Publié le 04/04/2023

New Generations

Five estates: five family stories. Respect for tradition balanced by a contemporary outlook. From within the Relais & Châteaux family, from all corners of the world, we present five hoteliers and restaurateurs eager to pass their passions on to the next generation.

New Generations

© Beniya Mukayu

Five estates: five family stories. Respect for tradition balanced by a contemporary outlook. From within the Relais & Châteaux family, from all corners of the world, we present five hoteliers and restaurateurs eager to pass their passions on to the next generation.

FLORIAN MOOSBRUGGER — Director of Post Lech Arlberg in Austria. The hotel has been family-owned since 1937.


If you were a part of the hotel...
I’d be Jägerstube (the hunter’s tavern) – it’s our oldest restaurant and where we serve traditional dishes.
When did you decide to take over?
I have a brother and a sister: I am the youngest. My brother had originally decided to take over the business, and was getting ready for it, but he changed his mind and became a winegrower. I was surprised but happy. I already knew I wanted to work in hospitality. It took me 10 years to develop Post Lech, and for it to become the hotel I had always aspired to create.
What values have been passed on to you?
My grandparents taught me there is no perfect situation and that you must deal with whatever comes your way. Never envy others. My parents taught me that if you want a project to be successful, you must put your heart and soul into it.
What object reminds you of your ancestors?
The ibex trophy in the entrance hall. In the 1960s, my grandfather reintroduced this species, even though it had disappeared from our mountains. As its population flourished, he was then the first to be allowed to hunt it again in the 1980s. He always strived to protect the fauna and flora in the valley.
Today’s challenges…
Globalization is the biggest challenge. People come here from many different countries and cultures, and they often know very little about the mountains. It’s up to us to provide them with a real experience.
Which of your two daughters will take over from you?
Violeta, the youngest, will be going to catering school in Lausanne, just like me.

PAULINE DAUBÉ — Director of Manoir de Lan-Kerellec in France. The hotel has been family-owned since 1925.


If you were a part of the hotel…
The ceiling structure above the dining room, which is in the shape of an upturned boat hull. It is bathed in natural light. It is the heart of the house.
If the mansion was a person...
It would be Mamina, my grandmother. She turned her private home into a hotel. She must be proud that her son has taken over from her, and that the tradition lives on.
When did you start working there?
Our parents needed me and my sister Marilou to make up the rooms, wash the dishes and work at reception. That’s what we did for our summer jobs.
When did you start working there full time?
It was a smooth transition. I didn’t intend to take over the hotel. My sister decided to pursue a career as a photographer in New York. I worked in the cosmetics industry in Paris for eight years. My parents began easing off a little and I wanted to give it a try. I did one season which lasted eight months. But that wasn’t enough to get an idea of how huge the responsibility was. I kept going for a second season and finally quit my other job in May 2014.
What values have been passed on to you?
My grandparents instilled in me a love of fine food, the art of living and good manners. My parents passed on the love of family and work: how important it is to love what you do to find fulfillment. We were never forced to take over the business.
Your values…
Human values: kindness, humility, tolerance. We are a small organization in which everyone does their bit. Our maître d’hôtel has been here for 20 years. We are one big family.

KAZUNARI NAKAMICHI — Owner of Beniya Mukayu in Japan. The ryokan (traditional japanese inn) has been in his family since 1928, and he runs it with his wife, Sachiko, assisted by their sons Daisuke and Kosuke.


If you were a season…
Sachiko: I would like to be spring – when the tender buds and young shoots appear. The seeds have been patiently waiting under the snow. Every year, I am amazed by this magic.
Which part of your hotel reminds you of your ancestors?
Kazunari: The 300-year-old sacred red pine tree in our garden: it is part of our family.
When did you decide to take over the ryokan?
Kazunari: My grandparents dreamed of creating their own ryokan, and they opened it in 1928. My grandmother often told me that one day I would be the third generation. In Japan, many family businesses are passed down from generation to generation.
What do you want to pass on to the next generation?
Kazunari and Sachiko: Our name Mukayu means ‘richness in emptiness’, a concept rooted in Zen Buddhism which we want to pass on: here, guests can escape the routine of their daily lives, relax, cleanse and rejuvenate their bodies and minds. A stay at Beniya Mukayu is an empty space in a busy schedule book, it is a time filled with freedom precisely because it is empty…
Tell us about your commitment to the environment
Sachiko: It is crucial that we protect biodiversity. For many years now we have been keeping a record of the flora that grows around the property. We have also designed a Moss Map – more than 30 varieties grow here. We provide these catalogs to guests so they can identify plants they see. If they know more about nature, they are more likely to respect and protect it.
Describe the hospitality of tomorrow…
Sachiko: The Japanese aesthetic is deeply rooted in nature. Looking at Shintoism and Zen Buddhism, one can see that traditionally the Japanese believed that people should live in harmony with nature, not dominate it. We value preserving this heritage, and we want Japanese culture to be accessible to everybody in a modern and international way, thus enriching all our guests’ lives.


ADELE GARBUTT — Director of Calabash Luxury Boutique Hotel on the island of Grenada in the Caribbean. The venue has been family-owned since 1987.


In what way do you represent the Caribbean?
People from the Caribbean are very authentic, naturally friendly, relaxed and charming. They are enjoyable to be around.
A memory…
Growing up in a hotel is such fun. When we were little, my sisters and I invited all our friends for afternoon tea. And now my daughters do the same.
What values have been passed on to you?
Hard work. And to love what I do. I wouldn’t do anything else.
Tell us about your commitment to sustainable agriculture?
We have a rainwater collector, and we use solar energy. My sister Bobbie runs the organic farm (100 acres/40 hectares) that has been on our mother’s side of the family since the 1940s. Working on this fertile volcanic land in a respectful way – agroforestry – is one of the pillars of our hospitality vision. We produce coconuts and we are the second biggest nutmeg exporter on the island. The fruit and vegetables we serve at the hotel come either from our farm or from local certified organic producers.
What would you like to see happen?
I would like to see the entire hotel industry become more responsible for its impact on the environment. We respect seasonality. When guests complain that they don’t have avocados on their plate here even though they can find them easily in New York or London, we explain that they are not in season on the island. We don’t serve what we don’t grow. A third of all carbon emissions come from global agriculture. If we could halve that impact, it would be a step in the right direction.

MARIO SANDOVAL — Chef at the Coque Restaurant, which his grandfather founded in 1955, in Spain. The property is co-owned with his brothers Rafael, who is the sommelier, and Juan Diego, the maître d’hôtel.


If you were a dish or an ingredient...
Pepitoria (stew) from my childhood brings back memories of my mother in the kitchen. I grew up in the kitchen.
A memory…
I see cooking as an expression of life. That vision took shape when I was very young, in the kitchen with my parents. I remember the sound of the mortar, the scent of saffron and bay leaf, the smell of the wood stove. All these things helped cooking becoming my passion.
What is the secret to working successfully as a family?
Mutual respect and love. My brothers and I complement each other.
What qualities have been passed on to you?
The importance of sacrifice and giving value to traditions without being afraid of going in new directions. Respect and a taste for a job well done.
What do you cook for your children?
I like to have breakfast with them and oversee one of the most important meals in their day. As soon as we can get away, we go to Finca de El Jaral (the family farm) and I cook rice in the open air for my family, adding vegetables from the edible garden.
Challenges for today and the future…
Innovation in gastronomy. Taking care of my employees and suppliers. Helping our society to eat healthily.

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