its newest address late last year, the Hôtel des Dromonts, in Avoriaz, offering ski runs that seemingly stretch out to infinity, an abundance of sunshine and snow fall. A part of the Portes du Soleil ski area, it offers 296 ski runs, 11 snowparks and 11 boardercross runs.
“All hotels we own are different, but they have the same art-of-the-living style,” says Marie. And this is probably because they have been designed by the same person, her mother Jocelyne, who adds, “Normally hotels take designers from outside, but I design all our properties. Our properties are elegant but also very French, we have a lot of antique furniture that I have personally picked up.”
“Our luxury is authentic and personal. It’s not Courcheval,” concludes Marie.
By Rashi Sen
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