Fashion publishing icon ELLE breaks into hotel business

Looking to leverage its global reputation in fashion publishing and with a goal to advance the empowerment for women, ELLE has launched ELLE Hospitality with two boutique brands, Maison ELLE and ELLE Hotel. Initial licensed properties will open soon in Paris and in Jalisco, Mexico.

Owned by Paris-based Lagardère Group, the first Maison ELLE is scheduled to open this fall in its hometown, while an eco-resort hotel is set for Mexico in the summer of 2023.

Rendering of Maison ELLE, Paris

HOTELS spoke to representatives from ELLE on Tuesday, who said that with more than 200 million touchpoints per month in 80 countries it is entering the hotel market to generate new sources of revenue and growth. In addition to Paris and Mexico, ELLE wants to open more Maison ELLE in others big cities in France, different capitals in Europe and in countries like China and Middle East nations.

“Brazil will be our third ELLE property after Paris and Mexico,” the representative said. “We are planning to open around 15 hotels in the next 10 years. We are working closely with every partner to find the best opportunities, each expert in their geographical zone.”

ELLE would not divulge how much it was investing in this deal, but did tell HOTELS, “The Lagardère Group always works very closely with every partner to accompany them well beyond investments, providing content for the concept, inspiration, design, service, etc.”

As the owner of the brand, ELLE will not invest directly in projects but will license its name. Each licensee will manage their own property.

“Our brand’s success to date has been thanks to our innovation, our special relationship with women and we are proud to continue to challenge the status quo, as we enter a new era of travel.” – Constance Benqué

For example, here are the details on how ELLE Hospitality has aligned itself with three real estate and hospitality group partners:

  • ACTUR in Mexico is a real estate developer that also provides a platform for lifestyle hospitality and development investment in Mexico. It will lead the Jalisco project.
  • Studio V in Europe, in partnership with Valotel group, is dedicated to brand conception and experiences with a focus on design and development. It will lead the first Paris project.
  • Whitney Robinson International in the Middle East is a design-driven hospitality and real estate development company.

The first Maison ELLE – in partnership with Studio V – who will own and operate the hotel under the guidance of Pascal Donat, president of French hospitality group Valotel – is set to open in Paris this fall in the 17th district near the Arc de Triomphe. It will have 25 guest rooms and suites and a spa.

“Beyond the hotels themselves, our guests look for meaning and a sense of belonging,” Donat said. “That’s why today, bringing to life a brand’s emotional connection with the consumer, through hospitality experiences and design, is central to our approach with Maison ELLE.”

The first eco-conscious, luxury lifestyle ELLE Hotel in partnership with ACTUR will open in the summer of 2023 on a stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coast in Jalisco, Mexico. The project is being led by ACTUR CEO Ricardo Santa Cruz.

Central to its design concept, ELLE Hotel is leveraging local talent from aspiring female designers and artisans to imagine its guest rooms, suites and communal spaces.

“We are thrilled to launch ELLE into the world of hospitality. Our brand’s success to date has been thanks to our innovation, our special relationship with women and we are proud to continue to challenge the status quo, as we enter a new era of travel,” said Constance Benqué, chairman of ELLE International and CEO of Lagardère News. “Our two concepts, starting with the openings of Maison ELLE in Paris and ELLE Hotel in Mexico will present exciting gateways that will allow guests to see the destinations through a new lens and through ELLE’s vision.”

Rendering of ELLE Hotel in Jalisco, Mexico

Over the last 40 years, ELLE has already entered various sectors with licensing deals, including beauty (fragrances, make-up, skin care), fashion (apparel, sportswear with ELLE Golf collection in Korea) and accessories (watches, handbags, eyewear). It has 150 partners for licensing in more than 80 countries.

Now, ELLE wants to evolve their portfolio of lifestyle and experiential services to their clientele. ELLE Hospitality will join ELLE’s Cafes (it already has one in Taiwan, Pattaya and Tokyo), beauty salons (Osaka, as well as Guangzhou and Shanghai, China) and two spas in India.

“After COVID and after a few years of reflection, ELLE is pursuing their development in the world of experiential services, offering global stays as an emerging partner in the hospitality industry,” the representative said. “Entering this market will allow the company to flourish and grow and offer this experience to the ELLE’s fan. Therefore, it will bring a broader range of services and experiences to take the organization one step further.”