In 2011, Chabé opened a new office in Bordeaux, a city famous the world over for its heritage and wine.
For over 10 years now, Laurent Frenkel has been managing the city’s agency and offering our clients bespoke services.
This interview tells you more about one of Chabé’s French offices and the Bordeaux region.
As we start a new year, how would you sum up the previous year for the Bordeaux office?
Like all regions that are visited by overseas clients, we have been impacted by the absence of tourists. Nevertheless, and thanks to the implementation of a very strict sanitary protocol which is very reassuring for our passengers, we were able to meet the demand of our clients in the region and from across the border.
We are fortunate to have a diversified clientele, which has enabled us to maintain our activity.
Towards the end of the year, particularly in September and October, we noticed a clear increase in activity, which gave us confidence for the coming year.
What are the office’s plans for 2022?
We have been able to take advantage of the drop in activity to carry out in-depth work on our services and our commitments.
First of all, we have reviewed our sanitary standards with new hygiene measures, which continue to be implemented by our teams and chauffeurs.
Secondly, we want to become a responsible player in the region, with a progressive replacement of our fleet by electric and/or equivalent hybrid vehicles. Chabé has taken a voluntary approach to CSR at Group level, and it is important for this commitment to be reflected at local level.
And of course, we will continue to serve our customers with the same level of quality and high standards.
What services do you offer in Bordeaux?
Our office provides a full range of bespoke transport services with chauffeurs.
First of all, we offer a transfer service from/to the train stations and airports in and around Bordeaux, as well as a dedicated chauffeur service.
We also provide event transport services, which means that we handle transport at events with a team of dedicated coordinators. This service is very important because the Bordeaux area hosts a lot of seminars, professional exhibitions, etc.
And we also organize Wine Tours with a whole range of bespoke tour services for our VIP clients.
What is special about your wine tours?
Thanks to our presence in Bordeaux for more than 10 years and our national presence, we have succeeded in building a relationship of trust with various players, such as 4-star hotels and Palaces, event agencies and also the main players in the wine world. These relationships mean we can offer our clients bespoke services involving the most prestigious châteaux but also wine estates where private families have owned châteaux for centuries.
Our tours are exclusively private, and our clients are pampered and privileged at every stage of their journey.
And finally, what makes our greatest difference and which is our core business, is transport with a chauffeur.
The expertise of Chabé’s chauffeurs is inextricably linked to their interpersonal skills. These skills are equally important to the company. As chauffeurs by vocation, they are committed to offering the best possible experience on each journey. Moreover, our professional chauffeurs have a great knowledge of our region and of the Bordeaux vineyards.
This service can be complemented by a professional tour guide, who is bilingual in French and English, and also fluent in another language.
In your opinion, what makes Chabé Bordeaux different from other private transport companies in the city?
I think the main difference is the quality of our services.
For more than 100 years, Chabé has been led by the family of the founder, Maurice Chabé, a family with the constant aim of providing a high-quality service for influential clients.
Quality has always been part of our DNA, with a service meeting our customers’ expectations.
We also have several offices in France and abroad, allowing us to build a relationship of trust with partners who have the same level of quality as Chabé. So we can serve our customers in France and in over 100 countries around the world.
For example, we can pick up a client from his home, take him to Bordeaux airport and welcome him in another French or foreign city, managing his transport throughout his business or tourist trip.
Whatever the service or destination, the client will always have the same contact person, available and responsive 24 hours a day, which is much appreciated by our clients.
We are able to adapt to the customer’s needs by offering a bespoke service.
Finally, our chauffeurs, who are at the heart of our business, receive ongoing training, are familiar with the codes of luxury and know how to adapt to each type of customer.
Who is this special clientele you call VIP?
Our clientele is very varied, we can serve a company director, as well as a celebrity, wealthy tourists or diplomats… Whatever the type of client, our requirements remain the same.
In Bordeaux, we have a very important clientele in the tourism industry, eager to discover the world of Bordeaux wine.
We also work in the events sector, which is developing more and more, especially since the opening of the new stadium and the Arkéa Arena. Thanks to exclusive partnerships, this has allowed us to expand our activity in the artistic sector by providing transport for artists and technical teams.
We should not forget either that in the area we have important industrial centres, such as aeronautics and space. The companies there have major international contracts which create considerable daily flows and major events that Chabé is regularly asked to take part in.
We also work with several prestigious hotels in and around Bordeaux. We are their partners, and they trust us completely to transport their clients and to develop tour programs.
To conclude this interview, can you share with us some of your favourite places in Bordeaux or the surrounding area?
I would of course mention the village of Saint-Émilion, a medieval village which is a real pearl, and paradoxically the city of Bordeaux, which is often misunderstood but which is really worth a visit. To lose oneself in the pedestrian streets and to enjoy this very particular atmosphere is a journey in itself.
I would also especially mention Dordogne with its magnificent landscapes and magical medieval villages. But alongside these places which are a source of daily excitement to me, I would mention the encounters I’ve made.
I mean the women and men, the chateau owners, cellar masters or restaurant owners who share their passion with us and allow us to truly sense the soul of this region.