The Sezz Saint Tropez brings together an enthusiastic and well-qualified team whose main mission is to make your stay unforgettable. This month, we are pleased to introduce Maxime RICHARD, concierge at the Sezz. This interview paints a remarkable portrait of someone who truly cares about their vocation and will make every effort to ensure that your time with us passes as smoothly and pleasurably as possible.
- What was your career before you came to the Sezz Saint-Tropez?
Before arriving at the Sezz in 2011, I had completed my first 3 seasons with another hotel group based in Megève and Saint-Tropez, during which I was able to learn the luxury hotels business and receive a high standard of training. Before that, I was sort of the ‘eternal student’ who did not really know what he wanted to do! But as soon as I set foot in the hotel, I immediately liked the place. After those initial seasons I wanted to consolidate my career and continue to learn, and that's why I applied to the Hotel Sezz. I was fortunate to be selected as a Personal Assistant receptionist in 2011, before receiving a promotion to concierge, a position I have held since 2014.
- What are your principal duties?
The duties of a concierge are many and varied, and this makes the position all the more interesting. To summarise, the main duties are to:
- inform our guests, especially those who are discovering the hotel and the area for the first time, about the key places to discover, the activities to do, the outings and the restaurants to try
- take care of restaurants and beach club reservations
- organise transport, including arrivals from the airport, the shuttle service offered by the hotel, and the rental of vehicles (2 wheels or cars)
- monitor and deal with the various requests. For example, organising a surprise for a birthday, locating lost luggage at the airport, arranging the repair of a flat tyre on a guest's car, returning forgotten business items to a customer's home, etc.
- manage a team of valets / porters / drivers
- know and recognise our customers and their habits.
In general, a main objective should lie behind all these duties. This is to listen to the guest, understand what they require and provide the best service to fulfil those requirements.
- What are the key moments in your daily life?
Early in the morning, when I see the guests arrive each in their turn at breakfast. This is a moment that I particularly like. This is a quiet time of the day that allows me to call the restaurants to arrange the day's bookings and to organise the upcoming events of the day.
Noon is always a highlight of the day, as this is the time for check-outs, requests for beach shuttles for guests returning to the hotel, early check-ins, etc. ... it's always a very intense time in terms of activity.
18:00 – 20:00 is another of the day’s peaks as this is the period of returning from the beaches for some, the first outings in town for dinner, and advising customers who do not have dinner reservations.
- What do you think are the three essential activities in Saint-Tropez?
Having a coffee, a drink, lunch or dinner in the port of Saint-Tropez with a view of the boats. It’s a great way to capture (or re-capture) the ambiance of Saint-Tropez and its port, either by day or night.
Heading to the beaches of the beautiful bay of Pampelonne (4.5 kms of beach) to enjoy a relaxing session on the beach in a beach club and/or joining in with the festive atmosphere of one of them.
Walking a stretch of the coastal path where you can enjoy breathtaking coastal scenery and stop by a small cove where you can feel alone in the world.
- Any little tips for making the most of the Sezz?
Those who prefer morning sunshine in the private garden of their room should ask our reservation service for a room numbered between 1 and 15. Those who would rather bask in the afternoon sun of their private garden should ask our reservation service for a room numbered between 29 and 40. Finally, those who like to be just a few steps from the pool need to opt for a room numbered between 21 and 28.
- Do you have any anecdotes from your time at the Sezz Saint-Tropez?
There’s one story that I particularly fondly recall:
One afternoon around 16:00 to 17:00, we welcomed a couple from the United States and the lady checked-in crying (it doesn’t usually happen, thankfully!). I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she’d left her phone in the transalpine train (which crosses Switzerland, the south of France and continues through Italy). She said that she had “all her life” on her phone (her contacts, and especially her photos) and that it was the sentimental value of the phone that made its loss so upsetting. I asked her which station she arrived at (they had left the train at Saint-Raphael and took a taxi from the station) and if the phone was still switched on. She replied yes, but thought it was on vibrate and was low on power. I asked her the phone’s number, while indicating that the chances of finding it were slim (the best possibility was to inquire at the lost property department of the railway company). I tried calling the phone several times without receiving an answer. In the evening, after another attempt, someone answered! I was so happy to hear someone on the phone, and quickly explained the reason for my call and asked him where he was. Following a disjointed conversation, I finally understood that this was a homeless person who, in his wanderings, got on the train, found the phone and went down to Antibes station. I asked him to stay where he was, to remain reachable, and that I would send a driver who would give him a reward in exchange for the phone. He agreed, so I dispatched a driver to Antibes to meet him. The driver returned to the hotel around 23:00 with the phone. I remember calling the guests in their room, apologising for the late call, and asking if I could quickly come and see them. When the guest saw that I had the phone in my hands, she screamed with joy and I left with a huge smile on my face and the reward of knowing that I love my job!
Sezz Saint-Tropez, a 5-star hotel in the heart of Saint-Tropez