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Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Sofitel So Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Accor Hotels / Singapore Hotels / → All Tags
Just over a year after we first looked at the classic 1927 building on Robinson Road, Sofitel So Singapore has finally opened its doors this past weekend. We don’t think Choupette will be there to greet you in the lobby in the end, but the Lion’s Seal Karl Lagerfeld designed is around, down to an appearance on the hotel's bathrobes.
Those bathrobes are inside the 118 rooms and 6 suites, ranging from entry-level So Cosy Rooms (in the new So Hip Wing behind the original structure) to larger So Lofty Suites (above, with step-out balconies) and So VIP Suites. All are tricked out with Apple in-room technology, including iPad minis and iPhones.
Accor Hotels are getting all digi with it, rolling out a new check-in process that allows guest to check-in online before they arrive. Here's how the high-tech Welcome Experience will work (you can also watch the video below)
1. Two days before their hotel stay, guests are invited to complete their check-in online. Guests must have made the reservation directly through Accor or must be a loyalty card holder.
2. On the day of arrival, guests will receive a welcome message SMS, letting them know that their room and key are ready along with some practical information for their trip (options for getting to the hotel, car park access codes, etc.)
3. When guests arrive at the note, their key is ready to hand over without the "usual administrative formalities" i.e. paperwork.
4. On the day of check-out, guests simply turn in their hotel key to the front desk and then a hotel folio is sent to them by email.
Australia Hotels / Accor Hotels / Mercure Hotels / Nature Hotes / Northenr Territory Hotels / → All Tags
When thinking about a trip to Australia, visions of Sydney's Harbour Bridge, the laneways of Melbourne or swimming the iconic Great Barrier Reef come to mind. Well, now let us draw your attention to a hotel that's not only in the middle of "Crocodile Country" but is also shaped like a giant man-eating reptile.
Far away from all of the typical Aussie tourist spots, is the Northern Territory which is locally known as the "top end" since its, well, on the top of the country. It's home to not-so-little rock called Ayers Rock, but even further north is the Kakadu National Park, the largest national park in Australia and a great place to see real Aussie crocs.
Hotel Renovations / Pullman Hotels / Paris Hotels / Business Traveler Hotels / Accor Hotels / Hotels Near The Eiffel Tower / → All Tags
We've been following the extensive rebranding of Accor Hotels' Pullman Hotels over the past year as they re-launched hotels in London and Brisbane to appeal to an upscale business traveler crowd. Now we're looking at the rejuvenation of their hotels in Paris, starting with the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower which is in the midst of completing head-to-toe renovations.
We were able to peek into two room types--a Superior room and a Deluxe room--as well as take in two different views, a garden view and a view of the Eiffel Tower, from the rooms' respective terraces. (The garden view is actually a rooftop below that will be landscaped with a garden. It was still under construction so no pictures.)
Given that this Pullman is the closest hotel to the Eiffel Tower (like three blocks), the views are of course, spectacular. The hotel also boasts a 10th floor private event space which has also been renovated with a new glass roof, enabling visitors to see the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Take a look at the new rooms in the photo galleries below!
Speaking of hotel smartphone apps today, Sofitel Hotels' new app is giving its guests an easier way to reserve rooms, check loyalty programs balances and even get some inspiration for their next vacation.
Not to be mistaken for the Accor Hotels app, this one is strictly for those travelers that enjoy the lap of French luxury at Sofitels and want to top-up their Le Club account with stays at the prestigious properties.
After playing with the app for a little bit, we were blown away by the plethora of great photos each address offers up. Besides great snaps, the navigation is easy and simple to not only book a room, but check the destination's weather for the next week and even call or email the hotel with one touch of the screen.
HotelChatter Reviews / Sofitel Hotels / Accor Hotels / Los Angeles Hotels / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Bars / → All Tags
Does The Sofitel LA still have that certain je ne sais quoi we've come to love about Sofitels? A HotelChatter Review
We noticed earlier this year that some changes were afoot at Sofitel Los Angeles, with both a new restaurant and bar coming to the Beverly Hills outpost of the French brand, replacing SimonLA and Rande Gerber’s Stone Rose. Just this past weekend, we had a chance to check it out in more detail, spending the night here while in town.
Check-In: We drove to the Sofitel from LAX, which takes about 45 minutes if traffic isn’t too bad. Valet parking is $34 a day (with in and out privileges), which adds up quickly. Reception is to your left as you enter the black marble lobby, with a beautiful black and white drawing of Los Angeles behind the desk, contrasting with deep purple flower arrangements. After the typical bonjour-greeting, we were on our way to our third-floor room in minutes.
Hotel News / Hotel Booking Engines / Expedia / Expedia Traveler Preference Program / Hilton Hotels / Marriott Hotels / Accor Hotels / → All Tags
Expedia announced last week that Hilton Hotels has officially enrolled about 4,000 of its properties in the Expedia Traveler Preference (ETP) program, bringing the total number of participating hotels across all brands to around 25,000.
Never heard of the ETP program? Essentially, it offers consumers flexibility in that they can either pay at the time of booking on Expedia, or they can pay upon checkout at the conclusion of the hotel stay. Although concerns were raised when it was introduced in July 2012, more and more hotels, including some Marriott and Accor properties, are now happy a year later. (It was originally reported that Hilton would be involved right off the bat, but it looks like it took a year to iron out the details.)
For the consumer, the option of when to pay is really nice, and the only real drawback we find at the moment is that you have to hunt for the hotels. As you see in the photo above, the ETP option presents itself only after you click on the individual hotel, and the initial search results unfortunately do not indicate which hotels carry this option. Once you click the book button, a window pops up that asks you to decide how you want to pay -- now or later.
Hotel WiFi / Free WiFi / Accor Hotels / United Kingdom Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Pullman Hotels / Mercure Hotels / Novotel Hotels / Hotel News / → All Tags
After a batch of 500 hotels last year, and upgrades in Latin America, Accor Hotels is taking another step towards its hinted-at group-wide free WiFi with the news that all properties in the United Kingdom will offer this gratis going forward.
That’s 194 hotels in one fell swoop, across ibis budget, ibis, ibis Styles, Novotel, Mercure, Pullman and MGallery brands. Pullman only recently entered the UK market amidst plans to double the number of upscale hotels carrying the name to 150 by the end of this decade. The three Sofitel hotels (London St. James, Heathrow and Gatwick Airport) already offer free WiFi today.
Hotel News / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Openings / Hotel Design / Novotel Hotels / Accor Hotels / Manhattan Hotels / → All Tags
Chances are if you've been in NYC lately, you may have walked by the newly redesigned Novotel New York Times Square and not known it. That's how hidden this hotel is from the exterior--even with the remaining bits of the $85 million construction debris as a giveaway.
Heck even HC wasn't sure the European-brand hotel was open yet. We thought it was scheduled for September 19. But no, as we were led through the property, we were informed that it had quietly been in soft-opening since the end of July!
Walking around, it was surprising how many guests had already made the hotel home. The makeshift lobby was filled with people of all ages, cashing in on staying at Novotel's only U.S. property right in Times Square.
Let's take a look inside, shall we?
New Hotels / Hotel News / Design Hotels / Sofitel So Hotels / Auckland Hotels / New Zealand Hotels / Accor Hotels / → All Tags
Fans of design hotels will rejoice with the latest news of an ultra-hip, uber-trendy Sofitel So Hotel set to open in Auckland. The Pacific's first hotel of the brand will have all of the "So" details and elements for which we've been know to go a little gaga.
The Sofitel So Auckland, the fourth of the So brand, will be smack in the middle of the central business district, putting visitors within close proximity to everything the Kiwi metropolis has to offer. Setting up shop in the former New Zealand Reserve Bank, design junkies will be able to walk one block to the city's harbor and still be just five minutes away from the Auckland Viaduct, the hot entertainment district.
Accor Hotels is making good on their promises to deliver free WiFi to all their hotels around the world, by partnering up with Ruckus Wireless to standardize the free WiFi offerings at more than 100 Accor hotels in Latin America. Which is a smart move in anticipation of the crowds from the upcoming World Cup and Summer Olympics.
The Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi infrastructure will support Accor's free Wi-Fi available in leading brands such as ibis, ibis budget, Mercure, Novotel, Pullman, and Sofitel. Accor initiated deployment of its Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi networks last year, and has since completed installation of thousands of Ruckus ZoneFlex™ access points (APs) within these hotels.
And if you really want to get nerdy, here's exactly what Accor is deploying in their hotel WiFi networks: Ruckus ZoneFlex 7341 high performance, 802.11n mid-range indoor access points featuring Ruckus-patented BeamFlex™ adaptive antenna technology. Ruckus Wireless recently worked to upgrade the WiFi system for Sandals Resorts in the Caribbean.
Apparently, the new system is working well, really well. According to Accor, the new quality of WiFi service rankings with the new network have increased up to 65 percent. Which is kind of a no-brainer to us. If you can make WiFi free and fast, then you're gonna have happy hotel guests. We've only been saying this since like, 2004.
Pullman Hotels / Brisbane Hotels / Accor Hotels / Australia Hotels / Hotel Rebrandings / Celebrity Hotels / → All Tags
The Brisbane Pullman has completed a full renovation and re-branding from the city's former Sebel hotel. Sporting 2 different towers, Accor has split up the hotel making one side a Mercure and the other, a Pullman. While both towers share a lobby, guests of each brand can get comfy with the typical Pullman design using rich aquas and cerulean furniture and rugs at first impression.
As expected, the rooms on the Pullman side have that sleek touch that is both warm and modern. Textured walls and over-sized headboards are married with geometrics in charcoal, black and pearl. Each of the rooms feature cream colored leather chairs and glass desks to appeal to their latest market, the bliesure traveler (just like in London!)