Sofitel, which serves the upper end of the upscale market, has introduced two hotel brands for niche luxury segments, part of an ambitious plan to elevate the company's presence in the hospitality field. The new lines are Sofitel Legend, described as a collection of legendary luxury properties, and So by Sofitel, which consists of boutique hotels. Sofitel will become a separate business within parent Accor Group, "to create a true luxury culture," according to Gilles Pelisson, CEO of Accor.
So by Sofitel will open its first hotel in 2009 in Paris, followed by a Berlin property. Each hotel in this group will have under 200 rooms. Existing hotels pegged for the Sofitel Legend brand will be renovated to fit the new brand's standards. They include the Grand in Amsterdam; the Palais Jamai in Fez, Morocco; the Winter Palace in Luxor, Egypt; the Old Cataract in Aswan, Egypt; the Santa Clara in Cartagena, Colombia; the Hua Hin resort in Thailand; and the Metropole in Hanoi, Vietnam.
"The Sofitel network is being completely reviewed through a robust program to reshape our current network and to upgrade each of our hotels through extensive renovation and refurbishment," said Yann Caillere, CEO of Sofitel. "By 2010, we will have a very consistent network of 139 business and resort hotels in prime locations around three distinctive and clear offers to address the specific needs and expectations of luxury guests." The hotel company also announced the appointment of Robert Gaymer-Jones as COO. Visit www.sofitel.com. (DE)