Hong Kong, December 17, 2010 – This week, three new Sofitel locations will be opening their doors in succession around the world, a spectacular way to wrap up 2010. The year has been a decidedly busy one for the brand, which is passionately and tirelessly pursuing its new position in the world of luxury.

In cooperation with the biggest names in design and architecture, Sofitel is committed to offering resolutely different hotels to continually meet the challenge of bringing French elegance to the world.

 Three days, three new locations: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom (Austria), Sofitel So Mauritius (Mauritius) and Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra (Cambodia).

And what locations they are…

SOFITEL VIENNA STEPHANSDOM: sleep in a work of art…

Opens December 14, 2010

Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom is a unique piece that is destined to become the brand’s flagship in Europe. For the first Sofitel location in Austria, Jean Nouvel has designed an incredible edifice that stretches along the Danube canal. This sleek, 18-story building is the very essence of pure 21st century style. It is a sculptural work made of glass and steel, a fount of light, air and greenery.

Picture: Grey Room, Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom

The elegant façades, each featuring a different monochrome palette, hint at the décor in the rooms. Grey for the south façade, black for the west and white for the north bring a life-size piece of abstract art to the daily lives of both the Viennese and the hotel’s guests, who will discover a multitude of constantly shifting facets under a stormy July sky, a pale winter morning or a flamboyant sunset.

Picture: Le Loft, Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom 

At the top, the partition walls give way to walls of glass before reaching the slanted floating roof, home to the hotel restaurant under three-Michelin-starred French chef Antoine Westermann. The breathtaking location flirts with the horizon, with the city laid out at its feet.

Picture: White Room, Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom

Nouvel called on contemporary Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist to bring color into the hotel. She rose to the occasion with five extraordinary, moving and colorful ceilings using an innovative technique, along with an incredible kaleidoscope of mirrors.

 After light and color, it was time for nature… Landscape architect Patrick Blanc put the perfect finishing touch on the overall look with his stunning plant garden, a living wall covered with 20,000 species.

Like an echo of the exterior, each of the hotel’s 182 monochromatic rooms, including 26 suites, is dressed entirely in immaculate white, light grey or velvety black from floor to ceiling, including the walls and even the furniture. This novel, spectacular décor creates a hotel experience exclusive to the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom. From the rooms that overhang the historic old town district, guests can admire the spires of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which gave the hotel its name, the giant Prater Ferris wheel and the shady Vienna Woods.

Picture: Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom by Night. 

In a city marked by history, the Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom represents the future encountering the past. Jean Nouvel has designed more than just a hotel; it is a thing of pure architectural beauty that changes the face of the city and promises to watch over it at night.

SOFITEL SO MAURITIUS: 2 talents combine for one different Resort …

Opens December 15, 2010

Come see the results of an exceptional encounter between two artists: Thai architect Lek Bunnag and fashion designer Kenzo Takada. These two talented minds combined their creativity to make this hotel into a fundamentally different place where purity, nature and simplicity come first. This new Sofitel location is a response to the demands of an exacting clientele that prizes authenticity and refinement.

Picture: Kenzo Takada, Sofitel S0 Mauritius.

Building a decidedly contemporary complex surrounded by nature is also a major first in Mauritius; the hotel is in close communion with a harmoniously mixed environment and culture that blends Indian and Creole influences into a colorful, authentic whole.

Picture: Artistically Thought Out, Sofitel S0 Mauritius

In the best-preserved region of Mauritius, on 14 hectares of land with 520 meters of beach, the resort offers eighty-four 60-m2 suites, six 100-m2 Beach Villas and two 200-m2 “Beaulieu Villas” nestled into the luxuriant tropical vegetation. The suites and villas are all free-standing and at ground level for complete privacy, featuring private gardens and outdoor ponds or pools (for the villas), patios with outdoor showers, refined amenities and every possible comfort.

Picture: Contemporary Designed, Sofitel S0 Mauritius.

The So SPA, devoted to wellness in body and mind, enjoys an ideal setting between the sparkling lagoon and the hibiscus and bougainvillea flowers, where nature and architecture join forces to create an instant feeling of relaxation and serenity.

Picture: Serenity, Sofitel S0 Mauritius.

This human-scale hotel with its totally unique style is more than just a new concept; it offers a novel sensory experience and complete immersion in nature.

Sofitel So is the designer, boutique hotel vision of Sofitel Luxury Hotels, featuring trendy, resolutely contemporary locations. Each Sofitel So blends design with pleasure and style with personality to express the very essence of the destination. This concept combines the Sofitel art de vivre and a style that contributes to an international signature derived from fashion, art or design.

The concept is designed as a story in which each new location is a chapter. The first Sofitel So in Mauritius will soon be followed by the Sofitel So Bangkok, the Sofitel So Mumbai, and so forth.

SOFITEL PHNOM PENH PHOKEETHRA: a new property in Cambodia for business stays

Opens December 18, 2010 (Soft Opening)

Surrounded by gardens and set on the banks of the Bassac River, near the business and embassy district, the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra has the air of a Khmer palace. It offers exceptional services not available elsewhere in Cambodia, with the ambition of becoming the country’s magnet for business meetings and retreats. Indeed, its international-class conference center is a first for the country, offering 1,800 m² of meeting space, and its ballroom is the largest and most modern ever built in the country’s capital.

Picture: Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.

The hotel, which features 201 rooms (including 35 suites), is also a luxury destination in its own right, with 4 restaurants, a sports complex and clubhouse, tennis and squash, 2 pools and extensive lawns and gardens. In wellness amenities, the hotel will open the first So SPA in Cambodia, offering options that blend traditional Khmer treatments with innovative French-style spa care.

Picture: Superior Room, Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.

Picture: Main Hotel Lobby, Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.

Having already established its presence in Cambodia with the spectacular Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Gold and Spa Resort, Sofitel has now rounded out its offering in a rapidly blossoming country.

Picture: So SPA, Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra.

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Sofitel, World Class Hotels & French Elegance

Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 120 addresses, in almost 40 countries (more than 30 000 rooms). Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today’s more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, London, New York or Beijing, or nestled away in a country landscape in Morocco, Egypt, Fiji Islands or Thailand, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French “ art de vivre”.

Discover Sofitel on www.sofitel.com

Discover A|Club at Sofitel, the new worldwide Accor loyalty program on www.a-club.com


Yorkshire Tourism in £7bn Heaven

Hong Kong – 29 December, 2010
Figures just revealed show a significant boom in visitor spend in the northern England county of Yorkshire, according to the region’s official tourism agency, Welcome to Yorkshire.

Yorkshire has recorded a staggering 22 per cent increase in the number of overnight holiday visitors (compared to a UK average of just 12 per cent), bringing nearly £7billion into the region’s economy.

A high-profile marketing and PR campaign, two global awards and increased Government backing have all helped catapult Yorkshire onto the global stage and into the public eye. The figures speak for themselves; since Gary Verity took over as chief executive, the economic impact of tourism to the county has risen from £5.9 billion almost two years ago, to nearly £7 billion.

This good news adds extra weight to championing tourism as a vital part of the UK economy’s recovery.  

Verity says: “Confidence is key when it comes to attracting visitors. Fortunately for us, Yorkshire is an amazing destination, we have bucket loads of confidence, and our hot tip is that it will be the UK’s top place to be in 2011.”

Welcome to Yorkshire recently scooped a top accolade at the World Travel Awards for the World’s Leading Marketing campaign, beating off competitors from Abu Dhabi, Kuoni and Qatar Airways to win this highly coveted prize.

Picture: Whitby

Picture: Sutton Bank

Picture: Headrow and town hall at night

Picture: Minster York at evening

Picture: Whitby Abbey