Julien Haroune, a Vatel 2013 alumnus, is now the Operational Manager of the Palais Sebban. A true gem of Moroccan-Andalousian architecture, with 25 rooms and suites, in one of the most beautiful riads in Marrakesh, right in the heart of the Medina.  Find out more about Julien and his job here.


What did you want to do when you were little?

My family put a rugby ball in my hands when I was just a little kid, I dreamed of becoming a professional rugby player. Quite a long way from hotel management.


What did you like about international hotel management?

The words “hotel management,” which consists in pleasing and serving others by a perfect understanding of a subtle art, the art of hospitality.


What made you choose Vatel?

Vatel is a business school that is well known in France and in many other countries. As I wanted to learn hotel management after high school, this seemed natural to me. Anyone who is really interested in this field puts all chances on his or her side when they choose Vatel.


What is your best memory the time you spent at school?

If I had to choose only one, I’d say that it was our end of the year Gala that I organized, assisted by the organization committee, a great bunch of friends. From the organization of the event to the Gala dinner itself, everything was superb. A great human adventure as well as an enormous professional challenge. Everyone said this evening was a complete success and really paid tribute to our five years of studies, full of emotions. Vatel is a great school and I’m sure that it’s going to gain renown, because it really does everything possible so that its students succeed. When we start in our first year, we’re not aware of all the skills we’re going to learn. When we graduate from Vatel, we’re capable of managing a hotel or restaurant any place in the world and in all different types of hotels.


How did you get the job you currently have?

When I graduated, I went back to Morocco to help my parents manage the Palais Sebban. And don’t, even for a second, think that it’s easy to take over a family owned business, because you have to prove you’re capable of it, even more than others. You have to find your legitimacy and you have to show that you deserve this job and that people can trust you. I quickly felt that I had to be surrounded by the best team members, and hiring Benjamin Vacher seemed evident to me.

 Patio Sebban      Oudaya Suite

The Sebban Patio and the Oudaya Suite                                                                                                                        


What does your job consist in?

I’m the Operational Manager.  It’s about the same thing as the Hotel Manager. In my case this means making sure the hotel is in good hands and managing and training the personnel. At the same time, I try to remain close to our guests to know them better and be able to anticipate their needs. In our jobs, we never stop learning: for the past few months I’ve been working with designers and architects because we are reinvesting and have started to do work in the hotel. I’m still learning a lot from them.  Two months ago, the challenge laid in renovation, then last month it was to build the Relaxation Area. Renovating or building from scratch isn’t the same thing in terms of investment, commitment and time it will take. In this field we have to have an eye on every little detail, so we never get bored. And that’s what I love about it.


And in the midst of all this work, you created Hospitality Agency with Benjamin.

The idea of founding this company came after we met up with several hotel managers in Morocco. We quickly realized that many of them were international investors who didn’t know much about running a hotel.There are true needs in terms of auditing, advice, training and support in this profession. And our first customers are rushing in, so for the moment at least, we’ve picked the right niche market! 


What do you like the most about hotel management?

Hotel management is really general, it’s not just one job but several at the same time. When you can do two different jobs in the same day and you don’t have a routine to follow, this is a true joy.

pool       restaurant

The Palais Sebban Restaurant and Pool

2017 Graduation ceremony

2017 Graduation ceremony

Students celebrate their arrival in the large family of Vateliens and also their first jobs!

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Lionel Demoment
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Directeur d'hôtellerie internationale

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