China's New Hotels

Accor plans two new Sofitels and more

By: J.L. Erickson

Continuing its rapid expansion in Asia, Accor has signed management agreements for three hotels, including two new Sofitels in China and plans to launch its four-star Novotel brand in Kuala Lumpur next year.

Sofitel Guangzhou will be Accor’s first Sofitel in one of southern China’s main commercial hubs. Located in the city’s central business district, the 470-room, 28-story hotel will be part of a one-block development that will include an adjacent 60-story office building.

The hotel is scheduled to open in late 2007 with three restaurants, two bars, a business center, an indoor swimming pool, rooftop tennis court, Sofitel Club Floors and Executive Lounge, library, Cafe Lenotre and patisserie, Le Spa wellness complex and ballroom plus pre-function area.

Sofitel Sheshan Resort Shanghai will be in Songjiang District, 20 minutes from Hongqiao Airport, and is also scheduled to open in late 2007. The 318-room hotel will feature Tuscan-influenced design and decor, indoor and outdoor swimming pools featuring lagoons and waterfalls, a fitness center, spa complex, four tennis courts, two squash courts and indoor golf driving range.

Accor also signed a management contract for the 52-room Pudi Boutique Hotel Fuxing Parc Shanghai, close to the Yandang Pedestrian Street, set to open in January. The area is near the former French Concession and is also within walking distance of Xintiandi, one of Shanghai’s trendiest dining and entertainment areas.

“These hotels will significantly expand our network and product range in China,” said Brian Deeson, Accor senior vice president, Asia Pacific, and chief executive, Greater China.

The expansion of Accor’s five-star Sofitel hotel brand is part of broad development that will see Accor’s hotel network double from 24 hotels to 50 by the end of 2007, including more than 20 Sofitel hotels and resorts. This year, Accor opened Sofitel hotels in Xian and Xiamen, with the Sofitel Zhongshan Golf Resort Nanjing scheduled to open in December.

Accor also plans to launch its Novotel brand in Kuala Lumpur next June in the middle of the city center and main commercial and entertainment hub. The 286-room Novotel Hydro Majestic Kuala Lumpur, across from the recently opened Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, is expected to appeal to both business and leisure travelers.

The 26-story hotel is near Kuala Lumpur’s famed Golden Triangle, the capital’s main tourist and shopping district and the Bintang Walk, Malaysia’s version of Japan’s Ginza with outdoor cafes and trendy shops.

The hotel will offer Biz Floors, including personalized check in/out in the Biz Lounge that overlooks the city center and Twin Towers. Dining and bar options include a lower-lobby food court, Chinese restaurant, lobby lounge and The Square, Novotel’s signature restaurant known for its interactive cooking experience. Leisure facilities include a swimming pool, fitness center and a spa wellness center.

“We believe the hotel will be among Malaysia’s finest four-star hotels in one of the city’s most prestigious locations,” said Michael Issenberg, Accor managing director, Asia Pacific. “The Malaysia economy is booming and tourist arrivals are at a high, so Accor believes the timing couldn’t be better to enter the market.”