DIDIER LE CALVEZ, Ré Management – in conversation

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Didier Le Calvez started out with a stellar career in Asia and the USA – firstly with Westin then with Four Seasons and back to Europe with the re-opening of the incredible George V Paris. This was followed by Shangri – La, Le Bristo , La Reserve [all in Paris]and he is now bringing this experience together with his wife Olivia who owns Hotel de Toiras on Ile de Ré and has for some time been a senior board member of Relais and Chateaux.

In addition Didier and Olivia own Chateau Clarisse in St Emilion – a small but perfectly formed wine chateau producing delicious red wine.  I could get more complex about this but really thats all you need to know for now!

Plus they represent a number of hotels around Europe and the Middle east that need their expertise and experience at various stages of their development.

Heloise’s Choice is a marketing and representation arm of their business which will soon consolidate in to RÉ MANAGEMENT [that’s Ré as in Ile de Ré with a small accent on the E and is where they both hail from]. Plus they have plans to launch an investment fund that will then seek out hidden hotel gems around the world.

On a personal basis I should declare an interest. I have known Didier Le Calvez since 1992 when he was running the Four Seasons Regent Singapore and we [Institutional Investor] held an event in the hotel to coincide with the visit of then Chairman and Founder of ‘II’ Gil Kaplan who was in town to conduct the Singapore Symphony Orchestra playing Mahlers Second. This is another story altogether as this is the only symphony that Gil ever conducted. From that evening onwards we stayed in touch and Didier has always been the most gracious host whenever i have visited him including with members of my family in New York, Paris and the Ile de Re.  And now I don’t live that far from Chateau Clarisse!

Given his vast global hotel experience it’s fabulous to see Didier doing his own thing after many years of doing it for larger corporations. With a young family he’s got the energy and motivation to keep going and to make a success of this, probably the biggest adventure he has embarked on. With a growing support team based in Paris Ré Management continues to assemble an impressive portfolio of properties, all of whom require different areas of expertise depending on whether they are open, about to open or facing a turnaround in fortunes.

I have been lucky enough to visit Didier in different, far flung corners of the luxury hotel world and am looking forward to returning to the Ile de Re after a break of 10 years as well as stocking up my wine cellar from Chateau Clarisse in the coming months! Some years ago I was present at Hotel Le Bristol when Didier received the Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Legion d’Honneur [picture above]. Prior to that I had visited Didier at The Pierre in New York, The Four Seasons George V in Paris and more recently at La Reserve Paris as well as staying chez Didier and Olivia on the Ile de Ré. It’s always inspirational when someone from a career in the corporate world steps into the choppy waters of entrepreneurship, especially at a certain age but in these times if you can combine energy, enthusiasm and experience with a global network then you have an irresistible formula for success. Allez Didier and Olivia!

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