Christophe Le Chatton is no stranger to change. In fact, he thrives on it. For years the charming French-born hotelier was a fixture at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts where he worked in various capacities at several of the company’s iconic properties, including Toronto’s stately Royal York. Then, a few years ago, looking to grow his potential, the hotelier made the trek from English Canada to the French capital with his young family in tow to become GM of Quebec City’s majestic Château Frontenac. To many, the feat might have proved daunting, but it didn’t faze the leader or his supportive wife, Lisa.
So, when a new opportunity beckoned a few years later, this time to move to the American southwest to take the reins of the Fairmont Scottsdale, Le Chatton et famille didn’t flinch. In 2012, after spending several years leading the charge in the desert oasis, Le Chatton transferred to Shanghai where he spent a few years honing his hospitality skills while working in the customer-service capital of the world.
Now, after a decade of adventure, the passionate GM is happy to be back home, comfortably ensconced at the five-star Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Ont. “This Relais & Chateaux property is unique because of its geographic location in the heart of the Carolinian Forest. It’s the perfect luxurious escape from the city. With five million potential customers within an hour’s drive from Langdon Hall, we aim to offer an all-inclusive unique personalized luxurious experience in a relaxing environment,” he says.
Le Chatton oversees 175 employees, who tend to 53 rooms located within three buildings. “Forty-eight rooms are equipped with wood-burning fireplaces. The main house guestrooms feature the uniqueness and heritage of the property with vaulted ceilings, architectural beams and large windows overlooking the extensive grounds,” he says. It’s smaller than the other hotels Le Chatton has commandeered, but it’s just as well regarded. “The hotel encompasses every aspect of a five-star operation and more,” boasts Le Chatton, who was recently conferred “fellow” status by the Ontario Hostelry Institute. “Each of the rooms is individually decorated; the restaurant is the only Five-Diamond restaurant in Ontario, and there is also a bar, an event centre, a spa, an outdoor pool facility, a garden and 10 km of trails located on 200 acres.”
In operation for 25 years, the hotel is constantly evolving. “We have just completed a large expansion to both our kitchen and our restaurant. Thirty seats have been added to our award-winning dining room, and we doubled the size of our kitchen with state-of-the-art equipment that sparkles as brilliantly as our Five Diamonds from the CAA/AAA,” says the hotelier. Over the next few months, an additional wing will be added to the hotel’s Cloister building, featuring nine new guestrooms, a newly designed spa with 20 treatment rooms and a venue to host meetings and weddings.
It all complements Le Chatton’s customer service ethos. “Hotels today need to connect with guests. They must anticipate needs and wishes and deliver them seamlessly and effortlessly,” says the GM.