Jerome Serot graduated from Vatel in Lyon in 1994. He founded his first company in 1999 and his second one in 2004: The Marketing Factors, recently rebranded as SmarteHotels, specialized in optimization of centralized Global Distribution Systems for reservations e-distribution and booking engines for independent luxury hotels. SmarteHotels’ headquarters are located in San Antonio, Texas and there are three branch offices in New York, Minneapolis and in Spain.
What is your current position?
I’m what people would refer to as a true entrepreneur. I’m the CEO and founder of SmarteHotels, a company targeting independent hotels and small hotel chains that are trying to optimize their systems and booking engines.
What did you do before attending Vatel?
I majored in economy and science in high school and then enrolled in Vatel.
Because of a trip to Thailand! A long stay at the Bangkok Mandarin Oriental Hotel after I graduated from high school. Life in this palace fascinated me. When I came back to France, I started looking for the best school to study hotel and tourist management. That was Vatel.
What do you remember the most about when you attended Vatel? A story to tell?
I have too many anecdotes to tell. I had the opportunity to be a part of the Vatelien team that organized the integration week-end for new students. We went to the city of Arles in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhone region. This is a great memory.
Could you tell us about something that was done or said while you were attending Vatel (either in your theoretical and practical courses or during an internship) that still influences you today in your professional life?
When I was doing an internship in England, at Knutsford Chersire to be exact, the hotel manager told me, “what’s most important is not what you actually say, but what the other person understands.” I can say that I apply this each and every day, and that it has helped my in my job.
What have you done since you graduated? What opportunities have you had?
After I graduated, I joined the events department at the Lutetia Hotel in Paris. This is a four-star luxury hotel in the Latin Quarter in Paris that belongs to the Concorde Hotels & Resorts Group. This first job allowed me to lead the opening of the first Marriott in Paris on the Champs Elysees. It still is the only five-star hotel on the “most beautiful avenue in the world.”
Then I left for New York to open a DMC (Destination Management Company). These destination management companies, also known as “receptive agencies” are specialized in local tourism: transportation, accommodations, restaurants, activities, trips, logistics, linguistic assistance, etc.
Then in 1999, I founded my first company in New York, “Private Entrance Collection,” specialized in Sales & Marketing for luxury trips and representation of hotels on the New York market. Life then took me to Dallas and San Antonio, Texas, where, in 2002, I was the Sales and Marketing Manager for La Mansion Del Rio and Watermark Hotel, that was being opened.
Always pushed by my entrepreneurial ambitions, in 2004 I founded a new company in San Antonio: “The Marketing Factors,” a company proposing a multitude of services in sales and marketing for independent hotels, and which also represents Hotels & Preference in the USA. “TMF” has recently changed its visual identity and even name and has now been rebranded as “Smartehotels.”
During the second half of March, Vatel Maurice organized a photography competition.Read more
The April intake has been postponed for three weeks behind the start date, originally planned for April 6. On April 27, 2020, more than 150 students took the path of their keyboard and screensRead more
Since the advent of Covid19 the world has changed and our industry has suffered the worst crisis it has had, since modern tourism has existed.Read more
The Covid-19 pandemic has greatly impacted the tourism industry. Vatel Group has decided to provide hotels and restaurants with free access to its online platform of training modules, Vatel E-learning.Read more
CORONAVIRUS – Note d’information N°7Read more
LET'S STAY CONNECTED, UNITED AND SAFERead more
CORONAVIRUS – Note d’information N°4Read more
CORONAVIRUS – Note d’information N°3Read more
The hospitality and tourism industry puts people in touch with an ever-increasing and constantly changing world, making it the only one of its kind.
Read our mission.
Serving others is a priceless quality in the hospitality industry, but not just there. Students with a degree in hotel management are attractive to employers: their qualities make them champions in all types of professions.Read more
The 26th Eurhodip conference took place in Istanbul from October 16 though 20th, with the theme “Together, let’s build bridges.” Roughly a hundred participants from 25 countries and 35 schools attended this event.Read more
LE GRAND BOND DU TOURISME EN AFRIQUE QUELLES OPPORTUNITÉS POUR MAURICE L’Ile Maurice a réussi à se positionner comme une destination touristique reconnue internationalement Pourtant elle accueille relativement peu de touristes en provenance du coRead more
With schools throughout the world, nearly four decades of development, the art of hospitality raised to its highest level... And at the heart of the curriculum that made the group’s world recognition: the professors, heralds of Vatel pedagogy.Read more
L’ « Option Croisière » comprend 2 types d’enseignements : les enseignements « obligatoires et légaux » et les enseignements « généraux. »Read more
You are a passionate hospitality professional looking to a rewarding future? Join our flexible MBA program to add value to your net worth. Get connected with our pool of experienced lecturers. Extend your network by becoming a Vatel Alumni.Read more
Senior F&B Instructor at Vatel Bangkok, Isabelle Ferchaud is also the Vatel application restaurant Manager.Read more
Dans le cadre de son expansion locale et régionale, Vatel Hotel & Tourism Business school recrute des enseignants qualifiés pour intervenir au niveau Bachelor et MBA.Read more
Each year our Group School directors, getting together for the Vatel International Convention, use today’s experiences to continue to invent tomorrow’s schools for our future hospitality professionals.Read more
Vatel cultivates the qualities required to be a good professional in the hospitality industry: being fluent in foreign languages, knowing how to work with other cultures... Hoteliers are attracted by Vatel students’ resumes, as Vateliens can tell us.Read more
François Perraud feels both a hotelier and a financial controller, an expertise that he likes to pass on to Vatel students.Read more
Jeremie de Fombelle has always loved resorts and has seen many of them, before coming to Mauritius. And this is where he really fell in love! But economic competition is stiff. How can you stand out, if not by the quality of your management?Read more
A professor of marketing, corporate promotion and negotiation, Sophie Lot loves adult education and teaches at Vatel Switzerland.Read more
Thanatat Boonpeng: a young Vatel graduate at Siam Kempinski Hotel Bangkok.Read more
Every day, Vatel students and instructors prepare for class, study, and fan the flames of their curiosity, thanks to the cutting-edge digital library provided by the ScholarVox platform. Come right this way for digital access to knowledge!Read more
An MBA specializing in ecotourism opens in Madagascar. This island has all it takes to materialize this demanding approach of responsible and innovative tourism.Read more
New ideas, enthusiasm, the desire to embrace a gourmet universe: Jerome Ferrer’s story has all the ingredients that inspire the best “success stories” to strategy professors!Read more
The hospitality and tourism industries are particularly concerned by sustainable development. And what if Vatel alumni played a key part in this transition towards more environmentally friendly hotel management?Read more
Travel broadens the mind, as the old saying goes. It also leads to unconventional restaurants. Let’s meet two Vateliens who founded Le Kaya Restaurant in Tignes.Read more
Besides having a Bachelor or an MBA Vatel, what does being a Vatelien mean?Read more
Throughout their entire careers, Vatel alumni remain in touch with their schools. This is also true for Kevin Tessieux, who has never forgotten that he was also once a student, and who now shares this knowledge with students today.Read more
Chahrazade Baroudi, a Vatelien since 2013, describes her job as Marketing and Communication Manager in IDAM, Alain Ducasse’s restaurant on the top floor of the Doha Museum of Islamic Art, in Qatar.Read more
Future hospitality professionals, welcome to Vatel’s 100% management simulation serious game! For an entire week and on three continents, MBA students met the challenge of managing a 4-star hotel and a resort in the Indian Ocean. The winners are...Read more
Who is Gaelle Garnier, the new manager of the network of 35,000 Vatel alumni throughout the world? Let’s meet a Vatelien who works with Vateliens!Read more
The 25th Eurhodip conference, which Vatel took part in, took place in Croatia. Targeting responsible tourism, this conference allowed participants to have more information on opening higher education courses in the field of sustainable development.Read more
Designed to address the needs of the global hospitality industry, the Marco Polo program strengthens the international profile Vatel students have and has just received the prestigious Best Innovation in an Educational Program Award.Read more
Graduated in 2011, Alexis Bouche began his career in England. Six years later, he returned to France and is now the Sales Manager of the 5-star hotel, Villa Maïa.Read more
Nearly 40 years old, and now 50 campuses in 32 different countries: Vatel Group opened its first school in Paris and is continuing to grow and duplicate its innovative educational concept in schools abroad.Read more
Trained at Vatel Nimes ten years ago, Chloe Wu has a brilliant career in China. She no longer works in the hospitality industry, but has not forgotten her passion of hospitality and service...Read more
The Vatel International Research Center in Hotel and Tourism Managementhas just published the 10th edition of its Journal, which targets research and reflections on changes taking place in the hospitality and tourism industries.Read more
Curiosity, humility, team spirit... A Vatelien shares his commitment to values his school transmitted to him.
The same international spirit that students have Vatel and 4 students in nursing undertake a humanitarian project in Madagascar.Read more
A traveler - salesman - ambassador, Marco Polo introduced Asia, at that time nearly unknown, to Europe. This inspirational fate has given its name to Vatel’s international exchange program, where students can study at another Vatel campus for a year.Read more
The most senior representatives in the international hospitality industry give Vatel the Best School Hospitality Award. An entire profession thus acclaims them.Read more
Learning the skills needed to be a manager, quick employability, international careers... Vatel, the passport that gets you hired. See the video.Read more
Vatel has decided to offer its hotel and restaurant partners free access to its online training courses, "Vatel E-learning." The aim is to contribute to the collective effort and to rebuild the tourism economy of tomorrow.Read more