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We're 'So' Excited for The New Sofitel So Hotel in Auckland

Where: 67 Customs Street, Auckland, New Zealand
July 31, 2013 at 9:53 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Gooooooal! Accor Upgrades Their WiFi in Latin America

July 25, 2013 at 9:32 AM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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A Peek Inside The Pullman Brisbane

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Corner of Ann & Roma Streets, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 4000
June 20, 2013 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (3)

Last week, we gave you a peek inside the newest Pullman in London and today, we'll show you what's happening down under in Brisbane.

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!)

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Pullman Opens London Hotel, Gears Up To Double In Size

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 100-110 Euston Road, London, United Kingdom, NW1 2AJ
June 10, 2013 at 9:34 AM | by | Comments (0)

With the ink barely dry on our list of new London hotels, did an invite drop in our inbox from Accor Hotels for the opening of yet another new property: the Pullman London St. Pancras. You know Accor most likely for its Sofitel luxury brand (including collaborations with Kaiser Karl), or its single state-side Novotel in New York, but the French group has nearly half a million hotel rooms across the globe, making it the number 1 hotel group on all continents except North America. Take that, Marriott.

And by no means is Accor done yet. Having been introduced in 2007, the opening of the first UK Pullman hotel coincided with a refresh of the upscale brand, set to double in size to 150 hotels by 2020, with a long-term view of 500 hotels worldwide. We had a chance to listen to Accor’s CEO explain the direction, browse mood boards, and of course, see a real-life example in the rooms and public spaces of the hotel. Read on to find out what we learned.

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Bangkok's Hotel Muse Might Be Our Guiding Spirit For Retro Travel

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  Site Where: 55/555 Langsuan Road, Ploenchit Road, Lumpini, Bangkok, Thailand, 10330
May 2, 2013 at 9:59 AM | by | Comment (1)

With all of the sleek and modern design we've seen in hotels lately, there are few places that have us longing for the romance of vintage travel from the days of Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. Luckily, M Gallery's Hotel Muse hits the spot.

The memorable hotel brings back the mystery of retro travel and plops it right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, where it's not uncommon to see buildings from yesteryear neighboring towers from tommorow-land. The hotel is a little different in that it's housed in a new building made to look vintage, with a whole lot of turn-of-the-century flair.

Walking into the lobby were were greeted by dark wood panels, sexy lighting and iron work that would make a Paris Metro stop blush. The theme doesn't stop in the elevator. It extends onto the floor and into the room, where we felt like we stepped back to a time when alcohol was illegal and people dressed up to fly the friendly skies.

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Staff Uniforms Are Lacroix Couture at Sofitel's So Bangkok

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2 North Sathorn Road, Bangrak, Bangkok, Thailand, 10500
April 25, 2013 at 9:36 AM | by | Comments (2)

It makes sense for a French hotel portfolio, such as Accor to recruit a French fashion designer such aslike Christian Lacroix to design not only the rooms, but the uniforms for their ultra hip Sofitel So Bangkok. As expected, these digs and outfits are So over the top while managing to maintain traditional Thai themes.

Lacroix married East and West elements into his unique designs that make each staff member a walking fashion plate. Using traditional Thai silk and silhouette the designer brings a little Paris runway show to the streets of Bangkok with his brightly colored uniforms for both men and women. Each piece is different from the next by using the basic elements and mixing and matching tops, bottoms, and sashes so everyone looks like a top model.

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Sofitel Sydney Suite Is Addams Family Kooky

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  Site Where: 1-101 Phillip Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2000
April 8, 2013 at 2:08 PM | by | Comments (0)

Designing a suite that's fit for Gomez and Morticia Addams is no easy task, but Sofitel Wentworth Sydney has the made the glamorous into the mysterious and spooky to welcome the namesake Broadway musical hitting the city's theater district.

From the morbid lobby decorations, elevators that delight you with the retro sitcom's theme song to when you step foot into the suite, you might think you have checked-in to a graveyard instead of a luxury hotel in the middle of the city. The themed room features a mock electric chair, creepy crimson walls and curtains, cobwebs, spiders, a haunted mirror, black towels and bed linen and the obligatory Addams Family portrait on the nightstand to remember your favorite relatives - Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, Uncle Fester and Grandmama.

If you want to escape all of the drama from your room, you can even partake in a Addams Family high tea service that's all together ooky. Continuing on the after-life theme, you can feast on a confectionery Cousin Itt from fruit paste and Persian cotton candy or a gloriously gruesome edible chopping block out of sweet apple pie.

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Our Exclusive Peek Inside The New Rooms at Sofitel Brisbane

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 249 Turbot Street, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, 4000
March 14, 2013 at 9:49 AM | by | Comment (1)

We had the opportunity to have a first-hand look at the fresh new rooms that Sofitel Brisbane offers guests starting this week. The sexy spaces have just been completed and we were the first to have a glimpse of the new fabrics, unique details and comfy living areas each room sports.

Working heavily on the theme of a Parisian apartment, these rooms mimic a pied-à-terre that would suit any jetsetter on their routine visit to Europe, except all in the perfect weather of Australia. A wanderlust play on location with images of both Paris and Brisbane showcase Sofitel roots and local flair; use of luxurious velvets and woven Damasks, we could spend an extended stay here and feel right at home.

Color is the name of the game here with a subdued, yet eye-catching use of accent pops that are used throughout the room and even into the hallways. A rich peacock blue for the Superior rooms, plum for the Club level rooms and robin's egg blue accents for the Junior suites (at around $548 a night) all create a chic European feel.

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Slip Into a Hidden Haven at M Gallery's Reef House

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 99 Williams Esplanade, Palm Cove, QLD, Australia, 4879
February 28, 2013 at 11:44 AM | by | Comments (0)

After Accor Hotels acquired quite a large portfolio in Australia, we began to see the brand domination in the country. Since then, they've become the largest international hotel chain in Oz and now they're adding M Gallery's Reef House Palm Cove to their list of hotel havens.

Originally built as a family residence in 1958, the 69-room beach resort overlooks the Coral Sea. It will be brands sixth Australian property located in the tranquil, yet glamorous town of Palm Cove, about 30 minutes north of Cairns. A palm lined esplanade not only gives the town its namesake, but denotes your arrival to, what many consider, Eden.

Settle in and get ready to be pampered. The beach over the road provides a good view and the tropical setting is completed while sipping the complimentary, house-made 'Brigadier's Punch' under candlelight on the Plantation-style front porch. Along with the happy hour, guest rooms include a tropical breakfast to start your day right.

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From Colombia To Dubai: More Sofitels Are On The Way

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Various Locations
February 20, 2013 at 10:49 AM | by | Comments (0)

Kaiser Karl might be busy doing his thing over at Sofitel So Singapore, but the French Accor group's luxury brand has much more planned over the next year or so, from Colombia and Dubai to Uruguay and New Zealand.

Still this month, the former convent that is Sofitel Santa Clara Cartagena will add “Legend” to its name – the moniker reserved for top historic properties (others include the classic "The Grand" in Amsterdam and "Old Cataract" in Egypt ). Imagine yourself transported centuries back in time when wandering through the courtyards dating back to 1621, and for literature buffs, read Gabriel Garcia Marquez's “Of Love and Other Demons” in the book’s original setting. There are 122 rooms and suites, with a Superior King starting at a very 21st century $600 on a March weekend.

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Karl Lagerfeld Will Design The New So Singapore

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 35 Robinson Road, Singapore, Singapore, 068876
February 4, 2013 at 1:01 PM | by | Comments (0)

We've seen rooms designed by Bottega Veneta and DVF, even namesake hotels from Ferragamo and Versace, but now Karl Lagerfeld has once again been asked to transform a hotel, this time it'll be the new So Singapore.

The artist, designer, photographer, director and illustrator has turned his creative sights on the 19th century building that Sofitel plans to transform into their boutique brand, and apparently a fashion plate. The theme that the hotel is, rightfully bragging about encompasses native Singaporean flora and fauna while mixing the historical Napoleonic-era design with contemporary style. If all goes well, guests will be able to stay in the fruits of fashion by the middle of the year.

But what's Karl got to do with it? Read on to find out!

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UK Novotels Ready For Rainy Season With Toy Chests

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: Various Hotels , United Kingdom
January 14, 2013 at 11:57 AM | by | Comments (0)

If you have ever stayed in a hotel with children, you can only pray that the weather is nice enough to ensure the kids are not cooped up inside and, ultimately, annoying any and all adults in the hotel. Novotel UK comes to the rescue with special Rainy Day Toy Chests overflowing with toys to keep everyone from going stir-crazy.

All 30 Novotel properties across the UK, understand the weather can sometimes be grey and rainy ruining excursion plans. That's why they partnered with Hasbroto supply the toy chest in their family rooms with My Little Ponies and Transformers to keep the kiddies entertained during inclement weather. And just to ease the entire family's frustration, the chests also have family boardgames and active games to tire the little ones out.

Along with the toys, children stay free (breakfast included!) when accompanying parents or grandparents. If a shared room is too close for comfort, the hotels will offer a 50% discount on adjacent rooms for those under 16. This along with in-room Cartoon Network and video games and it sounds like Novotel has a winning combo for families.

[Photo: Novotel]