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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Relais & Châteaux Marks 70 Years of Luxurious Journeys and Culinary Excellence

Relais et Chateaux LogoIn a monumental celebration of tradition and innovation, Relais & Châteaux commemorates its 70th anniversary, reflecting on a rich history that has significantly shaped the landscape of global luxury hospitality and gourmet cuisine.

Established in 1954 by visionaries Nelly and Marcel Tilloy, Relais & Châteaux began as a simple yet ambitious alliance of eight properties between Paris and Nice. Dubbed ‘La Route du Bonheur’ or The Road to Happiness, this initiative began what would become a prestigious worldwide association.

From its humble beginnings, Relais & Châteaux has evolved dramatically. By 1960, it had expanded beyond French borders, introducing its first European properties and setting a precedent for international growth. This expansion continued robustly, and by 1974, the organization merged with Châteaux Hôtels under the new banner Relais & Châteaux, broadening its horizon further.

The association’s commitment to culinary excellence was cemented in 1974 with the creation of Relais Gourmands, a move that highlighted its properties’ gastronomic strengths. The commitment to luxury and quality saw its global footprint grow to include properties in 40 countries by 1992 and the prestigious presentation of its Vision with 20 commitments at UNESCO in 2014.

As of 2024, under the stewardship of Laurent Gardinier, Relais & Châteaux boasts a network of 580 unique properties owned by independent entrepreneurs passionate about their craft. This network emphasises luxurious accommodation and includes the most Michelin-starred restaurants globally, totalling 376 Michelin Stars, including 40 Green Stars. This distinction underscores the association’s dedication to promoting the richness and diversity of local cuisines and hospitality traditions worldwide.

Relais & Châteaux’s philosophy extends beyond mere hospitality. It seeks to foster a better world through the transformative power of cuisine and shared cultural experiences, illustrating a profound commitment to sustainable and ethical luxury.

Today, as it marks its 70th anniversary, Relais & Châteaux is not just celebrating a milestone but reaffirming its role as a beacon of luxury, hospitality, and gastronomic excellence. The Tilloys legacy, embodied in contemporary luxury and timeless tradition, continues to inspire and lead in the hospitality industry, making every journey with Relais & Châteaux an unforgettable ‘Route du Bonheur.’




Written by: Christine Nguyen







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