Hervé Houdré is among Europe’s and America’s most respected hoteliers. He was born in an inn in France’s historic Loire Valley, known for its Renaissance architecture, lush gardens and world-famous wineries. Hervé Houdré managed such properties as the Hôtel Plaza Athénée, New York, the Hôtel de Crillon and Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, the Willard InterContinental in Washington DC, the InterContinental Barclay in New York and held the position of Chief Operating Officer for Kempinski Hotels and Resorts.
Houdré was recognized as the 2006 Independent Hotelier of the World by HOTELS magazine readers.
A leader in sustainability, in 2006 he published Sustainable Hospitality© – Sustainable Development in the Hotel Industry, a white paper promoted by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. He co-edited a book, Hotel Sustainable Development: Principles and Best Practices, published in 2011 by American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute. Hervé’s efforts and passion to promote sustainability in his industry have been highlighted across a wide spectrum of media in the US and abroad. He teaches Responsible Tourism at New York University, and has lectured at New York Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Tourism College of Zhejiang, China and in trade conferences such as the New York Hotel Show, America’s Lodging Investment Summit and many others.
His leadership earned him the 2009 Condé Nast Traveler World Saver Award, the D.C. Downtown Citizen award and the D.C. Chamber of Commerce 2009 award.
Hervé has been one of the world’s strongest advocates of sustainable hospitality since 2004. He ensures the hotels he runs become standard bearers of a business model integrating the Triple Bottom Line of Profit, People and Planet in their strategy. Since late 2015 he has been using the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a platform for the hotels he manages. He has always been engaged in the local community where he has operated and held board positions in various organizations such as The Leading Hotels of the World, New York State Hotel Association, United Nations International School, American Hotel & Lodging Association, Downtown D.C. BID, Global Sustainable Tourism Council. He was the Chairman of the Board of the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) and served on the Board and Executive Committee of New York Destination Marketing Organization, NYC & Company, where he chaired the sustainability committee.
“To be a man is to be responsible. It is to feel, when setting one's stone, that one is contributing to the building of the world”.
“The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”
“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember; involve me and I will understand.”
“We have two lives, and the second begins when we realize we only have one.”
“The future depends on what we do in the present.”
“If you make a mistake and do not correct it, this is called a mistake.”
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”.
“A goal without a plan is just a wish.”
“Whatever you do is insignificant, but it is important that you do it.”
“I hate to tell but now is all there ever is.”
“The path is the goal.”
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
“The journey with a 1000 miles begins with one step.”
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs but not every man’s greed.”
“If there were one word that could act as a standard of conduct for one's entire life, perhaps it would be 'thoughtfulness.”
“I slept and dreamt life is beauty, I woke and found life is duty.”
"That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind."