In Paris, New York, Marrakech, Tokyo or Sydney, virtually all large hotels offer a spa area and hair salon that provide quality service to guests, but also to outside visitors. These include city-dwellers who appreciate having their hair done in these timeless spaces. The unique experience is conveyed by three big names in hair who have chosen to set up shop in prestigious hotels.
With his vast salon bathed in light, with ivory walls and the warmth of wood and leather, Frédéric Fekkai provides high-end reception and the expertise of his team at The Mark Hotel in New York. In Paris, at the Crillon, David Lucas chose a cushier atmosphere with his salon using elegant decoration opening onto a sumptuous tree-covered courtyard. As for Daniel Galvin Jr he joined the ranks of the Club and Spa au Lanesborough in London. These three hair maestros offer the best of what they have to offer: attentive consultations, private booths, select staff and meticulous care.
A Real Asset
“The hair salon is now an indispensable service in a luxury hotel, the same as a spa or a swimming pool,” explains Elcie Ounsamone, in charge of press for the Hotel de Crillon. Combining the talent of these reputable hairdressers and the splendor of these illustrious hotels is sure to satisfy a demanding clientele.
“Fekkai is a world-renowned brand. With The Mark being a landmark hotel in arguably the chicest neighborhood in the city, the client’s luxury experience is unparalleled,” says Kimberly Callet, the vice president of Frédéric Fekkai Salons. “We are bringing the best of the best, in high luxury to the hotel,” says Daniel Galvin Jr. For hairdressers, these salons serve as real recognition of their work, the opportunity to be able to diversify their clientele and to work in an exceptional location.
The Clientele & Services
David Lucas is well aware that running this 110 m² salon serving only hotel guests is not realistic. And even “most of the time, the ladies staying at the hotel will only come for a manicure, a blow-dry or a little extension. The New Yorker or the lady from Hong Kong will get her color done before her trip to Paris. So, you have to make the salon work mostly for a Parisian clientele”.
“Most hotel guests come for a blowdry, a manicure or a make-up,” confirms Kimberly at the Frédéic Fekkai Salon at The Mark. Every big name needs to bring in some of its existing clientele, but offering a new experience, as well as a local urban clientele to spend a special time, either to get their hair done for a special occasion or event (ball, wedding, etc.). Daniel Galvin Jr thinks he takes in 50 per cent regulars and 50 per cent new clients, half of whom are hotel guests.
Of course, these salons offer a wide variety of the usual services (cuts, colors, styling, etc.), but sometimes also manicures and make-up. Daniel Galvin Jr especially enjoys working at the Spa at the Lanesborough: “We have a panel of experts at the Lanesborough. This includes health experts, hair experts etc. When my clients come to me to discuss their wedding look, we plan at least nine months in advance. This includes hair, skin and body. At the Lanesborough, the client can get this full package. With people’s lifestyles becoming busier than ever before, this process is now more convenient.”
In addition to the haircut itself, clients can also enjoy the space overall. “Our Upper East Side neighbors have the opportunity to experience The Mark and our extravagant amenities with each salon visit. For a true Mark experience, clients will often order a meal from our Jean-Georges Restaurant or a juice from The Mark Bar to enjoy while being pampered by one of the world’s top stylists,” says Isabelle Hogan, the head concierge at the hotel.
Running a salon in a high-end hotel means following certain standards. A refined setting, personalized service, irreproachable hygiene, technical work by experienced hairdressers trained in the excellence of their predecessors are all naturally part of these standards.
They are also expected to have multilingual hairdressers who can take into account the cultural differences of an international clientele. David Lucas’s hairdressers all speak French and English. He also hired Rachida, a young woman who speaks Arabic and who is especially appreciated by clients wearing veils from the Middle East.
Doing hair in a luxury hotel also requires a certain number of etiquette rules: discretion, elegant posture, adaptability, ability to deal with clients in a rush as well as those who want to take their time. Hotel hairdressers should also be prepared to work to order directly in the room of some of the clients, and at times that aren’t always conventional. The salon at the Crillon is open 365 days a year. An exceptional place requires exceptional service. For instance, Davis Lucas offers his expertise during a three-hour session. In this type of hotel, hairdressers may also have to deal with big rushes for exclusive events such as Fashion Week.
Both regular and one-day clients deserve the very best reception. “After being treated by our experts, our aim is for everyone to look and feel as exceptional as royalty,” says Daniel Galvin Jr, who comes from an eminent dynasty of hairdressers, with his father himself having done Princess Diana’s hair.
As such, this places the bar pretty high!