PLANES IN SAILLAGOUSE, a family history since 1895 ...
ORIGINALLY, AN OLD COACHING INN ...
For the Planes family and the inn, it is a long history, a very long history ... More than 120 years and 5 generations have succeeded here transforming this former coaching inn into a large simple unpretentious but friendly ‘house’,. Here you are part of the family!
The story begins with a beautiful meeting, that of Joseph Planes, ex-seminarian and Rose Braser. They come from Belver de Cerdagne in Spain. Married, they fall in love with the French Cerdagne and decide to settle in the Moulin d'Err then the Mill of Via which they operate starting from the schooling in Via of their son Henri, born in 1876. They deliver their flour to almost the whole of Cerdagne, and more particularly to Odeillo, Font-Romeu and Eyne. The years that follow are difficult ... the winter months are very long. Rose, a hard worker and Joseph, well educated, feel that their future is elsewhere and why not in the "big" neighboring village where the stagecoaches go. In 1893, they decided to move to Saillagouse. Henri had finished his education, the certificate of studies in his pocket. Saillagouse saw the Planes arrive in an old abandoned forge. They rent, on the Church square, a shed in which they serve drinks to the men who come to play cards in the afternoon. The proximity of the church serving as a pretext, the parish priest and the mayor forced them to move. A bad reason which turned into a good outcome! In 1895 they arrived in the "Carrer del Mitx" where they opened a coaching inn, a shed which served as a relay for the two stagecoaches, the one coming up and the other going down between Perpignan and Latour de Carol!
The following years saw the emergence of a veritable inn with the creation of accommodation in a room on the courtyard and a catering service proposing cerdan and capcinois products, game killed by hunters and the Ollade – a typical Catalan dish made with pork and cabbage!
In 1903, construction work on the railway began, but the innkeepers were confident! There was no lack of work. In 1906, Henri married Bonaventure Giralt who bore him a son Joseph the following year. Everything was fine! In 1913 the post coach service ended. It was a blow to their trade, especially since by the train travelers arrived at the other end of the village. But they clung on, believing that there may be a future in the automobile, this new means of transport that everyone spoke so much about! They decided to professionalize their restaurant activity by training Joseph to become a professional cook. He went to Perpignan as an apprentice, alternately at the "Casque d'Or" and at the "Grand Hôtel de la Loge". On his return he gave the restaurant its full identity. The Planes family has pursued this tradition by training their offspring with the greatest chefs.
In 1935 Joseph Josephine married Joséphine Soler who instilled a new dynamic into the business. The coaching inn was modernized and transformed into a hotel-restaurant worthy of itssname. The establishment survived the throes of World War II and in 1942, Joséphine gave birth to their only son, Henri.
The next decade was witness to the slow but steady progression of a constantly evolving business. The clientele was loyal. The Planes spouses gained in confidence and then decided to increase the number of rooms bringing it up to 12. These imposing works were undertaken in 1958 when their son Henri confirmed his desire to continue the family business. He passed the entrance examination of the Hotel School in Grenoble in 1957. During his schooling, his parents continued to improve the conditions of their clients which proved a winning strategy. Events were frequent with balls, dances, card evenings, etc. They animated the establishment whilst thinking about their future. 1963 was the year of creation of the Rotary club of Font-Romeu Cerdagne whose meeting room has been at the Hotel Planes ever since.
After his time in Grenoble then Paris ... Henri returned home. In 1964, the farmhouse "Esteve" adjoining the hotel was for sale. The Planes trio did not fail to grasp the opportunity in order to expand. Henri brought-in new culinary ideas from Paris, where he worked at the restaurant of the Eiffel Tower, Jean-Louis Tribert came to join him in this region at the end of France, and applied the conception of a certain type of cooking that he liked. The partnership continued for 35 years. Two years later, the dining room opened its doors to customers from outside the hotel.
Henry married Raymonde Imbern in 1966. This young girl, accustomed to the hard work in the fields, rapidly and effectively reconverted and integrated into this family tradition. Jean-Luc was born in 1968. In the same year Joseph Clerc's accepted that more height be added to the building, above his house, and six additional rooms were added to attain the two-star comfort NN rating.
In 1972, in spite of a busy year full of new transformations: the garage part, ballroom in restaurant and living room fireplace, rest area, the family witnessed the joy of a second birth, Eric in 1972. The children exuded energy ... Henri and Raymonde decided to increase the hotel capacity by building an annex, "The Planotel" opened in 1973 with 20 additional rooms classified two stars.
From 1973 to 1981, the years passed by like as elsewhere with ups and downs but always staying on course. New standards were heard about ... It was necessary to react!
1982, the hotel of papa was out of date! The upgrade was decided. "The old Maison Cerdane" underwent a fundamental transformation, important developments appreciated by the clientele whose attendance constantly increased. From the cellar to the attic, the 4 floors were gutted and rebuilt as new. Three years later, the number of rooms went from 23 to 19, the ground floor was reorganized into a bar-brasserie and a lift served all floors.
After the hotel school, time in the kitchens of theVanel in Toulouse and the Echalote in Saint-Tropez and internships with our collegues and friends Lormand, Bohigas etc ..., the eldest son, Jean-Luc carried the flame on and set to at the stoves thus marking the arrival of the new generation. At the same time, Eric joined the team and brought his expertise to other areas of the business. Under his impulsion the heated summer pool was created in the spring of 1991. That same year, the law imposed more improvements in the kitchen, a total renovation, an enlargement and the change of the equipment!
In October 1993, Jean-Luc married Nathalie Berche, who gave birth to Clara in 1994, the first daughter of the Planes for 4 generations. In 1995, the 100th anniversary of the "PLANES" was celebrated with a memorial mass in the Church of Saint Eugenie and the presence of an authentic postal coach! A beautiful day that was rounded off around a superb buffet created by the entire team as well as an evening animated by Eric and Luky.
Years passed and Maison Planes continued its modernization. In 1998, the installation of a cover on the swimming pool of the Planotel, enabled guest to enjoy this year round, a real asset for après-ski in winter. A sauna to supplement the facilities was created for the guests. It was during this year that Joséphine Planes known as "FIFI", left us. She had brought so many things to this house, including a flawless relationship with our loyal customers. She, who was promoted to a career as an associate professor of French, made of her life a crusade dedicated to the hospitality industry.
In the low season the Planotel was proposed to groups for discovery stays of the Cerdagne and its exceptional territory with the help of local guides. The kitchen team was reinforced with the arrival of Jean Tillot - former head of Vanel in Toulouse - who lent a hand to Jean-Luc for more than 17 years ...
In 2000, the decoration was completely redesigned by an artist, painter: Rodriguez. The façade of the hotel was renewed. A stronger mountain identity more attractive and inviting for guests to push open the door of the hotel was added. In 2001, the family grew with the arrival of Sandra, the second daughter of Jean-Luc and Frédérique.
The excellent quality of the cuisine of the restaurant "La Vieille Maison Cerdane" made it worthy of note by the reference in the guides: Michelin, Gault and Millau, Le Petit Futé, the Guide du Routard to name but a few of them! The reward given for generous cooking that gave pride of place to the home-madeCatalan specialties. Le Caneton aux Raisins created in 1950 by Joseph Planes became the dish of reference. Boneless pork legs also played an important role in the menu, which is now one of Jean-Luc Planes' specialties. The entire kitchen team offered up-to-date desserts such as orange souffle, crepes Suzette, prune ice cream with Armagnac ...
Eric became engaged in 2003 with Natacha Pirof who became involved in the family business by bringing new organization practices and a new commercial vision.
In 2005, the 110th birthday was celebrated! A beautiful day during which our clients participated in a dance evening with the whole of the Planes family and their team around quality products provided by all our suppliers. The end of the year was also be marked by the celebration of the marriage of Christine and Jean-Luc Planes. It was in April 2006 that Cloé - daughter of Eric and Natacha - came into the world. The arrival of another girl at Les Planes confirmed the end of the lineage that had existed for more than 100 years!
The years go by with regular investment to maintain the level of quality of our services and to best meet the changing expectations of our customers. The installation of a state of the art boiler, more fuel-efficient in 2008, and the installation of solar panels for hot water production marked the starting point of our environmental approach. Our purchases are carried out in this same spirit: to favor products that respect the environment, which are preferably French manufacture favoring short circuits.
In 2009, we celebrated the wedding of Eric and Natacha who officially joined the family saga and in December, the brasserie was revamped. A successful renovation. A more traditional decoration made of wood and stone, which boosted the activity and which allowed planning the renovation of all the rooms of the hotel with work spread over 4 years: bathrooms, enlargement of rooms and decoration entirely revised by Natacha and Raymonde Planes.
In recent years, major projects have occupied the entire family ... Between the upgrades to meet the increasingly drastic requirements of compliance, in particular fire safety (2010), the ratings through tourism and disability labeling (2012) but also changes to the lift in 2013, the renovation of the laundry with less energy-intensive equipment and the creation of a wellness area. No doubt, it was necessary to fight-on ...
Between the Planes family and the family hostelry, it is therefore a long history, a very long history ... More than one hundred and twenty years of sacred union! Five generations of a family nucleus that has resisted the erosion of the requirements of this profession. But this beautiful story could not have been written without the fidelity of our clientele, to whom we pay tribute here. It is thanks to you that this establishment is one of the few houses in France that are more than a hundred years old. All members of the PLANES family are pleased to welcome you, thank you and "Per molts anys *" ... * Hoping that it lasts