Now 47 years old, he who was once the youngest 4-star hotel manager in France also directed the country’s 4th most important hotel resort in terms of activity for 15 years.
Martial Denêtre fell into the magic cauldron of sea water when he was a little boy and has had the thalassotherapy ”feeling” ever since. A forerunner and visionary, he was among the first to provide thematic short-stay offerings and greatly contributed to developing the sector known today as “Thalasso-Spa Destination”. He joined the Carnac Thalasso & Spa Resort on january 7th 2008 and the site’s collaborative development hasn’t stopped since. The project pipeline is overflowing with creativity to appeal to consumers looking to improve their wellbeing. Passionate and hard-working, Martial Denêtre likes to create a difference, even if it means pushing the boundaries of routine. Allow me introduce you to him...
The winds of change blew over Carnac in 2012 bringing a new kaleidoscope of treatment and therapy programmes; tell us about this creative drive that pushes the boundaries of your wellbeing offering.
M.D.: In the competitive thalassotherapy and Spa industry it is crucial to support continual improvement and innovation in order to create a difference. This year we again called upon our know-how and expertise to provide a treatment offering that meets client’s evolving needs. Demand for short-stay packages has increased; we therefore decided to offer a 4-day version of all our treatment programmes. Adaptation and transformation were vital in order to deliver optimum results over a shorter period of time. We achieved this goal by giving our therapists an opportunity to participate and express their point of views and ideas. This collaborative development explains how we were able to create the Carnac spirit.
With preventive health and wellbeing in mind, you created the “Slow Attitude”, a new philosophy and approach to treatments with a focus on alternative therapies. How and why did you create this concept?
M.D.: We created the “Slow Attitude” concept to provide an array of treatment programmes inspired by traditional medicine and mind-body therapies, an opportunity to envisage a different lifestyle and reassess some common assumptions. When you consider the fact that 54% of Europeans aspire to discovering new treatments and that 49% wish to improve their health, you realise these aspirations have no territorial, cultural or generational frontiers. It was therefore clear to us that our traditional thalassotherapy programmes had to be completed with a broad alternative therapy offering. To do so, we called upon experts such as Marjorie PELARD, a graduate from the Hatha Yoga training programme in Aix-en-Provence. Since the age of 16 she has been practising and training different wellbeing techniques: Qigong, the Peerboom method, Etiopathy and Ayurvedic massage. As for our Ayurveda specialist, Tamara WENISCH, her Asian culture immersed her in the art of Ayurvedic massage since she was a child. She trained in Ayurveda in Indonesia and extended her knowledge at the Kerala Ayurvedic Health Care Centre in South India where she followed a specialised training course in treatments, yoga, initiation to Ayurvedic nutrition and Vedic philosophy. When she returned to France she completed her training and experience in Ayurvedic therapeutic massage at the European Institute of Vedic Studies.
Carnac is also a family destination, did catering to children’s needs also call for innovation?
M.D.: Children are at the centre of attention at Carnac Thalasso & Spa Resort Hotel. There are many periods during the school holidays where we take care of children between 3 and 18 years old. Among the new additions in 2012, fun activities have been organised such as the “Special Circus Weeks”, from April 23rd to 27th, and from July 16th to 20th. Under the large circus tent specially erected for the occasion at Carnac Thalasso & Spa Resort Hotel, each afternoon the Cirque en Spray company will be greeting children who will enjoy learning to juggle and become a clown or acrobat. We also have a “Kids Spa” where children aged 8 to 13 have free access to fun wellbeing activities adapted to their young age: yoga sessions, massage school (1-hour sessions) and choice of ½ hr manicure or facial. (Editor’s note: dates from February 20th to 24th; April 16th to 20th; October 29th to November 2nd; December 24th to 28th 2012). Last but not least, the “Teenage Beauty Pack”, for teenagers from 14 to 18 years old, is a treatment programme including 1 facial (45min), 1 back treatment (60min), 1 manicure (60min) and 1 complementary effervescent organic algae bath tablet. Price: 255 Euros per child. All year round the “Teenage Spa” provides teenagers from 14 to 18 years old the opportunity to discover the benefits of thalassotherapy and Spa treatments, with a 5-day programme, just like the adults. The programme includes 2 treatments per day, one day in the morning, and the next in the afternoon, and includes free access to the Marine Spa. Price: 440 Euros per child.
Let’s talk numbers! Two years ago you decided to leave the Accor Group. Why? And what is the outcome?
M.D.: After a 30-year partnership with the Accor Group, the family business decided to become independent because Carnac Thalasso & Spa Resort needed more freedom to reassert its brand identity and improve the level of quality. The results today are excellent; we have not registered any loss at all since taking this decision. The company recorded a total turnover of 20 million Euros, all structures included, 20,000 clients per year, 40% client retention rate and figures are increasing. Our independent venture is definitely a success.
To conclude, what can we wish for you in the future?
M.D.: Evolve, always and ever more...
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