Interview with Elise Bonnefous, Manager of the Hotel Clarion Collection Opera Pavillon
What’s your position and how long have you held it?
I’ve been the Manager of the Hotel Clarion Collection Opera Pavillon for two years.
How did you find out about Interface?
I got a call from your sales development team when I was planning refurbishment works and they told me all about the company as well as the benefits of carpet tiles. As Interface is a company approved by Choice Hotels Group, I immediately felt in safe hands. One of your representatives came to the hotel to get a more specific idea of my needs, discuss what you could offer and show me some samples.
Were you familiar with the principle of carpet tiles?
No. And what’s more, I couldn’t really see how it was possible to use them in a hotel setting. In my mind, carpets tiles were something only used in offices and had nothing to offer in the way of aesthetics. But your teams explained the advantages they represent and showed me just how possible it was to have tiles that are significantly more stylish and high-quality than those we’re accustomed to seeing.
What made you decide on carpet tiles as opposed to other floor coverings?
Besides the really attractive designs available, the fact that tiles are simple and quick to replace is an advantage that speaks for itself in a hotel. You can change a tile in an instant if there’s a wax stain or cigarette burn, and not waste any time.
“Interface can always deliver the product you’re looking for.”Elise Bonnefous, Manager, Hotel Clarion Collection Opera Pavillon
Who were our competitors?
No other manufacturer was in the running. My mind was made up from the first meeting; all the more so since the colour of the samples shown to me perfectly matched the carpet on my stairs. I wanted to re-lay the flooring in the bedrooms and on the landings but keep the stair carpet, which still looked good. Your sales department did a great job finding the product that perfectly matched the existing carpet – you can’t see the difference!
Was the modular or large-width aspect a consideration?
Yes, absolutely! Countless little mishaps happen in hotels and carpet tiles give you the chance to make a real saving when it comes to replacing worn out carpet. If there’s a stain that won’t come off, you just need to replace the tile. I’ve done it myself and it couldn’t be easier. What’s more, there’s no issue as regards batch colour. The tiles were laid a year ago and there’s no difference between the colour of an original tile and a new one.
Was product colour a determining factor in your decision? If so, for what reason?
Yes, as regards the landings, I wanted to find the colour that perfectly matched the carpet laid on my stairs. And for the bedrooms, I wanted to keep the beige/brown tones that blend with the colour of the landings. I was also convinced by the fact that the carpet yarn is solution-dyed, which rules out any risks of discoloration, particularly as a result of any mishaps with corrosive products.
Were you satisfied with the colourways available?
It was exactly what I was looking for. Your tiles have the potential to cater to all consumer needs, thanks to your tailor-made design service. As far as my needs were concerned, your product range had just what I wanted but if this hadn’t been the case, I’m sure that you’d have been able to come up with something to suit – and that’s a real plus point. Interface can always deliver the product you’re looking for.
Did anyone object to the decision to carpet the floor?
No. In a hotel, carpet’s the obvious choice. But I must admit that I was reticent at the beginning about the tiles. I pictured tiles as something not necessarily attractive to look at, that you find in certain types of office or conference centre, and where you can often clearly see the joins. But when I found out about Interface products, my views on the subject changed. Your products are really attractive and have a lovely thickness about them. The joins are completely invisible!
Was there a particular aspect that sold it to you? Indoor air quality? Security? Acoustic performance? Aesthetics? Comfort?
Comfort, without a doubt! When my contractor mentioned a needle-punched carpet, I was frightened of having a floor covering that would be prickly and which guests would find unpleasant. But the loop tiles are very comfortable to walk on. Aesthetics are obviously very important, but security in terms of longevity is too. I want my carpet to maintain its original appearance for a very long time to come. The tiles I chose are manufactured using solution-dyed yarn, so there’s no risk of discoloration during their upkeep.
What made you decide on Equilibrium as a product?
Because it corresponded to everything I was looking for in terms of design, colour and texture.
What’s your maintenance routine?
We vacuum the floors every day and then clean them fully once a year.
Were you familiar with our company’s environmental initiative? If so, did this have an impact on your decision?
Yes, I’m aware that Interface is very committed to an environmental initiative, particularly as regards recycling worn out tiles. For that matter, I chose an installation using your TacTiles product, which makes lifting the tiles easy, as well as making them completely recyclable. In addition, installation using TacTiles didn’t require the floor to be resurfaced in any way.
How was the installation process managed? Were our technical teams on hand to offer any assistance?
Installation was carried out by the same company in charge of refurbishing the hotel. They were given training in installation using TacTiles free of charge, which was much appreciated! The process was really quick and odourless. The landings are thoroughfares but our guests didn’t experience any inconvenience as one landing could be finished within a matter of hours. It took just 48 hours to refurbish a room (wallpaper, furnishings, bathroom and floors). The tiles were intrinsic to how efficiently it all went.
If you were to oversee another project, would you recommend installing Interface tiles again?
No question about it! First off, I’m hoping to continue our collaboration to complete my current works. I’m so enamoured with this product that I’m planning to have it installed at home… and using TacTiles! It’s something I can do myself as it’s really simple to lay.
You’ve been named “Hotel of the year” by Choice Hotels. What does this award mean to you?
It’s the culmination of a lot of hard work! The award was given just after the refurbishment and confirmation of our 4-star status based on the new French rating system. I’ve been heavily involved in the integration of the hotel into Choice Hotels Group. It rewards the quality of our services, our welcome, feedback from guests and also integration at group level (contacts, suggestions for improvement, etc.). It’s an achievement on many levels. In 2010, I took over as manager of a hotel with an existing team and, today, we’ve managed to grow together to create a hotel which is our own, which reflects who we are. It’s truly rewarding to receive such recognition from the Group.