Sofitel Hotels & Resorts are a French hotel chain of luxury hotels based in Paris, France, and owned by Accor since 1980.

Sofitel Hotels & Resorts
Company typeSubsidiary
Founded26 June 1964; 59 years ago (1964-06-26)
Number of locations
130 (2023)[1]
Area served

Founded in 1964 in France, Sofitel quickly developed worldwide to reach more than 200 properties. In 2008, Sofitel became a brand of luxury hotels only, downsized its property count to 89, and created new brands. Sofitel had 130 properties by January 2023.

History edit

The first Sofitel, Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile

Banque Paribas opened the first Sofitel in Strasbourg (France) on 26 June 1964, the Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Île, which was the first 5-star hotel in the city.[2]

International development edit

In the 1970s, Sofitel became an international chain of hotels. The first Sofitel in the United States opened in 1975 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Sofitel entered the US market with a French approach to hospitality, making French baguettes on site, offering a wide selection of wines, providing bidets in 1/3 of the rooms, and hiring French chefs to manage the kitchens. The hotel turned a profit within 18 months of operations.[3] In 1976, Sofitel opened the Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila, the first 5-star hotel in Manila, a building designed by Filipino architect Leandro Locsin.[4]

In 1980, Sofitel was purchased by Accor and joined the group's hotel brands: Novotel, Mercure, Ibis.[5]

The first Sofitel in Colombia opened in 1995,[6] and the first Sofitel in Japan opened in 1996.[7] In 1997, the group announced the opening of the Sofitel New York Hotel, a $90 million investment on West 44th Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas (next to the New York Yacht Club).[8][9]

In the early 2000s, Sofitel went through a major expansion plan in Asia, targeting beach resorts in Thailand, China and Indonesia. Sofitel also opened the Sofitel Tokyo, the Sofitel St James London, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Sofitel Lafayette Square Washington D.C., Sofitel Marrakech, Sofitel Silom Bangkok, Sofitel Montréal and Sofitel Buenos Aires.[10] Between 2003 and 2004, Sofitel opened 14 locations, including the Sofitel Mexico City, its first hotel in Mexico, and 7 new locations in Asia.[11] By 2010, Sofitel had more than 20 properties in China.[12]

Luxury and asset-light strategy edit

In 2005, Accor North America decided to apply a joint-venture model on the ownership of 6 of its 11 North-American Sofitel properties to develop new growth opportunities.[13] Then in 2007, the brand underwent a global overhaul. The number of hotels was reduced by 50% and a high-end offer around the Sofitel brand inspired by the French Art de vivre was developed.[clarification needed] Sofitel adopted an asset-light strategy (less ownership in properties) to bring more focus on hotel management and related services.[12]

Between 2009 and 2012, 30 new properties were added to Sofitel's portfolio, reaching 120 properties in 2012:[1] The Hotel Carrasco in Montevideo, its first hotel in Uruguay,[14] and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi in Vietnam. The 182-room Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom designed by French architect Jean Nouvel (2010);[15] The Grand Amsterdam (2011). By 2013, Sofitel managed 8 properties in the Middle East with plans for further expansion.[16] The Dubai Downtown opened in 2014,[17] and Sofitel Jeddah in 2015.[18] The Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa and the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua Beach Resort both opened in 2013 with plans to further develop Sofitel's network of resorts in the Middle East and Africa.[19] In June 2017, Sofitel announced the construction of its highest property so far in the Middle East, the Sofitel Dubai Wafi.[20]

Sofitel worked with fashion designers to create the So Sofitel artsy hotels : Kenzo Takada for the Sofitel So Mauritius, Christian Lacroix for the Sofitel So Bangkok, Karl Lagerfeld for the Sofitel So Singapore,[21][22] and Polpat Asavaprapha for the Sofitel So Hua Hin.[23]

Other Sofitel products edit

In July 2009, Sofitel launched the “So SPA by Sofitel” concept[clarification needed] at the Saint James Hotel in London and at the Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port location.[24] So SPA's development in Asia started in 2013.[25]

In December 2014, during the Marrakech International Film Festival, Sofitel launched the first edition of La Nuit by Sofitel, recurring parties organized by Sofitel and happening around noteworthy fashionable events worldwide.[26][27]

Properties edit

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

This is a non-exhaustive list of notable Sofitel Hotels & Resorts properties worldwide:

Sustainable development edit

As a member of the AccorHotels group, Sofitel Hotels & Resorts applies the sustainable development policies set by the group. In April 2016, AccorHotels announced that a 1,000 of its hotels, including Sofitel properties, now needed to weigh and record all thrown away foods to reduce food waste. The number of items on menus shrank to 10-20 and those courses must use seasonal local products as much as possible. The group also planned the opening of 1,000 vegetable gardens within its properties, including Sofitel properties, by 2020.[28] In Etterbeek, the honey served by Sofitel is produced on the building's roof by a professional beekeeper.[29]

References edit

  1. ^ a b Jeff Higley (13 June 2012). "Revamped Sofitel gains ground in luxury market". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile: Sofitel's first hotel turns 50 (France)". 4 August 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  3. ^ Susan B. Tribich (10 April 1977). "A Touch of Paris in the Land of the Vikings". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  4. ^ "Sofitel Philippine Plaza Manila Unveils New and Improved Official Website!". 29 March 2012. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  5. ^ "AccorHotels Overview". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  6. ^ "Más Hoteles Sofitel". (in Spanish). 14 July 1997. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Accor ouvre son premier hôtel Sofitel au Japon". (in French). 12 September 1996. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  8. ^ "POSTINGS: $90 Million New York Sofitel Hotel to Open in 2000; On W. 44th St., a Touch of France". The New York Times. 25 January 1998. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  9. ^ Charles V. Bagli (28 February 1997). "French Luxury Hotel Planned for West Side of Manhattan". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  10. ^ "Owners of The Royal Seminyak Bali Rebranding the Resort to Sofitel Seminyak Bali". 15 July 2003. Retrieved 12 September 2017.
  11. ^ "Sofitel Continues Worldwide Expansion With New Properties in 2003 and 2004". 6 October 2003. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  12. ^ a b Robb Young (17 August 2011). "Robert Gaymer-Jones, CEO, Sofitel". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Accor U.S Announces Growth Strategy". 9 September 2005. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  14. ^ Emma Lundin (14 December 2009). "Sofitel to open its first hotel in Uruguay". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  15. ^ Sarah Wildman (17 February 2012). "Hotel Review: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom, in Vienna". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  16. ^ Shane McGinley (26 September 2013). "France's Sofitel in talks for Doha, Saudi hotels - CEO". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  17. ^ Parinaaz Navdar (5 March 2014). "Sofitel Dubai Downtown to open on May 1". Retrieved 1 September 2017.
  18. ^ "Sofitel announces a new 5-star property in a prime location of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia" (PDF). 5 September 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  19. ^ "Sofitel develops its resort offer". 13 December 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  20. ^ Florian Guillemin (7 June 2017). "Sofitel voit grand à Dubai". (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  21. ^ "After collaborations with Kenzo, Lacroix, SOFITEL commissions Lagerfeld for Sofitel So Singapore". 29 January 2013. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  22. ^ Ceil Miller-Bouchet (11 September 2014). "Boutique Hotels Get a French Design Touch". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  23. ^ "Introducing So Sofitel Hua Hin: An Imaginative Escape In An Iconic Thai Destination". 27 May 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  24. ^ "Sofitel lance son nouveau concept "So Spa by Sofitel"" (PDF). (in French). Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  25. ^ Theodore Koumelis (24 May 2013). "Sofitel Luxury Hotels expands So Spa concept in Asia Pasific". Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  26. ^ ""La Nuit by Sofitel" : Un concept sur le thème de la culture". (in French). December 2014. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  27. ^ "La Nuit by Sofitel brings the next party estination to BKC". 24 March 2017. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  28. ^ "Major hotel chain to grow vegetables at 1000 properties to cut food waste". 13 April 2016. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
  29. ^ Arnaud Farr (5 January 2017). "Le Sofitel produit son propre miel à Etterbeek". (in French). Retrieved 12 September 2017.

External links edit