Our Russian clients have gradually changed their tastes”
Pascal Camia (General Manager of the hotel Hermitage in Monaco):
Mr. Cumia, you — born Monegasque. A lot of talk about the difference in mentality between you and the French. Is she really that big?
Monegasques are people educated in the French cul tural tradition, but with Italian blood. Such is the mixture. We feel that we are Mediterranean people, however, do not feel French. This is probably because we are only about 8000 people and we view ourselves as family and not as citizens of the state. And Prince albert II head we consider not so much the state as our family.
We try to keep our traditions, they are very important to us. For example, every time the royals celebrate a birthday or any celebration, they have picnics, all are welcome to attend the Monaco. On 12 July, Prince albert celebrates the 10th anniversary of his reign. And to celebrate he’s invited everyone on the Monaco Palace square for a great dinner with cocktails.
And what you will eat and drink at this dinner? The Monegasque own kitchen, national drink in Russia vodka and cognac in France?
Yes, we have two specialties. First — barbajuan, something like a donut, deep-fried with Swiss chard and rice. According to some recipes you can add meat, but the two main fillings — Swiss chard and rice. Another national dish is the dessert called the bomb,shortbread biscuits, sprinkled with anise sugar red and white, the colours of the flag of Monaco.
But the national drink we have. We usually drink rose wine, and on the French Riviera, and mostly wine from Provence.
Now many s resort s trying to win over the audience, which usually travels in Monaco. For example, Dubai: there are built the large hotels, many restaurants, carry out, as in Monaco, the stage of “Formula-1”. What your state can offer discerning guests in return — in addition to your reputation as the most glamorous resort in Europe?
You are right, when I was driving to the French Riviera or in Monaco, but now these areas have many competitors around the world. However, our opponents have no such history like Monaco. Maybe in Dubai or in another resort and there are lovely hotels and nice restaurants, however there is not enough ATM’s. And here in Monaco it is.
If you go to the traditional market on the place d’armes and see that there are fishermen and people who sell vegetables and fruits, you will feel some connection with the city, will understand, than he lives. And this link is very important. You can live in a building similar to historic, but you can’t make it historic.
Once in the casino I spoke to one guest from Macau. And he said. “Yes, we can build a replica of the Eiffel tower, but it would only copy. And we cannot build a Monaco, even if we build these same attractions as in Monaco “.
In 2008 there was a financial crisis. He somehow changed the preferences of your guests?
I would not say. Tourist traffic recovered pretty quickly, and now tourists from Russia, USA and the Middle East in Hermitage is much more than in those years. And preferences have not changed much. Tourists still want to get their unique e experience.
For example, in our hotel there are suites with Jacuzzis on the outdoor terraces overlooking the sea. When the guests find out about this, you will certainly want to book these suites. And this year we want to further build three more similar rooms, to be able to accommodate everyone. Because it is a real pleasure: lying in the Jacuzzi with a glass of champagne and watch the sea or the old town.
Guests of the Hermitage never think about shuttles, limos, Wi-Fi. It is mostly very wealthy people, they expect that these services will be included in the price, and are willing to pay for convenience and comfort.
And Russian tourists in Monaco somehow changed their preferences s and s last 10 years?
Yes, their tastes have changed. First they wanted to attend the most prestigious restaurants, discos or bars, to stay in the most exclusive suites of the hotel. But now, when they all tried it, they started looking for a simpler experience. For example, travel to a small village, look for the “secret” places. to buy not necessarily the most expensive or exclusive things, and what they want.
Each hotel has its legends. Please, tell us some legend at the Hermitage.
One of the most romantic hotel legends connected with those times when we stayed Maria Callas. She was visiting her lover Aristotle Onassis. The building his office R espola was offered right in front of the terrace, and from there to the terrace led to a small staircase. She became a kind of secret passage from the office to the room Onassis Callas. But since the staircase was made of metal, the sound of footsteps, people always guessed that Onassis came again on a date to his beloved.
And you have some nice little traditions that create the atmosphere of the hotel?
Since Hermitage is still more a family hotel, two of our most popular traditions associated with Christmas. First of all, this Christmas afternoon tea in our dining room where children enjoy tea, and their parents — a glass of champagne. In addition, we set in front of the hotel, the carousel, and Santa Claus invites the children to ride on wooden horses.
Another magical moment is a tradition to hunt for Easter eggs in our garden Excelsior Garden. Usually they are made by the property’s pastry chef of homemade chocolate. In addition, Hermitage is famous for its Easter buffet, which is served in the dining room, and the dishes comes up with our brand-chef Joel Garo.
Now shoot a lot of films in which the hotel becomes one of the main characters. For example, “Chelsea on the rocks” by Abel Ferrara or “Hotel “Grand Budapest”” Wes Anderson. Do you have some favorite movies about hotels? And if a documentary film about the Hermitage that it would be for the film?
Yes, I looked up “Hotel “Grand Budapest””, and I liked it very much. By the way, I also had the experience of filming. When I worked at Monte-Carlo Bay, we did “Heartbreaker” with Vanessa Paradis and Romain Duris. It was June, we stopped a lot of guests. In General, these were three of the most horrible weeks in my career. T about in the lobby, the casino, the shooting took place, worked great lighting, and guests are strongly wonde jalo.
And the wedding scene for this movie started filming in the morning at the main entrance to the hotel. And at one point the entrance was approached by a large Bentley. I thought it was for the movie, because at the entrance gathered all the crew. But the car came a bride in a white dress. She was a guest, so I had to check in to the hotel. With fishing, it was very funny. As for the Hermitage, I think that a film about him would be a romantic love story, because our hotel is a very romantic place.