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Sofitel continues worldwide expansion with new properties in 2003 and 2004

Sofitel expands its hotel portfolio with the openings of new hotels around the world, from Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando in Dominican Republic…

Sofitel expands its hotel portfolio with the openings of new hotels around the world, from Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando in Dominican Republic, Sofitel Atrium Budapest and several in China in 2003 to Sofitel Venezia in Isola (Italy) and Sofitel Pelourinho Salvador (Brazil) in 2004. This continues the global expansion of the prestige brand of Accor hotels in North America as well as in Europe, Asia and Africa. Most recent Sofitel openings in North America include Sofitel Montreal, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower and Sofitel Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C. in 2002. In addition, Sofitel Cancun will open in 2004 as the first Sofitel in Mexico.

Sofitel`s newest properties outside of North America include:


Sofitel Atrium Budapest (Hungary) – July 2003 – Located on the bank of the Danube River, Sofitel Atrium Budapest offers views of Gellert Hill, Chain Bridge and the Royal Castle. The hotel is located in Pest`s District V, Budapest`s city center (Belvaros), and is only a few steps away from the main market hall (Vasarcsarnok), shopping in Vaciutca, and the business center (Lipotvaros). Sofitel Atrium Budapest offers 351 elegantly appointed rooms including 54 suites, two restaurants, three bars, 11 meeting rooms, business center, fitness center and the Las Vegas Casino.

Dorint Sofitel Amsterdam Airport (Holland) – August 2003 – Conveniently located, the Dorint Sofitel Amsterdam Airport is opposite the Amsterdam forest, and near the city center. With 15 conference rooms accommodating up to 638 guests and 266 underground parking spaces, it is the biggest conference hotel at the airport. The hotel features 442 luxurious rooms with internet connection, two bars, two restaurants, business center and wellness center with fitness, sauna, solarium, pool, Shiatsu massage and Turkish bath.

Sofitel Venezia in Isola (Italy) – 2004 – Sofitel Venezia in Isola will open its doors on an exceptional site, situated 10 minutes by boat from St. Mark`s Square and at the very heart of historic Venice. Set on its own private 375-acre island, the hotel will offer 324 rooms and suites, two restaurants and a bar. A fitness center will be available to guests with massage rooms, hamman, sauna, as well as beauty therapy and fitness facilities. There will also be an outdoor swimming pool, tennis courts and a compact golf course. With these extensive facilities, Sofitel Venezia in Isola will represent the only resort hotel in Venice.

Caribbean/South America/Mexico

Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando (Dominican Republic) – July 2003 – Nestled in the heart of the colonial city of Santo Domingo, this 104-room hotel was originally the palace of Nicolas de Ovando, Santo Domingo`s first governor in 1502. The building is part of UNESCO`s World Heritage program. Offering spectacular views of the sparkling Ozama River, Sofitel Nicolas de Ovando features French-Mediterranean cuisine at La Residence restaurant, a cigar bar, meeting rooms, fitness center and swimming pool.

Sofitel Pelourinho Salvador (Brazil) – March 2004 – This stunning hotel is part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. Surrounded by a wealth of colonial monuments, the 16th century building was a Carmelite convent for 400 years. Sofitel Pelourinho Salvador will feature 70 rooms and suites, two restaurants, two bars and three meeting rooms, each equipped with the latest technology.

Sofitel Cancun (Mexico) – Fall 2004 – A distinctive resort property, Sofitel Cancun is set on the ocean and takes advantage of its setting with an outdoor waterscape, a full-service spa using water-based therapies from around the world, Sofitel Kids Club, and an 18-hole golf course nearby. Sofitel Cancun will also offer 402 rooms and ocean view suites, extensive meeting space with 10 conference rooms, three internationally themed restaurants and recreational facilities.


Sofitel Boao (China) – April 2003 – Situated beachside on the private island of Dong Yu on the China Sea, Sofitel Boao overlooks a beautiful white sand beach and fresh water lagoon. The hotel features 436 elegantly-appointed guestrooms and suites, four restaurants, including a multi-cuisine restaurant with three open kitchens, two bars, Executive Lounge, state-of-the-art convention center, pool, tennis courts, squash court, indoor and outdoor spas and two nearby golf courses.

Sofitel Westlake Hangzhou (China) – September 2003 – Sofitel Westlake Hangzhou is the only five-star hotel on the east bank of the city`s famous West Lake and is close to the central business district. The hotel features 204 rooms including 15 suites, two restaurants, a multi-function meeting room accommodating up to 220 people, swimming pool, spa and fitness center. The Sofitel Club floor and executive lounge offer panoramic views of the surrounding area.

Sofitel Jinsui Shenyang (China) – October 2003 – Situated on a beautifully landscaped boulevard that runs through the heart of Shenyang`s financial district, the Sofitel Jinsui Shenyang is convenient to the city`s main rail station. Shenyang is located in northeast China`s provincial capital of Liaoning Province and borders North Korea. International direct flights link Shenyang`s seven million inhabitants with Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Europe. The hotel will offer 370 rooms and several restaurants and bars.

Sofitel Wanda Chengdu (China) – December 2003 – Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, will be the host city to one of the newest members of the Sofitel family in Fall 2003. Among the most influential centers for technology and a favorite tourist destination with a rich 2,300-year history, Chengdu is on the brink of becoming one of China`s most visited cities. The hotel will offer 319 guestrooms, five restaurants, three bars, a business center, meeting rooms, a fitness center, spa and swimming pool.

Sofitel Seminyak Bali (Indonesia) – 2003/2004 – Accor has signed a management contract with PT Satria Balitama for The Royal Seminyak Bali and will re-brand the hotel Sofitel Seminyak Bali following extensive renovations. Near the vibrant village of Seminyak, just 20 minutes from the airport, the 120-room resort is set in more than a thousand acres of lush tropical gardens and offers striking beachfront rooms. The resort is an architectural blend of traditional Balinese motifs, imported Italian marble, stone carvings and elegant local art and handicrafts. Two pools, one on the beach and one in the garden area; 17 secluded Spa Villas with either a private pool or Jacuzzi and personalized 24-hour butler service; the elite Namaya Spa; and three restaurants appeal to both leisure and business travelers.

Sofitel Anshan (China) – 2004 – Currently operating as the Anshen International Hotel, the property will close shortly to be fully refurbished and is scheduled to open as the Sofitel Anshan in early 2004. The hotel is located in the city center adjacent to a lake with panoramic views of the nearby Dongshan area, and is the city`s only five-star hotel. The hotel features 306 rooms including 30 suites, four restaurants, 10 meeting rooms, business center, indoor pool and fitness center.

Sofitel Shijiazhuang (China) – 2004 – Located in the provincial capital of Hubei, the hotel is convenient to main commercial areas of Shijiazhuang. The Sofitel Shijiazhuang will be the first true international five-star hotel in the city and will feature 362 rooms including 36 suites, two restaurants, one lounge, a large multi-function meeting room, business center, pool and fitness center.


Sofitel Wentworth Sydney – 2004 – Following extensive renovations, the former Sydney Wentworth Hotel will open in 2004 as the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney. The first phase of its refurbishment has just been completed with the unveiling of a new lobby and event space. The next phase will introduce the first wave of new rooms. The hotel is located in the heart of the business district, just minutes from the most famous monuments of Sydney including the Sydney Opera, the Circular Quay and the city`s most beautiful parks. The Wentworth has 431 rooms including 49 suites. Two floors of the hotel are devoted to shopping with numerous boutiques. The hotel`s meeting rooms accommodate up to 1,100 people for banquets and conventions.


Sofitel Taba Heights (Egypt) – Summer 2003 – Standing between the colorful Sinai Mountains and the Red Sea, Sofitel Taba Heights covers a total of approximately one thousand acres along a stunning beach. The hotel offers 147 rooms, all with a balcony and sea view, restaurant and bar, private beach, three pools and meeting rooms to accommodate up to 200 people.

Sofitel Karnac Luxor (Egypt) – Fall 2003 – Located on the bank of the majestic Nile, near the Karnak temple and surrounded by beautiful gardens, this all-inclusive vacation resort will feature 351 rooms including 21 suites, five restaurants and bars, swimming pool and children`s pool overlooking the Nile, health club, five tennis courts and an amphitheater.

Sofitel Bamako (Mali) – January 2004 – The landmark Hotel de l`Amitie will become the Sofitel Bamako following extensive renovations. The Sofitel Bamako will feature 182 rooms and apartments, three restaurants, two bars, fitness center, tennis courts, pool and golf course.

Throughout the course of the last three years, Sofitel has become a benchmark for brand expansion in the luxury hotel market with the prestigious openings of Sofitel New York, Sofitel Paris Bercy, Sofitel Tokyo, Sofitel St James London, Sofitel Palm Beach Marseille, Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, Sofitel Lafayette Square Washington D.C., Sofitel Marrakech, Sofitel Silom Bangkok, Sofitel Montreal and Sofitel Buenos Aires.

The strategic development of the brand continues into 2003 with a number of new properties, including, amongst others, Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic), Budapest (Hungary), Chengdu and in Hainan Island (China).

All these openings strengthen the presence of Sofitel, which stands out with its French art de vivre that can be felt in each hotel around the world; through its decor, art work, uniforms created by Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, and the cuisine.

Sofitel is the prestige brand of Accor hotels, with 160 properties that bring a unique French art de vivre to prime locations around the world.

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Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.