Seychellois hotel manager lands job at exclusive site of the super-rich in Italy
The view of Positano from the Bianca Bar of Villa Treville (Seychelles News Agency)
An award-winning Seychellois hotel manager has landed a top job at one of the most exclusive hotels in Positano, a magnet for the super rich on the Amalfi coast in Italy.
Following a 21-year career in luxurious hotels in the Seychelles, the Maldives and Thailand, Maxime Rachel has been appointed as general manager of the Villa Treville hotel. Two years ago Rachel won the prestigious international Starwood President’s Award for ‘Best Manager’ while working at the Le Méridien Fisherman’s Cove hotel in the Seychelles.
This year he started managing Villa Treville, where guests can part with €3400 to €8500 ($4,041 to $10,102) a night for the experience of this legendary 16-room boutique property, and perhaps mingle with the yacht-owning elite.
The often smiling 46-year-old Indian Ocean islander told SNA that he was offered this dream job while working as general manager at the hotel’s sister property, Treville Phuket, in Thailand.
“I always had a love of sharing a joie de vivre with people. I love talking to people. Climbing up the ladder has a lot to do with attitude. I always wanted to learn and wanted to improve myself. It is not always easy but I always see these moments as a positive challenge. You need to be ambitious in life, to set yourself goals and believe that the sky is the limit. For me this is only the beginning,” he said.
|Maxime Rachel has worked at Constance Lemuria Resort, MAIA Luxury resort and Starwood Fisherman's Cove (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Rachel is proud of obtaining his experience in Seychelles where he sculpted a reputation for excellence. He worked as the resident manager at MAIA Luxury Resort, executive assistant manager at Constance Lemuria Resort and director of operations at Starwood Fisherman’s Cove Resort.
When he is not choreographing $5 million wedding events or managing the multi-national Villa Treville team, Rachel is exploring Positano. He finds the southern Italians lively and welcoming, similar to the people of the Seychelles, a Creole nation of 93,000 people of African, European and Asian ancestry.
From Positano he is able to explore the surrounding villages and diverse cultural and historical sites of Italy, which is one of the reasons he left his tropical island home to go and work there.
“Of course Seychelles has the more beautiful beaches, but I love discovering Italy. I am intrigued by this country. I wish to enrich myself, my life experience by immersing myself in this culture,” said Rachel. He added that “in Seychelles we sometimes think we cannot achieve anything in life, being from a small island, but we have to stop that way of thinking. We have potential. We need to believe in ourselves.”
Positano was once a sleepy fishing village on the southeast coast of Italy, and today is a thriving summer hub for primarily wealthy American tourists, having been immortalised as the quintessential coastal village experience by the American Nobel Laureate John Steinbeck, who wrote Positano ‘bites deep’ in a story for Harper’s Bazaar magazine in 1953.
"It is a dream place that isn't quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you've gone," he wrote.
Since then tourists from around the world, including many Italians, flock to it in the sweltering summer months to capture this dream. Some come to view the glitterati as they arrive on their yachts to enjoy the village life, or for parties at beach clubs, cafes or on the yachts themselves. Notably, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards from The Rolling Stones wrote the song "Midnight Rambler" in the cafes of Positano.
|Central Positano is connected by a series of roads and stairs. (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Rachel has become accustomed to entertaining several internationally high profile guests staying at the hotel. Guests are treated as good family friends, who are protected from the prying eyes of paparazzi at any cost.
Journalists are not allowed on the premises [SNA being a unique exception due to the Seychellois connection]. The hotel does not advertise itself through travel agents but instead through word-of-mouth murmurs of its splendor and through its social media accounts, and as a result Villa Treville is usually booked out 10 months in advance.
|Villa Treville’s Instagram account provides food for daydreaming. (Villa Treville Instagram) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|
“The people who stay at Villa Treville are looking for peace, for discretion and a place that is out of the ordinary. There is a spirt of personalized haut de gamme, service, where we look after all the little details during their stay. A lot of our guests are business executives and top models, actors, actresses, who need to relax and cut off from the outside world, reconnect with themselves and do some soul-searching, so they come here for that private experience, as well as to touch the glamourous past of this hotel, was owned by Franco Zefferelli,” said Rachel.
|Maxime Rachel is a perfectionist. Love of people and travel motivates him to give the best of himself (Seychelles News Agency) Photo License: CC-BY|
Villa Treville, which means Three Villas in Italian, is the former summer residence of Italian filmmaker and opera maestro Franco Zefferelli. It is where he used to entertain the film and stage stars of the 1970s. Zefferelli rose to fame for his film adaptations of the popular Shakespeare plays The Taming of the Shrew (1967) starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Romeo and Juliet (1968) with Leonard Whiting and Olivia Hussey, and Hamlet (1990) with Mel Gibson and Glenn Close. Zefferelli’s guests at Villa Treville included Laurence Oliver, Maria Callas, Leornard Berstein and Rudolf Nureyev.
Glamour continues to linger in the air of Villa Treville and the Treville Beach Club, which host lavish beach parties and dazzling wedding events like the one of Bumble founder Whitney Wolfe and oil heir Michael Herd this year, providing a colourful Instagram narrative of revelry and glamour.
|Magic and Mythical nights of the high society wedding (Treville Beach Club Instagram) Photo License: All Rights Reserved|