Imagine an app that allows you access to a fleet of luxury yachts, delivered immediately and offering first-class amenities such as welcome ambassadors, expert crew and personalized catering. That’s the idea behind IMMIDIA, launching March 15th in Miami and coming soon to Dubai, St. Barths and the French Riviera. IMMIDIA is the brainchild of CEO Christophe Chauvin, former GM of five-star Hotel Byblos in Saint-Tropez. His company—which will soon be expanding to offer vacation villas, jets and car rentals—promises to revolutionize the luxury lifestyle experience.
Below, Chauvin talks to DuJour about French luxury, environmental stewardship and his favorite yachting destinations.
Which aspects of the app are you most excited about?
First of all, it’s really elegant. You only have one opportunity to give your clients the “wow effect” and for me, IMMIDIA does the job. Second, it’s instant booking, which will be a major change in the way our guests are consuming luxury services.
How do you see IMMIDIA as an extension of your career in luxury hospitality?
The luxury industry is moving really fast right now. It used to be very old-fashioned, but now you need to be connected, you need to be proactive and you need to answer your client within the next 15 minutes. So our platform comes at the right time, I think.
If I wanted to charter a yacht on IMMIDIA this afternoon, how would I do it?
You could do it in five minutes from your smartphone or online and the yacht would be delivered within two hours. It’s unprecedented: you can do it anytime, anywhere.
Tell me about your partnership with the TerraMar Project, an ocean conservancy organization. Why is this partnership important to you?
We are in the transportation business, which means that we consume a lot of energy and we have to reward the environment for that. The TerraMar Project was a natural fit. Protecting our oceans is a responsibility we all have and we at IMMIDIA want to show others the way.
What is your ideal yachting destination?
That’s an easy one! Corsica. It’s the gem of the Mediterranean. It has the most beautiful beaches in the world and in the summer you can go for months without a single storm. But Sardinia would also be a good match.
Whom would you take with you?
My family and friends. Yachting is all about conviviality—that’s why I like it. You have to really like the people you’re with because you have to keep everybody on board. You can’t just throw them in the sea!
What is your favorite yacht?
I don’t have a favorite. I believe that as long as you’re on the sea, it’s always magical. But we do have some favorite brands, for instance, Riva. The feeling on those boats is very special. They’re completely handmade and the sounds and materials are just spectacular. It’s like driving an old car.
You have said that your ultimate goal is to share the French luxury lifestyle on a global basis. What does French luxury mean to you?
In France, knowledge of luxury services is in our blood. Even if French people are sometimes a bit too proud of themselves, I truly believe we have the number one place in this industry. The key to success is definitely human relationships. You can have the best app, the best hotel, the best yacht, but if you don’t have the right people, there is no point.