- Trends -
TOURISM & AUTHENTICITY
TRAVELING… FOR REAL
Over the past 50 years, our small blue planet has been shrinking fast! We have become globetrotters who hop on a plane like one takes the underground, casually skipping from one time zone to the next. From real journeys to virtual exploration, roaming the world is no longer necessarily an adventure and yet… The need for a real sense of escapism has never been so keenly felt, and the wish to discover places in a different way – and to grasp their full authenticity – is becoming a non-negotiable demand for travel aesthetes.
How does one define a beautiful journey in 2018? A jaunt to a trendy hotspot or a legendary town on the latest favorite destination shortlist? Perhaps so, but there is much more to it. Today, a beautiful journey implies a human experience, slowly and mindfully taking the time to go behind the scenes, gain an intimate knowledge of a city, sense the quintessence of a place and feel the soul of the people who live there. A full immersion into the truth of a location that does not fit the standard international tourism mold. Something never previously experienced rather than never yet seen. An ambitious conquest, since authenticity is not easily grasped.
EXPLORING THE STORY BEHIND A PLACE
Transcending superficiality in order to open oneself up to another – and true – reality. Such is the conviction driving Michel Reybier. “In each of our establishments, we have sought above all else to respect the place itself, to highlight it and to express the full measure of its authenticity. Focusing on being rather than appearance. That is why each of them is different and absolutely must remain so. It’s the location that provides the impetus. Naturally, there is more than one way of telling the story of Ramatuelle, Geneva or Paris. Paris the capital of contemporary elegance at La Réserve Paris-Apartments; and the refined Paris of the Belle Epoque era at La Réserve Paris-Hotel and Spa: these are two scenarios inspired by the same place. I am convinced that today’s travelers are looking for sincerity wherever they go, and
especially so in well-known tourist spots. Look at Saint-Tropez for example. Throngs of people and non-stop partying… why not? But after that, people long to withdraw to an unspoiled place and to serenely savor the extraordinary luminosity of the Côte d’Azur, as well as the sound of silence. So they turn to La Réserve Ramatuelle. Just 5km from Saint-Tropez, a haven of absolute peace, filled with good vibrations and positive energy. No concrete hotel complex in sight, no massive ugly real estate projects, but instead a protected coastline and the Mediterranean stretching as far as the eye can see.”
DELIGHTING THE HEART, MIND AND SENSES
Travel today is all about having an ‘experience’, a much-overused term. Let’s forget the actual word and keep the idea. Where does the pleasure of getting away from it all actually lie? In that perfect harmony between sensations, emotions and thoughts, the kind that literally whisks us away into what used to be called ‘transports’ of delight. The joy of travel is incomplete if one of these three dimensions is missing. Michel Reybier is keen to ensure that each of his destinations pursues this three-fold ambition and that each stay is an opportunity for travelers to be surprised anew by a place they already know, discovering it from an unprecedented and unexpected angle. “Our teams know how to open doors that are usually closed so as to reveal the best-kept secrets. At Cos d’Estournel, our guests experience the passion for wine in the same manner that I do myself. They can roam the vineyards
whenever they like, ask a thousand technical questions, and develop their expertise before heading off to sample oysters at Cap Ferret. Everything is within reach, at their disposal. Even in Paris, which people may think they know by heart, there are still a certain number of insider’s addresses and rare experiences. We are there to help them experience these exceptional moments, which could mean sailing along the Seine on the capital’s only Riva motorboat, or gaining access to the Grand Palais rooftop through a hidden door.”
THE QUEST FOR DEPTH IMPLIES ENCOUNTERS
Sharing with locals, chatting with other travelers, being open to other viewpoints. “At Ramatuelle, our Michelin-starred Executive Chef, Eric Canino, willingly comes to do a barbecue in a guest’s garden, after selecting his favorite cut of beef. In Cos d’Estournel, our cellar master is delighted to share her winemaking knowledge in the simplest possible terms”, says Michel Reybier. A perfect opportunity to be enriched by new relations, travel is a time for openness, which in no way prevents one from some essential personal recentering, quite the opposite. Gazing at magnificent scenery is no longer enough. Traveling to see – even the most beautiful wonders of the world – now seems somewhat futile. It is up to each individual to find their own way of escaping from clichés and one thing is for sure: curiosity is the shortest path to authenticity.
Par Anne-Marie Clerc