There is no day like another in the Hotel business

There is no routine. The only thing we know for certain is that anything can and will happen at any time. Le Manoir feels like a home, but it is not, it is a public space meaning that as long as we are open anyone can show at any time. I have got used to that know and almost expect surprises. Even now during COVID when business has slowed right down there  is action at le Manoir. Last week I had a couple of movie stars staying for a film shoot nearby, then a group of Portuguese builders showed up, whilst I had a family of four over from Marseille for the sales in Cannes. I end up knowing most of my clients, even in the summer, when we are full every day. I guess it comes from my curious character ; I love to find out what people do, where they are from, what makes them tick. I spent the early part of my career in Finance in London and I spent a lot of time analysing companies and meeting their management teams across Europe. I was always fascinated to learn how people make it to the Top or not. One of the advantages of being the owner is that one has the right to talk to everyone. I often start by telling my life story in various ways, the short-, medium- or the long version depending on the attention span or interest of the client. It is a very effective way to get guests to speak. Before they and I know it I have found out a lot about their lives too.  Sometimes they are even surprised as to how easily they have expressed themselves. Let’s not forget that Le Manoir, being a hotel, is really a place to relax. Sure I have some corporate clients, but even they come to Le Manoir to relax. It is just that kind of place. When you are relaxed it is easier to speak, you are less guarded and talking to me is a bit like talking to the taxi driver, after all when are you ever going to meet me again?. I therefore have heard a lot of stories over the years and I really feel privileged to have my guests’ confidence. Often the guests do come back and then I try as much as is possible to remember their preferences and favourites. Like Paul who does not like the rising sun so he gets a room with the evening sun. Or Samo and Pika who feel that the duplex junior suite is their room and so that is where they sleep. Or Mr and Mrs Fisher who have only ever stayed in the room with the balcony and thus it would be an insult to check them in elsewhere. Or Robert who wants cheese and ham for breakfast without butter nor bread. Large hotels need a database for such information, but in a small hotel such as Le Manoir, it can all be stored in the head, that would be mine, and that works just fine.