When your father is globetrotter Phillipe Bourguignon, Executive Co-Chairman of Exclusive Resorts and Vice Chairman of Revolution Places, travel is in your blood.
Bourguignon’s daughter, Emilie Vazquez, inherited her father’s wanderlust as well as his business acumen. During her time at AccorHotels—the company Bourguignon worked at for 14 years—she shadowed the executive committee and realized one of the biggest challenges hotel companies face is attracting a younger demographic. Researching what millennials and Generation Z want from a travel experience got Vazquez’s entrepreneurial mind racing with ideas for her own concept: a hybrid co-working space, wellness center, and retail space. She approached her father about collaborating and he was equally excited. “I envisioned creating an oasis in town for these stressed-out generations,” Vazquez says. “A place where everyone can hang out, chill, mingle, work, and reconnect with both yourself and others.”
To research the concept, father and daughter traveled together to New York City, Washington D.C., and San Francisco to scout new retail concepts and hip hotels. The Ace Hotel in New York City was a major influence, says Bourguignon. “The lobby has as many locals as travelers and is packed morning to evening,” he says. “This is what people look for when they travel—a community of like-minded people working, shopping, drinking, and eating.”
Le Shack recently opened in Vazquez’s home city of Paris. The co-working space features an array of experiences including a tapas bar, speakeasy, pop-up boutiques, yoga and mindfulness classes, a barbershop, meeting space, and podcast rooms. “The main idea is to provide customer services and activities they wouldn’t necessarily expect to find in one space, like floating meditation hammocks,” says Vazquez.
Housed in a 19th-century, six-level Haussman & Gustave Eiffel structure just a few steps away from the magnificent Opera Garnier, Le Shack is an architectural stunner with a storied past. For more than 130 years the building was home to the historic publishing house of Calmann-Levy. “They published all of the most talented French writers,” says Bourguignon. “There was also a library where clients could come to read and view the collections. It was kind of like the original concept shop. Very innovative, just like Le Shack.”
Le Shack is open to the public, and if the concept is a success, Bourguignon and Vazquez plan to expand Le Shack to other cities. Those who choose to join as members will receive additional benefits and perks. Vazquez says the wellness offerings will extend to food, with a menu featuring seasonal, locally-sourced salads and grain bowls. Pop-up shops will showcase digital native brands that don’t have brick-and-mortar shops. Inclusivity was top of mind when designing the space. “We created work areas for those who prefer to stand and those who like to sit on a couch or even on the floor,” says Vazquez. “We really want this to appeal to all populations, not only the younger generation. I’m a mother of three and this is a place I can go and be creative and take care of myself on the weekends.”
— Le Shack
Where To Stay
La Réserve Paris
This coveted destination on chic Avenue Gabriel is midway between the Champs-Elysées and the Faubourg Saint-Honoré. Silk hung walls, velvet drapes, herringbone oak parquet, and antique furnishings create a sense of quintessential 19th-century Parisian style throughout 26 luxury suites and 14 rooms.