A Vatelien in the Islands

After having spent three years in Saint Barth, Andre Kamin has now settled down in Polynesia: this young 28 year-old man is now the Restaurant Manager for a 5-start Relais & Chateaux hotel. Let’s have a look at this success.

A Vatelien in the Islands

Traveling, enjoying multicultural acquaintances, managing luxury hotels were some of Andre Kamin’s ambitions when he decided to apply to Vatel Nimes.         

Many courses on business administration, marketing, taxation, human resources, etc., all linked to concrete examples in the hospitality industry, with practical experience in the Vatel Nimes Hotel and working with real clients during internships

How did Vatel help you develop your analytical spirit?

The theoretical courses helped me be able to step back and the practical experience courses helped me hone my organizational abilities. By linking both of them together, I learned how to use the right tool at the right time and to ask myself the right questions.


What about your decision-making and team-leading training?

When you believe in your training and your skills, you believe in yourself. Vatel gives you all the keys you need to succeed, the confidence you need to make decisions and the humility you also need to keep your feet firmly on the ground. I learned how to take risks as well as assessing them.

I not only learned how to manage teams, but especially how to have the proper managerial style according to the age, experience or nationality of the staff members I’m talking to.


Tell us about your Vatel International Business Game souvenirs.

Great memories of it! After having studied the files for a few hours, the game became reality and we were all totally a part of it. The most exciting thing about this experience was without a doubt, to identify ourselves as players managing a company and to share this enthusiasm with all the other Vatel 5th year students, throughout the world.

Analyzing situation, taking decisions together - this all was a very concrete teaser of what Vatel alumni do every day.


How did you get your first job at the Saint Tropez Kube Hotel and your jobs in Saint Barth and Polynesia?

I owe my first managerial position to a Vatelien. I answered his job vacancy and he game me an opportunity. This first managerial experience was a true challenge for me and was very enriching, as that’s how I met the person I share my life with today.

In 2013, we decided to go to Saint Barth, because we were dreaming of the luxury, the client base and the location. I applied for a job at the Eden Rock Oekter Collection and we hopped on the plane.

We stayed on that island for nearly three years and then we decided to go to Polynesia. I did the same thing: applied for a job, got it and a new adventure started rolling!!


So, in your current job, are you with guests all the time or is there an administrative part too?

My days are balanced between the restaurant and the office. No one day is like another one.

When I’m in the restaurant, I work on:

  • organizing outlets,
  • managing and training teams,
  • customer relations.

In the office:

  • I analyze and work on Food & Beverage offers,
  • I try to find solutions to raise the profitability of our outlets and investments,
  • I draw up contracts with our suppliers and manage upcoming projects in this department. It’s all really exciting!


How many people do you manage and you do you adapt yourself to each culture?

The Taha’s Island Resort & Spa’s restaurant services have a workforce of 50. About thirty in the restaurants and twenty in the kitchens. Adapting yourself to a new culture means you must be very open-minded, be interested in others and know how to communicate.


And is life in Polynesia really as dreamlike as we all imagine it to be?

Doing a job you love, in breathtaking surroundings with guests that are happy to be staying with you, it’s all anyone could ask for.  The legendary hospitality Polynesians have, their culture and traditions plus the beautiful landscapes make this destination unique in the world. The only bad point is that we’re far from our families.


What are your upcoming projects?

Continuing to travel and meet new challenges in luxury hotels. Ever since I began working, I’ve never forgot my ambition of one day being the General Manager of a hotel. And I’m going to do everything possible so that this happens.


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