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MEXICO - Tourism

Sylvain Chauvet

General Manager, Sofitel Mexico City Reforma

Bio

Sylvain Chauvet previously achieved notable success as the General Manager of Karafuu Hotel in Zanzibar, receiving recognition as the best resort and leading hotel in Tanzania. He later managed Corinthia International Hotel in Banjul, Gambia. Joining Accor Group in 2008, he became the general manager of Sofitel Malabo President Palace and Sofitel Malabo Sipopo Le Golf in Equatorial Guinea, earning the title of Best General Manager in 2011. His leadership at Sofitel Malabo Sipopo Le Golf also led to it being named the “Best Luxury Golf Resort in Africa” in 2013. Recognized with the Officer of the Legion of Honor in Equatorial Guinea in 2016, he subsequently served as the National Vice President of Accor Group in Cuba from 2016 to 2018, overseeing three hotels.

"There has been a significant increase in leisure travel since the pandemic around the world, though perhaps even more so in Mexico."
Sofitel is offering a touch of French flair in Mexico and has been well received by visitors.
What trends in the luxury market Sofitel has identified in the last few years?

There has been a significant increase in leisure travel since the pandemic around the world, though perhaps even more so in Mexico. Before COVID-19, about 80% of our guests were traveling on business while 20% came for leisure, and our rooms were mostly empty on weekends; however, we now see significantly more leisure travel and are almost 50-50 in that aspect. We are also extremely busy—perhaps even busier—on weekends. Another new trend is that more business travelers are now staying one or two extra nights to explore the city and might even bring their partner along. We now call such trips “bleisure.”

What main added value does Sofitel offer in Mexico City?

Our main value is that we are under the Accor name, which is a French brand with over 40 brands under it. Sofitel is a French brand, and it is completely different from its competitors. Some 90% of our competitors are from the US—they do not have this European or French flair. Even Americans love to stay here and enjoy our French touch. Wherever we are, we always strive to combine the local culture with French culture, which all our guests enjoy and appreciate.

In what ways does Sofitel adapt to Mexican culture in its hotel?

One of France’s greatest assets is its food and drink—I would say it is the best in the world. Similarly, Mexico is increasingly becoming known for its excellent cuisine and drinks. Therefore, we have the amazing opportunity to provide complementary offerings of Mexican and French cuisine to our guests. We also have a joint venture with L’Occitane to offer spa services with luxury products from its brand.

What are some of your main projects this year?

Sofitel is a newcomer in Mexico City, having entered Mexico just over three years ago, and it was difficult as a new, unknown brand. Our objective was to be the best brand in town; everyone might say they are the best, though among 500 hotels in Mexico City on TripAdvisor, Sofitel is number one. Our top spot is a great achievement, and our objective is to continue with our efforts and become more well known in the market. We want to gain market share from our competitors.

What differentiates Sofitel’s services from those of other luxury hotels in the city?

Services is a number-one priority for us, and we do it well. This means we go above and beyond what guests expect. It is easy to achieve 95% of what clients expect but extremely difficult to achieve that extra 5% and more. To do this, you need to deliver service to a higher standard than the clients are paying for. We train our staff to read the guests and know exactly what they need, giving them something extra.

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