Francois Souman, Hotel Esprit Saint Germain’snew general manager, is not new to Paris. Or the hospitality industry. He was born in Paris and grew up just a few miles away, in the tiny village of Cernay La Villa. We spoke recently with Francois about his new position with Hotel Esprit Saint Germain. And some of his favorite Parisian haunts.
JajofTravel: You are native to both Paris and the hotel industry. Tell us a bit about your hotel ties. FS: Yes, I am deeply rooted in the hotel world. My first hotel management position was with La Maison Favart, a small boutique hotel with 40 rooms. I’ve also worked with The Vernet Hotel and Hyatt hotels in Paris. My father is also a hotel general manager. And my nine-year-old daughter, Nimesha – who loves traveling and staying in nice hotels – is already asking to work as a hotel manager.
JajofTravel: What are your plans for Hotel Esprit? FS: I’m so lucky now, to work in St. Germain, which is a village inside Paris. And to assume this position at Hotel Esprit Saint Germain. My main focus is our guests. And for them to feel, always, like they are ‘home.’
JajofTravel: What do you love most about your native city? FS: In Paris, I love that any time of the day, you can go to a small café and have the best French food. I’m always looking for new restaurants – those not found in guidebooks – to surprise my guests and friends.
JajofTravel: Some of your favorite places in Paris?
FS: My absolute favorite place is Montmartre, off the beaten tracks. The vineyard in Montmartre is one of Paris’ hidden pleasures. I also love Luxembourg garden, Place des Vosges on Sunday. And Batignolles market, an organic market open only on Saturdays.
JajofTravel: Any special interests or hobbies? FS: I love traveling. I can fly to Asia just for three days. I also like sports, especially cycling. I have done many cycling races, both in France and internationally.