Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse, located 257 rue de Vaugirard in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, is right in the heart of a dynamic neighborhood – between the Eiffel Tower, the Porte de Versailles exhibition center and the Gare Montparnasse transportation hub. It is definitely a family-friendly asset. Built in the 1990s, the building’s large-scale renovation started in 2018 and has just been completed. All teams involved strived to meet the same objective: to make Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse “the new place to be” for guests and employees alike. See how this project illustrates the full meaning of our motto: “One Team”!
Today, when you stand at 257 rue de Vaugirard and look up, it’s hard to remember what the place used to look like. “The building resembled an ocean liner, a typical architecture in the 1980s and 1990s”, says Virginie Leclercq, project manager at AccorInvest’s Construction Division. “We completely renovated the facade to give the Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse its rightful place in the urban environment. Black, stone colors and the “nest” on the top floor like a crown… a building with a French touch of elegance.” A true invitation to enter. And once you are in the lobby, the transformation is breathtaking!
The Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse renovation project began in 2018
Sandrine Leblan had recently become the hotel GM, and she was assigned with an imaginative task: to define her dream hotel. “My dream hotel is this one, the one that has reopened: a warm place, where you can feel at home; a place you want to come back to, a habit place… Everything you find in today’s Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse! Sandrine’s dream came true thanks to the support of AccorInvest portfolio manager Alyson Greensmith, Virginie Leclercq and Philippe Jaussely, VPOM Accor. Together, they defined the specifications and went through the 16-month marathon of studies and administrative authorizations and the 18 months of construction, nearly half of which were under Covid protocol. Together they also found the right partners, such as architect Jean-Philippe Nuel’s firm. Finally, all together, they achieved their goal: to reposition the hotel with a stronger, unique identity and an exclusive F&B offering.
Virginie Leclercq, Sandrine Leblan & Alyson Greensmith
Above all, it was a human achievement
The Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse renovation is clearly the story of men and women who were profoundly dedicated to the project. For them, human aspects were the main guideline. “At Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse, we started by renovating the staff quarters,” insists Alyson. “Sandrine and I were convinced that if we made our employees feel at home, our guests would feel at home too. Well-being was clearly a priority for all!”. By collaborating with an ergonomist and with the teams, we completely renovated the rest area, kitchen, dining room and offices. False ceilings were removed to gain height, partitions were knocked down to increase space, artificial light wells were installed… all this creates a very special atmosphere, something between a Silicon Valley start-up and a family cocoon!
Beyond the beaten track
Renovating the rooms, the common areas, the facade, craning and installing the “nest” on the Ilvolo rooftop, creating a coffee shop on the first floor (see box)… After 18 months of work – interrupted by the Covid-19 crisis – our employees have gradually returned to discover their new hotel, which no longer looks much like a Novotel. “We started from the brand’s standards, but Accor trusted us and let us go beyond the beaten track,” explains Virginie. “We wanted to give our hotel a true identity, its own personality, so that our guest would feel at home. So we took extra care in choosing the furniture, the paintings which decorate the common areas and the rooms, the wood which is very present, the colors, etc.”
For Sandrine and her teams, this renovation meant a fresh start after a difficult period. Paris Society Consulting helped the employees adapt their posture, storytelling and communication, to create all together a new experience for our guests.
“The employees tell me that they feel different,” says Sandrine. “And it’s true that some of them seem to have been transformed by the renovation, which has boosted their motivation. There is a strong desire to do things right and to make everyone feel good at Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse. For me, this result goes beyond my expectations”.”
THE F&B destination in Paris
The main ambition of this renovation project was to make Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse a must-see place in its neighborhood, as well as a must-go F&B destination in Paris. “People no longer go to the Novotel restaurant or bar, they go to Quindici and Ilvolo at 257 rue de Vaugirard in the 15th arrondissement,” smiles Sandrine Leblan.
The hotel restaurant the Quindici trattoria and its lounge bar, Ilvolo Paris welcome business and leisure guests passing through the hotel, as well as neighborhood visitors who want a “new HQ”.
Right next to the lobby and its atrium, Quindici offers an inside space and a terrace, with a total capacity of 120 seats. The trattoria is a haven of light, vegetation and life. In the kitchen, chef Denny Imbroisi, a famous candidate of the Top Chef season 3 TV show, officiates.
Seven floors up, the lounge bar is now a closed space, a cocoon overlooking the Paris rooftops, which welcomes guests all year round. Enhanced by the “Nest” imagined and created by Jean-Philippe Nuel, Ilvolo is headed by iconic mixologist Matthias Giroud, whose signature cocktails are already attracting the whole of Paris! The Novotel Paris Vaugirard Montparnasse is a great achievement, it has become “THE place to be”… an adventure to be continued!