Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics inaugurates its new hotel at the Avène hydrotherapy center
Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics (PFDC), a subsidiary of the Pierre Fabre group, announces the opening of a hotel of international standing at the Avène-les-Bains Hydrotherapy Center site (Hérault, France). The center is specialized in dermatology and its public utility has been recognized for 142 years. The new hotel complex, the property of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics, was designed by the architect Roger Taillibert, a member of the Institute. It will support the parallel development of the Hydrotherapy Center and Eau thermale Avène, the leading PFDC brand, which is experiencing exceptional international growth.
The hotel was inaugurated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday June 10, 2016 by Jean-Michel Baylet, French Minister of land-use planning, rural affairs and local authorities, in the presence of Carole Delga, President of the Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées region, Kléber Mesquida, President of the Departmental Council of Hérault and members of the Pierre Fabre group’s senior management: Pierre-Yves Revol, President of the Pierre Fabre Foundation (principal shareholder of the Group), Bertrand Parmentier, CEO of Pierre Fabre Laboratories and Eric Ducournau, CEO of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics.
The new hotel, which has been modestly named “Eau thermale Avène, l’hôtel”, replaces the old building that dated back to the late 1980s. Its construction, which began in November 2013, required the work of 32 service providers, 94% of which came from the Languedoc Roussillon Midi Pyrénées region and 31% from Hérault. With an architectural style that is both audacious yet perfectly integrated into the natural landscape of the Hydrotherapy Center, the hotel boasts 56 rooms and 4 suites, as well as an atrium featuring real trees and photographs of the Haut-Languedoc Regional Nature Park, taken by artists from the region. The establishment aims to be awarded a 4-star rating (pending), whereas the former hotel only had 3 stars. 7,500 to 8,000 overnight stays are expected per year, including both spa clients and international partners of the Eau thermale Avène brand.
The hotel employs 18 full-time staff, who will be supported by some twenty seasonal staff during the hydrotherapy season (March to November). In total, Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics employs 290 full-time staff at the Avène site, divided among the production unit (250), the hotel (18), the hydrotherapy baths (17) and the Water Laboratory (4).
In keeping with the sustainable development strategy of the Pierre Fabre group and the Eau thermale Avène brand, the hotel has been designed, and will be managed, according to environmental quality best practices. For example, the old building was demolished and the new one erected so as to protect the biodiversity of the Hydrotherapy Center site, prevent any risk of pollution of the source of thermal spring water and reuse as much of the waste from demolition as possible. The new building has also been designed to limit energy loss (thermal insulation, orientation of windows to maximize solar gains in winter, solar protection on all windows to limit heat gain in summer, etc.) and generate part of its own energy needs (solar panels to produce hot water, heat exchange with the neighboring River Orb and the thermal spring). In addition, special care has been taken to ensure that future clients will enjoy an optimal level of acoustic, visual and hygrothermal comfort.
The hotel is in the process of obtaining certification in accordance with the French standard NF HQE (High Environmental Quality), and is aiming for the highest level (”Exceptional”). At the international level, the hotel is aiming for a rating of “Very Good” according to the BREEAM standard for assessing the environmental performance of buildings. This standard was developed by the privately-run British Building Research Establishment (BRE). The BRE is an international reference and rarely grants such a high rating of excellence.
Speaking of the hotel’s inauguration, Eric Ducournau, CEO of Pierre Fabre Dermo-Cosmetics, said: Avène l’hôtel is a central component of the Avène thermal spring water ecosystem, just a stone’s throw away from the Hydrotherapy Center. It has been designed to reflect the image of the brand and its products and to convey our values of care and respect for nature, which are recognized by consumers throughout the world. Whether it be for our spa clients or our PFDC partners, we know that the serene, comfortable and bright environment that the hotel offers plays a part in caring for sensitive skin.
Bertrand Parmentier, CEO of Pierre Fabre Laboratories, added: In five years, the Eau thermale Avène brand has increased its international sales by over 50%, significantly contributing to the success of the Pierre Fabre group. We are delighted that this vitality will be reflected by the opening of a hotel complex of the utmost quality, which reflects our commitment to the Avène region and its thermal spring.
Pierre-Yves Revol, President of the Pierre Fabre Foundation, concluded: In the 1980s, Pierre Fabre took the chance of conducting studies to scientifically prove the dermatological efficacy of Avène thermal spring water. These were the beginnings of a brand that, within 25 years, has become a world leader and the Group’s most treasured asset. He was personally behind the project for the new hotel, and gave his approval of the spirit of the place and the plans shortly before his passing. This is why this inauguration is of particular significance for our 13,000 employees.