Rémi Pol is Director of the Ibis Hotel, a franchise of the Accor Group, in Aix en Provence. Vegetarian for four years, he has met many players in the field of plant-based cuisine, who have led him to propose innovative actions for his establishment.
The Ibis Hotel welcomes plants
It all started in 2016 with an event organized within ‘Nomad’, the hotel’s restaurant-bar, with the collaboration of VegoResto and the Association Végétarienne de France des Bouches du Rhône: a dinner open to the general public, featuring a plant-based dish on the menu.
A few months later, on the strength of this first successful event, the Hotel Manager decided to organize a vegetarian brunch which was also a great success.
More recently, the hotel opened its doors to Chef Clara Onuki, who offers vegetarian and plant-based cooking classes for the general public.
And this year, the Hotel Ibis is developing a collaboration with the Marseille-based vegetable pastry shop Oh Faon. The idea? To offer Aix-en-Provence customers a new delivery point for the young brand’s plant-based pastries, which can be ordered on ohfaon.com. A relay point that allows Oh Faon to expand its offer in Aix-en-Provence and give the people of Aix the opportunity to have easy access to their pastries.
Plant-based and eco-responsible
The Ibis Aix-en-Provence Hotel has a very local approach since, in the kitchen, the Chef favours local and seasonal products, inspired by Provence, with fruits and vegetables from early produce from the region. He also offers a menu of regional and mostly organic wines, ranging from Côtes de Provence to Coteaux d’Aix.
Beyond the cuisine, it is an eco-responsible approach that the Ibis Hotel wants to carry. Work is being done around food waste, with waste sorting, monitoring of water consumption and a partnership with TooGoodToGo for the recovery of unsold food.
The hotel also provides a charger for electric cars and a car-sharing vehicle.
The right place, at the right time
Vegetable milk for breakfast, a plant-based ‘main course and dessert’ menu… Rémi Pol makes the teams aware of a diversified plant-based offer and works on its development with the Chef and the Restaurant Manager.
Guests eat in the hotel restaurant every day, somewhat out of obligation. They, therefore, want to eat ‘home-like’ dishes. Part of the clientele is more vegetarian, flexitarian or eco-sensitive. Some customers also come a little by chance, attracted by the novelties.
Rémi confesses that at the start of the project, the demand was not very expressed. Things have changed a lot over the past four years. The project was developed at a time when things were moving on this subject. The timing was therefore important.
Today, customer feedback is positive. When they see the dishes, they readily say that “it looks good and well done, so it makes you want it!”
Ibis, the precursor of the Accor Group
With this new offer, the Ibis Aix-en-Provence Hotel brings a breath of freshness and notoriety to young brands, while attracting a clientele curious about new products. The Ibis Hotel is thus one of the first hotels of the Accor Group in France to have taken the green step. The hotel is also listed on VegoResto and Happy Cow, applications that make it easy to find vegan-friendly restaurants.
And this is just the beginning. Rémi Pol would like to be able to develop the breakfast offer to guarantee a more gourmet plant-based option, which would be made to order, for example. The place is definitely full of potential and its Director has many ideas to develop. Let us hope that the other establishments of the Group can draw inspiration from this great experience to develop the concept.
Translated by Malvika Kathpal