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That goal is another step closer with the addition of The Park Lane Hong Kong, the first hotel that isn’t called just “Pullman” (officially, it’s The Park Lane Hong Kong, a Pullman hotel). The 826-room hotel is number 91 for the brand, with a full renovation being completed to bring the hotel up to date. A few more interesting stats? It’s the 600th hotel in Asia Pacific for Accor, with an average of one Accor hotel opening per week in the region at the moment. Holy cow, that’s a lot of hotels.
While the announcement talks about this “full renovation program”, it mentions specifically the Park Lane and Premier Suites, executive floors, dining outlets, lobby, and executive lounge. Images on the current website vary between and within room types, with above a Deluxe Room with that looks slightly more modern (hardwood floors, light wood) than some others. We'll wait until it's joined Pullman officially (that happens on January 1) to form an opinion on them.
A new bed at the Pullman Paris Eiffel Tower
A hotel bed has to be many things--clean, comfortable, plush, spacious and clean. Yes, we purposely mentioned "clean" twice.
However, so often the bed that fulfills every hotel guests' fantasy (satin sheets not included) is a huge pain for housekeepers to make, over and over, several times a day.
But the pillow top Pullman Bed found at Pullman Hotels does its best to keep both the guest and the housekeeper happy. We learned there's a secret lever under the bed which housekeepers can pump up and down so that they can make the bed without having to bend too far over and without straining their back. Then they can send the bed back down to its regular height once they've finished.
Imagine that? Two backs saved with just one lever. Now, if only the lever could guarantee us a good night's sleep.
The Pullman Montparnasse, formerly a Le Meridien, is in an interesting little neighborhood in Paris' 14th arrondissement. Anchored by the Tour Montparnasse (essentially, a sky scraper) and the Gare Montparnasse (train station), the area lacks some of the gorgeous architecture of central Paris but the hotel's location on Rue de Commandant René Mouchotte puts it near the shops and boutiques of Saint-Germain-des-Prés with a Metro stop closeby and a taxi stop out front.
We liked the neighborhood for its non-touristy feel, even though the hotel itself caters to business travelers, thanks to the Pullman conference center next door and the SNCF headquarters across the street. Still we felt more like we were just amongst local Parisians doing their everyday thing.
But the area is not entirely devoid of history or landmarks. Tucked behind the 25-story hotel is the Montparnasse Cemetery, where many intellectuals and artists are buried such as Claude Baudelaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, Susan Sontag and even Kiki, the Queen of Montparnasse. And several of the cafes and restaurants in Montparnasse which were patronized by American expats/writers/artists in the 1920s are still operating today.
While it's not across from the Jardin des Tuileries or the Eiffel Tower, it's a different side of Paris to see, especially if you've been to Paris a few times before. So, if you do decide to stay here, what's the best room to book?
When in Paris, it's hard to say no to champagne and Chablis at every meal but while dining at the Cafe Atlantic restaurant at Pullman Hotel Montparnasse we had to resist the bubbly and fine wine to try the hotel brand's signature drink instead. As if we're going to pass up a cocktail named after and inspired by a hotel brand! (Unless it has gin. This editor doesn't do gin.)
The Pullman Cocktail is made with vodka, Midori, lychee liqueur, pineapple juice and sweet and sour. As you can tell, it's a fruity drink that probably would taste better on a hot day, perhaps in one of Pullman's more tropical locales but nevertheless, it's tasty. Whether it's worth 18 Euros is another matter. (Parisian prices!)
If you do want to switch to wine after the Pullman cocktail, the hotel (like all other Pullman Hotels) boasts a specially curated Vinoteca by Pullman wine list created by award-winning sommelier Olivier Poussier with much more reasonable prices. Here's a snapshot of some of the wines listed. And yes, all diners get to peruse an iPad instead of a traditional paper menu before ordering. Just another way Pullman is integrating technology into the hotel experience.
Stay tuned for a look at the renovated rooms and public spaces of the Pullman Paris Montparnasse next week!
We've seen phone charging stations pop up in airports but they aren't as common in hotels. While most hotel rooms now offer a USB charging component in their plug panels, if you're not a guest of the hotel, then you're out of luck. So when we saw this charging station just off the lobby at the Pullman Hotel Paris Eiffel Tower, we had to snap a photo.
The machine can refuel several types of phones from iPhones to Blackberrys, HTC, Samsung, Nokia and LG. The machine can even charge your iPod, PSP or Nintendo DS. Pretty cool.
Of course, it's not gratis. The cost is 2 euros for 30 minutes, 3 euros for an hour and 4 euros for 90 minutes. But that does beat the $20 we sprung for on an iPhone 5 cord at the airport.
Read more about what else is inside the Pullman Eiffel Tower, which is currently finishing up some major renovations, here.
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!
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.
Pullman Hotels , fresh off some big new openings in London and Brisbane, has now opened the Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach Hotel on the west coast of Thailand, featuring 277 bedrooms, seven suites, spa, and a tropical location in the hills overlooking the Andaman Sea.
As you can see from the photos, some of the rooms are villa style and overlook cascading pools as well as the ocean. It looks beautiful, and this is definitely the type of resort where you will go to do nothing. Naithon Beach is known for its pretty face, but not for its nightlife, entertainment or shopping. The area has just five independent restaurants (Up Beach Club might be your best bet) and a mini-mart is the only local store (seriously). While most are probably not locally run, you could find other dining options at nearby hotels if you want to eat outside of the Pullman, which houses two restaurants and a deli.
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!)
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.
Late last year, the folks in France at Accor Hotels signed a big check for Australian hotel chain, Mirvac Hotels. In May of this year, the brands were completely integrated and Accor was ready to start slapping their name on a few buildings across Australia.
Their latest re-branding is taking place in Brisbane with their upscale Pullman property. Housed in the former Sebel, the new hotel is centrally located across from city hall and in walking distance to many of the city's attractions and will feature plenty of perks for guests that don't want to leave.
Looking to spend about 7 million AUD on a complete overhaul of the 40 year old building, the property will be transformed into a sophisticated 5-star hotel. Each of the 210 rooms, half of which are already completed, will be renovated with a contemporary and modern, yet comfy decor. Thankfully, the new owners will keep the rooftop pool and recreation deck with panoramic city views since it is one of the only of its kind in the city.
Hotel Reward Programs / Hotel Perks / Hotel Amenities / Starwood Hotels / Stamford Hotels / Pullman Hotels / → All Tags
We know it pays off to stick with one or two hotel chains to accrue points for higher level of perks when checking-in. It doesn't just make us feel appreciated, these little details makes us feel like a baller when we get an upgraded room, free breakfast or even a later check-out.
Hotels know their 'bread and butter' are travelers who don't think twice about staying at different brands or pick their travel destination based on where their favorite hotels have properties. So, cater to them, some hoteliers have come up with unique perks to keep their most loyal customers.
Late arriving flights are no longer an issue for road warriors racking up 75 or more nights per year at Starwood properties. These platinum guests have to option of picking their check-in and check-out times ultimately reserving a hotel room for 24 hours. So, if you arrive at 9pm that means that check-out isn't until 9pm the next day. Sweet!