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Press Room

Press Room

37th International Relais & Châteaux Congress

The annual Relais & Châteaux meeting drew to a close bringing together more than 600 Owners, Maîtres de Maison, and Grands Chefs from almost 60 countries

Following the Congress in Cape Town, South Africa in 2010, Jaume Tàpies, Chairman of the Board of Relais & Châteaux, convened the Association to Lisbon, Portugal, for several days of fellowship, sharing and strategic planning.

Stock was taken of what has been a successful year: the 50th anniversary of the world-wide expansion of Relais & Châteaux; prestigious international events; the record arrival of 45 new properties, including 19 additional Grands Chefs and 5 new destinations, and a focus was placed on a look ahead to the future. Never before have the Routes du Bonheur, or the “Roads to Happiness” (signature Relais & Châteaux itineraries), punctuated by the 518 charming hotels and restaurants that now make up the Association, been so plentiful. Never before has the pursuit of excellence brought together so many committed hoteliers, chefs and restaurateurs.

The theme of the meetings was ‘Go Beyond’, with a focus on cuisine, one of the defining elements of all Relais & Châteaux properties. The various workshops and speeches were marked by reflection, discussion, and forward-thinking: specifically leadership in gastronomy, and its role in Relais & Châteaux as well as the role of Relais & Châteaux in this sector. Sustainability was also an important issue addressed in terms of raw materials, waste disposal and energy consumption, as well as human resource management. The subject was additionally addressed by speaker Giles Gibbons, Founder and CEO of the consulting firm Good Business. Other items on the agenda included a speech on ‘Changing Values in the Age of Globalisation’ by Luc Ferry, French philosopher and former Minister of Youth, Education and Research; and ‘Surpass your Dreams’ by Michel Guérard, the famous Grand Chef of Les Prés d’Eugénie (France).

This wealth of experience and exchange of views gave food for thought to spark the imaginations of the more than 600 participants, as well as to ensure that again this year the international members of Relais & Châteaux had an enriching experience that was ‘all around the world, unique in the world’.

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37th International Relais & Châteaux Congress