Portrait #14 : Charlotte Gomez de Orozco
Meeting with Charlotte Gomez de Orozco, founder of HOY
Hoy is a unique concept-hotel, a jewel box of well-being in the heart of Paris. A place where we instantly felt caught up in the douceur of life, far from the hustle and bustle of the city. It was in the calm of sérénité that we were able to talk to Charlotte, its founder. Coming from a hotel family, she drew on her different experiences to create a place that resembles her.
We let you discover this inspiring interview: a moment out of time that we were eager to share with you!
Hello Charlotte, thank you for having us! Can you tell us a bit more about yourself and your background?
My name is Charlotte, I am 28 years old and I am Franco-Mexican. I lived most of my childhood in Mexico and then moved to Paris as a teenager. I came from a family of hoteliers and was raised by a family of passionate businessmen. It was therefore natural for me to start hotel school in Switzerland at the age of 18. Everything went very fast after I finished my university studies. I had the opportunity to take over a 150m² restaurant on rue Lepic, adjacent to one of our hotels, where I opened Gisou, a wine and cocktail bar. This first experience was a real opportunity and confirmed my passion for service and hospitality.
Can you tell us more about Hoy?
HOY is the first yoga hotel in Paris with a whole floor dedicated to this practice. In addition to a large number of yoga classes, we also offer sound healing, sophrology and lithotherapy workshops, which are accessible to all. At Hoy, the key word is well-being. All our rooms are designed according to Feng Shui codes and the TV is even replaced by dance bars to stretch in the morning. More than a hotel, it is a real place to live! You can come and relax with holistic and energetic treatments offered by more than 15 therapists or share a meal with friends, with Latin American flavours in our MESA, our 100% plant-based restaurant. And to finish, what better way than in our FLORERIA, a space where flowers are honoured, at the entrance of the hotel.
By the way, what does Hoy mean?
HOY: Home of Yoga but also "today" in Spanish. A real way of emphasising the present moment.
How did you come up with the idea of creating a place like this, combining a hotel, restaurant, yoga studio, florist and institute?
I created HOY according to my desires. You can easily find YOGA hotels in warm countries or near the sea but it is very complicated to find holistic hotels in urban areas, finally where people need it the most.
How was the decoration of the hotel designed?
I always imagined HOY to be very flowery and with neutral and light colours. So we used a lot of second-hand elements, natural paints and raw materials. I wanted us to find a bit of nature and simplicity to give this place a real soul.
The hotel is also part of an eco-responsible approach, in what way?
We have a zero plastic and low-waste policy in all our rooms. For this, our bed linen and towels are recycled and eco-responsible. We also work with "The Naked Shop", the first zero-waste shop in Paris, to offer only useful products and avoid excess. And in the kitchen, everything is 100% vegetable and tends towards zero waste as well. We compost our organic waste grâce at the Moulinot company, which transforms it into compost that we use for our plants and flowers grown in permaculture in our glasshouse.
At HOY, plants are everywhere! Where does this desire to give pride of place to plants come from?
Being Franco-Mexican, my palate has been educated to a thousand and one flavours. I also had the opportunity chance to travel a lot and to study in a hotel school where food was at the centre of our learning. Without really wanting to, I started to be influenced by vegetarian cooking. I had the opportunity chance, in 2017, to participate in a "blinded dinner" on a Mexican beach, where the chef would have us dine blindfolded and present the dishes as we ate. The menu was entirely plant-based and I had a real revelation. With MESA, I wanted to show my customers the enormous potential of plant-based cuisine, to take them on a journey and introduce them to new flavours, but above all to make plant-based cuisine more accessible.
Plants are also present in the decoration, in the rooms and in our FLORERIA. Since I was a little girl, I have felt the need to be close to plants, close to flowers, like a need to breathe! I have the real impression that near plants, we feel more alive and that they play on the global energy of the place but also on our mood. They revitalise, nourish and protect.
Is nature so important in your daily life?
Like all Parisians, nature is not really present in my daily life. That's why there should be places like HOY in all areas where nature is missing. I also think it's essential to go, from time to time, near the sea, near nature to recharge your batteries and get some energy back.
What is your favourite herbarium at Herbarium? Why is that?
I am a fan of plant preservation and the idea of reusing and recycling. Among your herbaria, I love the simplicity and elegance of the March herbarium and the yellow cosmos!
Any Parisian addresses where we might run into you?
I'm a fan of wine and plant food, so I often go to HOY but I also like the Septime cellar or Lolo cave à vins.
At dinner time, you can find me at Mee or Deviant, two places I really like.
I can also recommend Ipuddo or Gramme for lunch. And I recently discovered Plan B, a place that offers vegan sandwiches to die for!
What makes you happy and makes you smile?
Doing yoga, cycling, taking time to "do nothing", knowing that I'm going to eat and drink well, but most of all, spending time with friends and family.
A mantra you always have in the back of your mind?
"Everything happens for a reason."