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Publié le 06/05/2024

Relais & Châteaux celebrates its 70th anniversary! Chapter 3 : The values of yesterday, today and tomorrow

A contemporary trailblazer that remains true to its founders’ principles, Relais & Châteaux has stood firmly on its shared values since 1954.

Relais & Châteaux celebrates its 70th anniversary! Chapter 3 : The values of yesterday, today and tomorrow

A contemporary trailblazer that remains true to its founders’ principles, Relais & Châteaux has stood firmly on its shared values since 1954.

CUISINE to Delight, Respect and Share

Cuisine plays a central role at Relais & Châteaux from the quality restaurants of Les Relais de Campagne to today’s network of the most Michelin-starred restaurants in the world. We count 376 Michelin stars, including 40 Green Stars recognizing environmentally responsible choices, among our members. All with chefs who adapt to the varied lifestyles and preferences of guests increasingly concerned about their health, product origins, agricultural practices and cultural preservation. Our chefs’ unwavering commitment gives guests the very best.

From the classic French cuisine of Pierre Troisgros in the 1950s, to the nouvelle cuisine of Michel Guérard at Les Prés d’Eugénie of the 1970s, Bernard Loiseau in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and the environmentally attuned menus of today, with Hugo Roellinger at Les Maisons de Bricourt, who excludes all endangered species, Mauro Colagreco’s plastic-free restaurant Mirazur and Sébastien Bras, on a never-ending quest for naturalness at Le Suquet.

Outside France, we celebrate the plant-based menus of Daniel Humm at Eleven Madison Park in New York, the culinary craftsmanship of Shinobu Namae, chef at L’Effervescence in Tokyo, who combines French and Japanese traditions, the astounding food from Viki Geunes at Zilte in Antwerp, and the playful cuisine of Massimiliano Alajmo at Calandre in Italy. All of them locavore chefs who source ingredients from the nearest possible suppliers, finding inspiration in traditional recipes to shine a bright new spotlight on deeply rooted culinary heritage.

THE ENVIRONMENT Hospitality in Harmony with Nature

Sustainable development, the preservation of biodiversity, landscapes and buildings, and regenerative use of resources are all shared objectives for the Association’s members. This has been a strong strand in Relais & Châteaux DNA ever since the Association was founded, carefully passed from one president to the next and clearly set out in the Vision presented to UNESCO in 2014. Every member, every hotelier, every restaurateur puts this awareness into practice each day, helping to limit the harm done to terroir and nature so that the generations
of tomorrow may appreciate nature’s blessings. They are advancing arm-in-arm, taking action to reduce their carbon footprints, to move toward single-use plastic-free. Members also support Relais & Châteaux’s long-term commitments to NGOs and take part in special events and annual campaigns: Ethic Ocean since 2009, Slow Food since 2017, the annual United Nations World Oceans Day campain, the Food for Change campaign. Relais & Châteaux chefs are taking up the fight for responsible cuisine, banning endangered species from their menus threatened by irresponsible fishing, such as bluefin tuna, wild sea bass, and, more recently, eel. 

By demonstrating these commitments to guests, Relais & Châteaux shows that travel, exploration and quality hospitality can protect the planet, its cultures, its natural wonders.

LOCAL CHARACTER A Sense of Belonging

For Relais & Châteaux properties, being a thread in the local fabric is more than an ideal: it is a living, breathing way of life that puts people at the center. It means each property is an active stakeholder in its region, encouraging dialogue with local communities and helping them with their needs and aspirations, like generating school funding, or assisting with meals for children so that they may go to class nourished and strong, just as the Resplendent Ceylon group does in Sri Lanka. By selecting architects, artisans, and landscapers anchored in local culture and involving them in construction and renovation projects, like at the Al Moudira Hotel in the Valley of the Queens in Luxor. Its cotton bed linens are embroidered by Threads of Hope, a social enterprise that creates dignified employment for refugees, migrants and local women by training in traditional weaving and embroidery. In Peru, the Sol y Luna Foundation has become an influential entity in local development by founding a school, where children from neighboring communities attend lessons to learn about everything from nutrition to foreign languages. The Relais & Châteaux maîtres de maison know and nurture the treasures of their terroirs, earnestly preserving and promoting them, and–crucially–sharing them with their guests.

HERITAGE Fostering Legacy and Continuity

Many properties are handed down from generation to generation within the same family, with the younger members determined to carry on the work of their ancestors, to perpetuate their family values. Association members who take over from their elders bring a contemporary energy to their properties while safeguarding the establishment’s personality: its soul. This is what Relais & Châteaux is all about: a large, close-knit family, a not-for-profit Association that deliberately limits its member numbers, selecting them based on quality, common values, and the kindness and goodwill they show their communities and staff.

A WARM WELCOME Hospitality as an Ethic

Another defining feature of our Association is the dedication of our maîtres de maison to warmly receiving and welcoming guests as friends, making them feel right at home, supported by their staff. Sharing secrets of their properties, and treasures of their region, to make every stay more memorable. Anticipating their desires and dreams, by getting to know their personalities, their lifestyles, but without ever being intrusive. Arranging tours, interesting encounters, and exclusive activities for them. Generating good feelings through highly personalized attention. These are the little things that forge great memories and lead guests to remain true to Relais & Châteaux.

Anticipate their desires
Arouse emotion

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