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Boutique Hotel le Mareuil, Paris: How Valpas Gave The Hotel Superpowers The Owner and Guests Love

Alessandra Mattanza

Fri, 15 Jul 2022 10:46:18 GMT

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“I met the CEO, Martim Gois, years ago when he visited our hotel. It is funny, I am not a tech person, but I have a good instinct and I can recognize an opportunity when I see it. I realized this as soon as I heard about Valpas. As an avid traveler and having lived in different countries, I knew how bed bugs spread with all travelers. Valpas looked like the ‘gold pot’ discovery to me. I hope that in the future, every hotel will have this amazing standard, and we can make worldwide travel safe so every guest can have sweet dreams at night!”

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Julie Réal General Manager

The recipe to reach the top 2% of all hotels

Hotel le Mareuil nestles on an historic street in the Haut Marais district close to Oberkampf and the Place de la République. Of over 1800 hotels in Paris, Hotel le Mareuil is in the top 40 on Tripadvisor. What makes the hotel so special for guests, General Manager Julie Réal? “I think it is the service we offer. Our team is always there for our guests. Our rooms might not be the biggest ones, but we offer comfortable beds — we buy the mattresses from a French family-owned manufacturer — in very comfortable, pleasant and bed bug safe rooms with wonderful colors that guarantee total rest.” 

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Le Mareuil's rates on Booking.com

“The front desk team and the concierge team are eager to give the best tips about what to do in Paris and to help with any needs that arise,” Julie points out. But she confesses that she has always greeted guests personally, making sure they felt welcome and at home. So part of this incredible success can be attributed to her excellent management abilities.

Valpas contributes to the bottom-line since day one

Hotel Le Mareuil is a new Valpas’ member. The installation was completed recently, and it has already proven to be valuable: the hotel saved tens of thousands of euros thanks to preventing infestations and room closures at a time when business is booming. Julie also confirms how happy guests are to know that they no longer have to risk of carrying bed bugs home: thanks to Valpas, Le Mareuil frees guests from the bed bugs they may carry already inside the hotel’s rooms, so guests travel home safe and the hotel never gets infested.

“When I came to work in this hotel, they had bed bugs, and I still remember how some rooms were locked, and they were calling pest control to try to resolve the problem. The investor did not want to go with Valpas at first, as they were a new company… In October 2021, bed bugs arrived again during a busy time for the hotel, and the owner lost a lot of money, as some rooms had to be closed for days and days. We finally got Valpas, but I wish we had used them before!”

Why hoteliers and owners should not say “no” to Valpas

Julie explains that she can understand the reasons why hoteliers wait to invest in Valpas. “They may think they have never had bed bugs and they are safe, but this is not the case because bed bugs can arrive with anyone at any time. By then, it is too late as the infestation has already begun. I have seen with my own eyes how expensive and embarrassing it can be, especially when you have guests in other rooms,” she says. She knows that such an experience can permanently lose guests. “Hoteliers may also think that Valpas is expensive, but it is not if you compare it to pest control and what you have to do if bed bugs arrive,” she adds referring to lost revenue due to closed rooms, reputation damage online and the costs of disinfecting rooms and the time spent that is off from other guests’ five star experience. “Hoteliers might also think that Valpas is difficult to install, but it is not, and we got full assistance when we decided to invest in it. I could even install and use it!”

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How a visionary young hotelier developed her success story

“I am 35 years old. I consider myself a young woman with experience, but still eager to learn and improve the hotel experience for my clients,” Julie states. She is originally from the Alps area and studied the hotel business ten years ago before moving to Paris to get an MBA in hotel management. “In Paris, I was finally promoted to general manager. I have traveled a lot since my childhood, and I have always been interested in visiting different countries, especially hotels, and learning about their backgrounds, how they make guests feel comfortable, and how they welcome their guests,” she recalls. 

Julie has been the director and hotel manager at the Boutique Hotel le Mareuil for almost five years. “I love Paris and especially this hotel, as it is in the center, close to everything to see, but at the same time, it is quiet and cozy in a real Parisian style,” she says. “I have always loved challenges and when I got here, they were expanding and renovating,… I had to create a good marketing and social media strategy to distinguish ourselves on the market,” she adds.

Easy-to-use technology key to elevate experience without destroying the human connection

Hotel le Mareuil’s name was chosen by its original owner. Le Mareuil is an old word in French for a forest meadow or a green field covered with grass and flowers. “We have always been proud of our location and that we are an oasis in the heart of a busy and touristy Paris, but still isolated and peaceful,” Julie states. “The hotel opened in 2013, and since then, it has always been important to curate a personal connection with our guests,” Julie adds. “We have 54 modern and elegant rooms. Most of our guests prefer the rooms on the top floor, as they also have a balcony. But above all, a personal relationship is the most important thing for a boutique hotel like ours. So we are open to some modern technology, but only if it does not ruin the vibe,” Julie says. “For example, they have a wine machine that pours wine in a glass and chills the glass. Our guests love it as they see its purpose, but it does not spoil communication with the Parisian hotel team that makes them feel at home and provides tips about the city. For us technology must be sexy and appealing, making our guests feel that they are not just numbers. And Valpas is totally part of this philosophy for us.”

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One of Le Mareuil's lovely rooms

Installing and using Valpas has been easy and efficient, and Julie is totally satisfied with the service and the collaboration with the team. “The team explained step-by-step how to install the bed legs and also gave us some important details on how to ensure Valpas works as a permanent solution to bed bugs. For example, we had bed skirts, and we learned that it was important that they not touch the floor to ensure 100% effectiveness.”

Tips from an insider who loves the city of the lights

Julie loves Paris very much. She confesses that she has taken many photos on her iPhone on her way to work over the past few years. “For recommendations in Paris, I would start with the crêperie, Chez Imogene, that is just around the corner from the hotel. A super sweet couple runs the place, the crepes are amazing, you have the salted ‘galettes’, and the sweet crepes to have a full meal with many different combinations of ingredients, I love the Musées Carnavalet in le Marais, which has just been entirely redone and retraces the history of Paris. It’s small, and can be visited in an hour, but it is in an absolutely incredible building. It reveals many stories to learn about the city. In the summer of 2020, they also had a restaurant in the garden. Finally, I would visit the Marché des Enfants Rouges, also in le Marais. It’s a farmers’ market but also a place where you can buy food to eat on the spot and choose what you want from different vendors. Then you can sit at the tables set out there. It’s a French-style food court!” she adds.

A new city, a new adventure, a new hotel, and Valpas forever!

“I am leaving Paris in the next few days to start a new adventure in Lyon, one of the capital cities of gastronomy and foodies. But I know that I will enjoy Paris as a tourist when I come back. I will be managing another hotel there for the OKKO chain. They have 14 hotels all in France, and I hope to introduce Valpas soon there too,” Julie says. 

She recognized the value of a good brand and the opportunity it creates to make a hotel experience unforgettable without the hassle of bed bugs. “I have already spread the word in Paris about Valpas! I hope that in the future, every hotel will have this amazing system, and we can make worldwide travel safe so every guest can have sweet dreams at night!”  she says. 

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View from Le Mareuil's balcony

The secret to being a good hotelier for her? “You have to do things for guests that make them feel welcome and provide them the best experiences. You must also offer them something extra like a great breakfast or a Hamman, as we have at Hotel le Mareuil, even if we are a simple boutique hotel. Everything must be easy and flow perfectly but naturally through the day!” she concludes.

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