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Since New Zealand is really, really, really far away, one of the best ways to beat jet-lag is to head to the spa to work out your sore and fatigued muscles. Not surprisingly, this Sofitel's SoSpa has developed a massage specifically for weary travelers.
Before we get into the serenity of the treatment, we should let you know that the Sofitel's spas are re-branding to SoSpa as an extension of the luxurious and trendy brand, Sofitel So. (Coincidentally, Auckland will get its own Sofitel So hotel next year.) But in the meantime, the Sofitel Viaduct Harbour is still Auckland's first SoSpa and better yet, it still has the new-spa smell since it opened its doors just a few months back.
Tucked away in a back corner of the hotel and utilizing two floors, the spa is a the center of all things rejuvenation with cool blue colors, dark woods and Kiwi design elements. Upon check-in guests are greeted and allowed to change in separate change-rooms then treated to some fruit-infused mineral water. After a few sips, we also got to choose the scented essential oil that we would tickle our olfactory glands during the massage.
There are about 120 Sofitel Hotels, in about 40 countries, so that's a lot of Sofitels to get talking about. But with all major hotel brands, not all the individual hotels are created equal. We've had some great experiences at Sofitels in Asia and Europe and then just so-so ones here in America. Meanwhile, Sofitel is also expanding their So brand which is more design-conscious and art-centric while at the same time remaining luxurious. So Sofitel is a mixed bag indeed.
Now in the spirit of Thanksgiving, tell us which Sofitel Hotel you're most thankful for in comments below!
[Photo: JasonD For HotelChatter]
HotelChatter Reviews / Hotel Reviews / Auckland Hotels / New Zealand Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / → All Tags
Harbor-side rooms and plush rooms at Sofitel Viaduct Harbour; a HotelChatter Review
Spending a few days in Auckland sounds like a dream, but once you start to look at hotel options, you might get a little discouraged since the city doesn't have much selection. With limited international hotel brands that we can trust, we settled on Sofitel Viaduct Harbour but didn't expect some harbor living during our visit.
After a winding trip through the sleepy streets of the city's entertainment district, we finally make it to a mid-rise building situated directly on the inner-harbour surrounded by yachts and sailboat masts. With a sleek, tiled lobby that featured a handful of reflection pools, we struggled to be anything but awed by the framed view of the private mooring docks beyond the lobby. Then after a speedy check-in process, we were off to our room.
The hotel in May
We don’t really mean that of course: who are we to suggest the Kaiser would ever be late? But we couldn’t resist the alliteration, and the delay is very real for Sofitel So Singapore, now not opening until March 2014.
When we had a proper look around in May, we tried to give the hotel the benefit of the doubt when it came to a planned November opening (given the breakneck speed of construction in Singapore). Unfortunately, our innate skepticism was justified; now we are looking at another five months before this emblem, by the hand of Lagerfeld, will greet guests upon arrival.
Philadelphia Hotels / Football Hotels / Home2 Suites / Sofitel Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Extended-Stay Hotels / → All Tags
It's no secret the Philadelphia Eagles aren't repping the NFC East to the fullest these days--their offense is so bad Benjamin Franklin has risen from the belly of Lincoln Financial Field to harness some electricity (and bifocals) for the teams key players. We kid! Still, what the city is lacking in football fortune it's making up for it in the hospitality sector.
Not only did they bring the fab Kimpton's Hotel Monaco Philadelphia last year to the historic area of Center City, but they've created what can be described as a seriously grown and sexy rooftop scene with their Stratus bar. It's open year-round, so if you haven't been, they've got heated banquettes and a now working fireplace which will keep you toasty. Plus Kimpton has introduced the "Raid the Bar" amenity for their loyalty program. Now Kimpton InTouch members can use their $10 credit per visit toward a delicious craft cocktail or drink of choice at a Kimpton bar. And remember, there are two Kimptons in Philly. (Rates from $199)
If you're looking for luxury, there's the Sofitel Philadelphia, which seems like the sophisticated European secret near Rittenhouse Square. It's all French, all the time right down to bell staff wishing you a "bonjour". And taking inspiration from Paris, they're bringing the French Art of Living to your home this month with #SoBoutique, their bed and linens line. So that fluffy duvet is yours if you want it, madam. (Rates from $156)
Hotel Amenities / Hotel Perks / Sofitel Hotels / Kimpton Hotels / Morgans Hotel Group / Hyatt Hotels / → All Tags
Forgot something? No worries! These hotels have got you covered with the basics and more.
Not long ago we discussed what would be the ultimate hotel in-room amenities. Some of our desires may have been a bit dramatic, but hey, one can only dream. However, more and more hotels these days go beyond a complimentary dental and razor kit. Most of these items are free, others may have a nominal charge--but we're just excited that if we've left something at home, all is not lost!
Here's what you can ask to be delivered to your room at these hotels:
For a small fee, Kimpton can bring these other amenities:
What else can you get just for the asking? Read on!
Contact the housekeeping department for these items:
*Feminine hygiene products
*Crayons & Coloring books
*One hour of steaming service
The brand's "Forgot It? We've Got It!" program is awesome and has expanded to include these oft-left home products:
*Fashion Tape (no nip-slips happening on their watch)
*Heating Pad (oh, this is a gooood one)
*Collar Stays (hmm..this is a puzzler?!)
Contact Lens Solution
Spray Wrinkle Remover
Nail File (anyone find it odd a nail file isn't free, but a humidifier is?)
For a small fee, Kimpton can bring these other amenities:
What else can you get just for the asking? Read on!
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 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 Design / Hotel News / Karl Lagerfeld / Sofitel Hotels / Sofitel So Hotels / Singapore Hotels / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
We've been wondering what Karl Lagerfeld has up his sleeve over at the Sofitel So in Singapore, which we looked at mid-construction a few months back. Due to open in November as the third So property by the French group (there’s Bangkok – which we loved – and Mauritius so far), details are coming out painfully slow, but one thing we now know is his design for the hotel’s emblem: “The Lion’s Seal”.
Linking back to the origin of the Asian city-state, it references the 14th century folklore of Sumatran Prince Sang Nila Utama spotting what he believed to be a lion on the island, and naming it Singa Pura, or the Lion City, as a result. While it’s most likely the creature was a tiger, as lions never lived in this area, the Lion City name stuck. Singapore’s mascot, the Merlion, a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, can be found about ten minutes’ walk from the hotel.
HotelChatter Reviews / Thailand Hotels / Bangkok Hotels / Sofitel So Hotels / Hotel Bars / Sofitel Hotels / → All Tags
So Worth It? A HotelChatter Review
After giving you a peek at the hotel couture the Sofitel So Bangkok serves up with their uniforms, now we can reveal the full details of the property, and we have to say, this Sofitel is a doozy. Allow us to break it down for you:
Lobby Layout: The main lobby is located on the ninth floor and after being a bit confused how everything worked, we finally walked into a large room with a giant wooden slab reception desk and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Lumphini Park. With plenty of cozy seating, the lobby doubled as the bar featuring bespoke cocktails in a super chic lounge setting.
Check-in: Keeping up with current trend of having a seat while checking-in, we settled into one of the plush sofas and sipped our welcome drink of lemongrass and cucumber while handing over our passport and credit card for incidentals. The process was speedy and efficient and still warm and welcoming.
When we heard Karl Lagerfeld was going to be involved in the design of Sofitel So Singapore, our minds were racing with questions: would there be chocolate versions of muse Baptiste Giabiconi to take a bite out of? Would Choupette be luxuriating around the lobby, recovering from its strenuous private-jet lifestyle (and tweeting about it)? Would the Kaiser himself take centre stage near the entrance, giving side eye to anyone who deigned coming in wearing - dare we say it - crocs? So many possibilities…
Naturally, we had to use the opportunity of being in Singapore to walk by the construction site on Robinson Road, but in order to ensure we got all the scoop for you, we also stopped by its pre-opening office for a chance to sit down with the hotel’s General Manager and Director of Sales. Read on for more on what’s being prepared behind the building’s neo-classical façade, scheduled to come together for a November 1st opening.
Hotel Uniforms / Fashion Hotels / Designer Hotels / Christian Lacroix / Accor Hotels / Sofitel Hotels / Bangkok Hotels / Sofitel So Hotels / Thailand Hotels / → All Tags
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.