More Mojo | Christiane Germain on staying in another company’s hotel cover image
When the Co-President of Germain Hotels needs to stay in a hotel she doesn’t own, it gets personal. Find out why.
Christiane Germain
Christiane Germain

So I always do that on the phone, and when I do it, sometimes I change my mind, because you have a pretty good feeling of what it’s like at the other end when you talk to the people. 

Thane Calder
Thane Calder

Hi everyone and welcome back to the Mojo Moments podcast, I’m your host Thane Calder. When I sat down with Christiane Germain, I couldn’t help but ask her her secret tips when she books her hotels. So here’s her tricks, listen up.

Thane
Thane

So let's talk about the travel world. This is going to be a light question, but, you know, aside from your own properties, what was your favorite hotel stay?

Christiane
Christiane

I knew you were going to ask me that question, and it's, it really is a tough question for me to answer all the time cause I, there's not one particular place that I stayed at and I said, “Oh my God, this is a dream come true.” I like hotels really, really a lot. And, I change hotels all the time when I travel. And sometimes, the same city for four or five days, I will move from one hotel to the other one because I like seeing hotels, I like - I love being in hotels. And, if something is not right in the hotel, I always find an excuse for it. So I'm a great guest. 

Thane
Thane

Oh, so you're not the squeaky wheel that’ll... 

Christiane
Christiane

No, no, no, no.

Thane
Thane

You’ll understand why.

Christiane
Christiane

Yes. There's always a reason why this is not as it should be. I mean, there's, there's always a reason. 

Thane
Thane

Yeah. 

Christiane
Christiane

And sometimes I'm traveling with people and they complain and then I say, no, no, no, no, no. You know, I always find an excuse. 

Thane
Thane

You feel comradery with the other team, right? 

Christiane
Christiane

Being in a hotel for me is always great. And I like to go to different places. And they are, I'm more, I have to say though, that I'm more a smaller hotel person. I'm not attracted by large properties. If I go, I love going to Paris, you know, I'm... 

Thane
Thane

Yeah. There's so many... 

Christiane
Christiane

Yeah. And, and I'm more attracted to a smaller place in, uh, dans un arrondissement , you know, further away and I love being in a hotel. They're all great. Really. I like in Paris, for example, I don't know if you've been to Le Montalembert

Thane
Thane

No. No.

Christiane
Christiane

Okay. It's one of those small hotels in Paris on la rue Montalembert, in the 6e? 6e or 7e, à la limite.

Thane
Thane

I'm writing it down. 

Christiane
Christiane

It's great. It is great. Yeah. 

Thane
Thane

Are you doing homework on... a bit studying them while changing hotels? Like, yeah, you're... 

Christiane
Christiane

If there are, if there is a place that I like a little better, like this hotel I really like, the Montalembert in Paris, there are little things that I pay attention to that I want to know where they got this. And I probably will spend more time talking to the people that work there, to get to know them and to get to know the philosophy of the owners, and...

Thane
Thane

It's interesting cause my go-to hotel in Paris is Le Pavillon des Lettres. So it's a little four-star, right near the Elysée - so there's a lot of security around - and each room is alphabetical name of an author. But my favorite room is the Kafka room. It's a very scary room, but I like it. 

Christiane
Christiane

Is it in the back of the... I think I know where it is. 

Thane
Thane

It's right near the Bristol. 

Christiane
Christiane

Yes. 

Thane
Thane

It's right near there, up a little street there.

Christiane
Christiane

Yes I think… and don't they have, on their letterhead or something about, is it letters that they, that's written on the... 

Thane
Thane

Yeah. 

Christiane
Christiane

I know where it is. 

Thane
Thane

And by the way, it's across the street from my favorite pub in, in... I think it's, I don't know if there's any other pubs in Paris called Buggsies and I go there and get a pint after a long day. So, sorry. So this is not my podcast. Okay, i’m going to ask you a very, very practical question here. How do you find your hotels? I mean, you say when you travel, you often change hotels even in the same city on the same trip. So, what’s your go-to? Do you go to platforms, or ask friends...?

Christiane
Christiane

You know, when I started, it was difficult to choose hotels because... I mean, it wasn't difficult, but it was more, I mean, you had to go through people you knew and all that stuff, and travel agents, and it was complicated. These days, it's very, you know, it's easy. You go, as you know, you go on, on the internet, whatever... And, uh, I never use the different platforms to make reservations. One thing that I still do is I still call. 

Thane
Thane

So you'll do your research for a hotel using the internet, but you always call it in? 

Christiane
Christiane

I always call. I want to know... you know, how people are on the phone. I always do it. And this way you can, you talk to people, you get a really good feeling of how people work at the other end, you get a good feeling of the, I mean, the voice, everything. So I always do that on the phone. And when I do it, sometimes I change my mind cause you have a pretty good feeling of what it's like at the other end when you talk to the people. 

Thane
Thane

It's interesting - so do you trust the reviews that you read? 

Christiane
Christiane

No.

Thane
Thane

You don't. 

Christiane
Christiane

Well, I'm sorry. No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm still, I'm, I'm very, uh, yeah, the old way. When I make the reservations, I call all the time.

Thane
Thane

I love that. That is awesome. Note to self. We're going to call in all our reservations from now on.

Christiane
Christiane

No, but think about it. When you talk to the people, it gives you a very good idea of how the people are and you can ask very specific questions after the research you've made, and people are very happy to talk to you as well. 

Thane
Thane

And now you know how the hotel pros pick their hotels, and keep an eye on the competition. Plenty more insights where that came from, listen to the full episode if you’ve missed it. And if you haven’t subscribed, it’s worth it. And now here’s Chris Velan playing us out. Take care, be safe, speak soon.

Next transcript

Checking in on Hotel Mojo | Christiane Germain, Co-President, Germain Hotels

The Co-President of Germain Hotels chats about the future of her hotels, how they’re handling Covid-19, and the ways they might refocus.
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