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Accor Hotels: Global developments in the luxury segment

Accor Hotels: Global developments in the luxury segment

With over 4,800 hotels, resorts and residences across 100 countries, Accor, a global augmented hospitality group, continues to strengthen and expand its luxury portfolio worldwide. Boasting hospitality brands such as Raffles Hotels & Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, and Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, there are several notable and significant regional and global updates to share so far this year, outlined below.


A selection of properties new to the market and recently announced for future debut include:

• Raffles Shenzhen opened its doors in May 2019, bringing the height of luxury and bespoke service to the shining modern metropolis of Shenzhen. An extraordinary urban oasis discreetly perched on the top floors of the prestigious One Shenzhen Bay complex, Raffles Shenzhen is the epitome of glamour and refinement. With 168 spacious guestrooms, as well as a selection of serviced residences, guests will be enchanted by the exquisite dining venues and spectacular views of Shenzhen Bay and Hong Kong.

• On the remote southern tip of the Maldives archipelago, Raffles Maldives Meradhoo is now open and as removed from the rhythm of everyday life as can be. Surrounded by crystalline Indian Ocean waters and unspoiled reefs, the resort is a rare haven of 21 island beach villas and 16 overwater ocean villas. Guests take a domestic flight and are transported by speed boat to the pristine and private oasis of Meradhoo, where they receive the gentle and intuitive attentions of the legendary Raffles Butlers, along with an exclusive Marine Butler service, Children’s Butlers and private chefs.

• The world’s first Orient Express hotel – the Orient Express Mahanakhon Bangkok – is set to open later this year reviving the Orient Express brand with a vision to build a collection of prestigious hotels, steeped in tradition, legend and luxurious adventure. Esteemed designer Tristan Auer has been tasked with reimagining the Art Deco stylings and plant motifs of the original Orient Express carriages into a modern skyscraper in the heart of a bustling metropolis.

• Kyoto Yura Hotel MGallery opened its doors in April 2019. The hotel pays homage to the traditions of Kyoto through art and heritage, providing a unique experience inspired by the essence of the local neighborhood – a key consideration for all MGallery Hotels. Boasting 144 rooms with contemporary classical design, local fabric Nishijin-ori can be found in each of its guestrooms celebrating a weaving heritage dating back over 1,200 years.

• The glamour of Cannes has come to the MGallery collection of boutique hotels. Hotel Croisette Beach – MGallery just completed an extensive renovation under the guidance of Studio Jean Philippe Nuel and reopened with a new MGallery name and a bohemian chic design. Intimately sized with 94 guestrooms, the newly styled MGallery Croisette Beach will be a captivating and discreet spot for cavorting among the salt air, sun and sea.

• Scheduled to open in 2019 as the first Fairmont in South America, Fairmont Rio De Janeiro Copacabana is located in one of the most spectacular places in Rio de Janeiro, the Copacabana Beach, under the majestic gaze of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Inspired by the glamour carioca in the 1950’s, this luxury hotel is an oasis. The property just announced the appointment of its new executive chef, Jérôme Dardillac, who will be responsible for the entire gastronomic concept of the hotel.

• Sofitel Dubai Wafi will soon be the largest Sofitel in the Middle East featuring 501 luxury guestrooms, inclusive of 86 suites, in addition to 97 studio, one, two and three-bedroom serviced residences to be operated on an extended-stay basis. Located adjacent to the iconic Raffles Dubai, both properties will form a luxury cluster within Wafi, offering guests a luxurious range of shared amenities and services.

• The Pullman brand has made its debut in Fiji with the April 2019 launch of the Pullman Nadi Bay Resort & Spa. The multi-million-dollar resort sits directly on its own secluded corner of local favorite, Wailoaloa Beach on Nadi Bay featuring a 180-degree, uninterrupted ocean view for guests, bookended by vistas of Fiji’s most recognized mountain, The Sleeping Giant. The resort offers 236 rooms and suites all with balconies or patios.


New openings, renovations and new programming highlights in North and Central America include:

• Fairmont Century Plaza, located in the heart of Century City in Los Angeles, will soon take center stage as it plans to reopen in 2020 following a top to bottom renovation and re-envisioning project. This mid-century marvel has hosted generations of Hollywood celebrities, foreign dignitaries and every United States President since its opening in 1966. With 394 newly renovated guestrooms, 63 branded residences plus two adjacent 46-story luxury residential towers, Fairmont Century Plaza is anticipated to be a blockbuster.

• In celebration of Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York’s 90th anniversary in June, the hotel will mark a new chapter with a majestic transformation, honoring the icon’s timeless grandeur while elevating it into a new era of luxury. The final round of transformative changes will include the reimagining of the hotel’s common areas, meeting spaces, Fairmont Gold offering and culinary venues.

• Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal is celebrating the 50th anniversary of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s Bed-In for Peace with a special photography exhibition, concert, Peace & Love party, historical tableau and guided tours of the suite in which the legendary couple composed and recorded the famous anthem Give Peace a Chance. Those wishing to have their own Bed-in experience can reserve the 50th Anniversary Bed-in Package that includes accommodation in Suite 1742; breakfast at Rosélys restaurant or in room; two sets of white pajamas; calligraphed lyrics of “Give Peace a Chance”; a booklet of photos; white flowers; a commemorative collector item; a welcome treat and a $100 donation to Amnistie Internationale Canada Francophone.

• Fairmont Chateau Whistler has embarked on another $5-million project which includes significant updates to all suites not part of the hotel’s Fairmont Gold offering. This comes on the heels of a recently completed $30-million renovation over the last five years.

• Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has also undergone extensive multi-year, multiphase renovations, bringing a new level of luxury to almost every area of the resort, from the refreshed Great Hall and newly renovated Signature Cabins to the introduction of the luxurious Estate and Ridgeline Cabins.

• SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado is set to open in the heart of Havana, Cuba later this year. As the first SO/ property in the Americas region, the hotel will showcase the brand’s rebellious, immersive interpretation on the luxury travel experience. The hotel in Havana will unfold as a glamorous yet playful masterpiece featuring the designs of celebrated Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, in everything from the hotel’s emblem to the staff’s stylish uniforms.

• Sofitel will make its official debut in Mexico with the opening of Sofitel Mexico City Reforma in September 2019. Bringing French luxury to one of the world’s most exciting cities, Sofitel Mexico City Reforma will offer 275 rooms, including 56 suites; 40 floors boasting unparalleled city views; and a rooftop lounge and dining featuring local cuisine.

• Accor has officially welcomed 21c Museum Hotels into the MGallery Hotel Collection, marking the brand’s first foray into the North American market. The offerings combine multi-venue contemporary art museums, boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants. 21c Museum Hotels – MGallery Hotel Collection currently includes eight properties in Bentonville, Cincinnati, Durham, Kansas City, Lexington, Louisville, Nashville and Oklahoma City. Additional projects are in development in Chicago (end of 2019), St. Louis (late 2020) and Des Moines, Iowa (2021.)

• The signature Vitality Rooms of Swissôtel Hotels & Resorts are now open at more properties around the world. At Swissôtel Chicago, guests of the hotel’s Vitality Suite need not leave their guestroom to get fit and fired up. The 1,700-square-foot, five-room suite is equipped with high-end gym equipment, a Peloton bike and a rowing machine. The television is loaded with fitness programs or a private trainer can be arranged to join the guest in the suite for a one-on-one workout.


New and noteworthy renovations and restorations include:

• Raffles Singapore is slated to re-open in August 2019. The hotel is currently closed for the final phase of a thoughtful restoration, while retaining everything that has made Raffles Singapore so special to travelers from around the globe – the striking architecture, heritage and legendary service of the hotel. Raffles will continue to offer luxurious all-suite accommodations with an expanded suite count of 115 and exquisite new suite categories.

• Situated in the heart of Rome, Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese will reopen on July 1st, unveiling extensive renovations by contemporary architect and interior designer, Jean-Philippe Nuel. Modern luxury voyageurs are invited to eat, sleep, enjoy, travel, stay, celebrate and live the French way, at Sofitel Rome Villa Borghese.

• Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is ready to unveil a sophisticated yet understated makeover. The six-month revitalization process is now complete, with all 436 guestrooms and glamorous suites refreshed. The hotel’s new technology advancements are ready to rival any of Sydney’s newest hotels, while the lobby and adjoining library are freshly designed for a classic and inviting experience.

• Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena has completed its yearlong restoration project. The hotel offers the perfect combination of colonial tradition, local hospitality and French luxury, with 103 expansive rooms and an exclusive collection of 20 suites, including four Iconic Suites that pay tribute to some of the most prominent Colombian leaders of art and culture, including Fernando Botero, Amaral, Ana Mercedes Hoyos and Enrique Grau.

• Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa is currently in the process of a major, multi-million-dollar refurbishment project throughout 2019. The rejuvenation project covers most areas of the resort and will include the expansion of the property’s exclusive adults only Waitui Beach Club. Set to feature 24 new beach cabanas, a welcoming arrivals area, a new beach side cocktail bar to capture Fiji’s sunsets and an undercover dining space for up to 40 guests, the Club’s guestrooms and suites will also undergo an entire refresh. In addition, the resort will upgrade its Luxury, Superior and Family guestrooms, the resort’s five restaurants and bars, entrance, lobby, gym, and the addition of a new yoga deck.

• As the brand rolls out its new lobby concept “The Junction at Pullman”, world-renowned designer Tom Dixon, known for his love for all artistic styles, recently transformed Pullman Paris Centre-Bercy into a multifaceted and stylish space that works as well by day as it does by night. The hotel features immersive spaces such as the 19-seat Private Cinema inspiring guests through a premium movie experience while The Pamper Bar offers a blend of relaxation and disconnection, linking to the hotel’s wellness facilities.