Accor to Manage Four New Sofitels in China

Accor is to add four new Sofitels to its fast growing China network, significantly raising the profile of its luxury brand with 16 Sofitels under operation or scheduled to open around China by the end of 2005.Accor will manage the Sofitel Xian (405 rooms), Sofitel Suzhou (350 rooms), Sofitel Plaza Xiamen (395 rooms) and Sofitel Royal Lagoon Dongguan (265 rooms).

Accor Managing Director Asia Pacific, Michael Issenberg, said the group continues to target Sofitel expansion in all major cities around China as the demand from domestic and overseas travel sectors continues to increase rapidly.

“We are delighted to add these four outstanding hotels, as the expansion of our Sofitel network around China remains one of Accor’s highest priorities. Each one extends our reach into important regions of China where Accor has not been represented in the past, offering our domestic and international guests greater choice when travelling around the country.

“Sofitel Xian is clearly a very important hotel for the international market. The Terracotta Warriors remain one of China’s most visible and famous tourism products, second possibly only to the Great Wall, and it continues to draw millions of visitors every year.

“Sofitel’s expansion complements the growth of the Accor network, which now features a presence in all of the key international destinations around China, including Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangdong, Xian and Chengdu.”

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Sofitel Xian (405 rooms) will be Accor’s first hotel in China’s important northwest region, a vibrant economic growth centre. It will be part of the famed Renmin Mansion, a sprawling complex of several large buildings and has a unique historical place in the People’s Republic of China. The original complex opened in 1953 and has played host to many high profile government events over the years. The Sofitel Xian is an extension of the original Renmin Mansion, built to China’s newly launched five-star platinum hotel standards.

Sofitel Suzhou (350 rooms) is a low-rise, seven-storey hotel designed in traditional Chinese style with unique classical gardens and external architectural influences. It is adjacent to a modern shopping mall and is within walking distance to both Xuan Miao temple and Guanqian Street, two of Suzhou’s best-known landmarks. Suzhou is located an hour train ride from Shanghai and is best known for its picturesque gardens and canals.

Sofitel Plaza Xiamen will be the first internationally managed five-star hotel located in the heart of the city’s financial district. The 395-room hotel offers spectacular sea views of Gu Lang Yu Island and is close to Nan Pu Tuo temple and the Chinese Overseas Museum. Xiamen, a modern international port city, is located on the southeast coast of China. As one of the “special economic zones”, Xiamen’s economy has developed rapidly with an annual growth rate of more than 20% in the GDP since 1980.

Sofitel Royal Lagoon Dongguan (265 rooms) offers guests a unique urban resort environment right in the commercial heart of bustling Guangdong province. It is surrounded by perfectly manicured gardens of picturesque Hu Ying Park and is adjacent to the 36-hole Hill View Golf Club. It stands out as the only five-star hotel in Southern China to feature a 30,000sqm outdoor water park, in addition to an expansive 2,600sqm pool. It also features 22 meeting rooms, 950sqm Royal Ballroom and an adjacent Royal Convention Centre for up to 600 delegates.

The latest expansion will give Accor a current commitment of 32 hotels under management around China by the end of 2005 under its Sofitel (16 hotels), Novotel (12 hotels) and Ibis (two hotels) brands. Accor also manages two hotels under the Century brand.
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