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Pop quiz: what does London need more of? Sometimes it seems the only answer is: more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms, more hotel rooms. Today we’re back at Leicester Square, where a new mixed-use complex is likely to go up at its southern end, and Accor Hotels is now throwing another 600+ rooms in the mix by 2017.
Right on the square will be the return of its MGallery brand (gone since the St. Ermin Hotel went Autograph Collection) in Victory House (above). We don’t know much more than that it will have just 80 rooms, that it will open at the end of 2016, and that unless you camp out among the crowds on the square, you couldn’t get any closer to the city’s tourist action.
Much larger will be the Ibis Styles, with 583 rooms in the Trocadero complex, midway between Leicester Square and the famous neon of Piccadilly Circus. Opening in 2017, it will have “a distinctly ‘London’ personality reflecting the colourful, bright and energetic brand persona of the ibis Styles brand, with a hint of humour perfectly matching the electric eccentricity of the Trocadero”.
Snapshot / Brussels Hotels / Novotel Hotels / Hotel Architecture / Accor Hotels / Belgium Hotels / → All Tags
It’s a Novotel, but not as you know it. Because this Novotel is wrapped around the ancient city walls.
It’s the Novotel Brussels Centre Tour Noire, and is built around the Tour Noire – or Black Tower – which was built in the 13th century behind the St Catherine church as part of the original city walls. We’re looking at it here from outside the old walls.
Here's the front entrance:
Hotel Cocktails / Hotel Bars / Bordeaux Hotels / France Hotels / Mama Shelter Hotels / M Gallery Hotels / Accor Hotels / Boutique Hotels / → All Tags
As you know, we like a good cocktail over here at HotelChatter so we’re always on the lookout for the best bevvie to order when we’re hoteling on the road.
Located right in the heart of things, Mama Shelter Bordeaux’s bar is one huge space resembling the basement rec room in your parent’s house when you were growing up but with more technology lying about. Wooden tables and chairs, wooden posts with screens attached to some of them to show off your digital pics, and a long wooden bar the size of Baja California, take up most of the space. The boho crowd is young-ish and, like the bartenders, ready to have fun. There’s a DJ on hand every Friday and Saturday night.
We had the Mama Tai for €14 ($18), which included rum, Cointreau, lime juice, sirop d’orgeat, and had a luscious black cherry garnish. Now, you can sip on that cocktail in the newly-opened rooftop bar/restaurant.
Photo Gallery / Hotel Review / Bordeaux Hotels / France Hotels / MGallery Hotels / Accor Hotels / → All Tags
The 83-room contemporary chic Hotel Burdigala is found in Bordeaux’s Mériadeck district. About a block from the tram and across the street from a well-disguised mall, the hotel is apart from the action but close enough to it.
Part of Accor's MGallery collection, this hotel is billed as a five-star, but we would place it more at a solid four-star rating. This is not meant to deter you, though, as the hotel certainly has style and is at a budget-conscious price point.
Have a look at the pics in the gallery!
Bigger is always better, of course – or mas grande, mas bueno, as
people who don't speak Spanish they say in Madrid. Because not content with the three Novotels Accor already owns in the city; they’re getting another – and this one is going to be the biggest Novotel in the world.
The Hotel Convención – a gargantuan four star hotel a few blocks away from Retiro Park – is going to be completely redesigned, refurbished and will debut as a Novotel in 2016. Plans include a rooftop pool, business floors, and a children’s corner.
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.