Hotel group Accor believes that it will be in a unique position to ride a predicted upward trend for deluxe hotel accommodation with the launch of the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney in mid-2003…
Accor will assume management in June 2002 and operate the hotel under The Wentworth name until a massive AUD$30 million refurbishment is completed in mid-2003. The hotel will then officially be relaunched as the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney.
Managing Director of Accor in Australia, Michael Issenberg, said the timing of the relaunch will be ideal as Sydney will not have had any new hotel stock for almost five years.
By the time we launch the Sofitel Wentworth Sydney in mid 2003, no significant new hotel will have opened in Sydney since the pre-Olympic period, and at least 10 hotels would have closed their doors and been converted into apartments, said Mr Issenberg. Furthermore, the opening is likely to complement a substantial upturn in the domestic and global economies, with a corresponding increase in demand for top-level accommodation.
The move will see Accor fulfil one of its key global expansion objectives – to establish its premier 5-star brand in Australia`s most important business and tourism centre.
It will join three other Sofitels in Australia – Sofitel Melbourne (which also was originally branded a Wentworth hotel, when it opened in 1981), The Grand Hotel Melbourne and Sofitel Reef Casino in Cairns. The Sydney hotel will be a crucial destination in a network of over 150 Sofitels around the globe, joining cities such as London, Paris, Rome, New York, Los Angeles, Bangkok and Tokyo.
The refurbishment of the hotel will be undertaken by the hotel owners, with Accor playing an integral role in the design of the upgrade programme. While the exterior will not be altered because of its heritage-listing, the interior will be completely transformed, with a new foyer, new entrance and new facilities designed specifically for the hotel`s major markets. The refurbishment will be conducted in a manner that will enable the hotel to remain functioning thoughout this year with minimum disruption to guests and patrons.
Chairman of Accor Asia Pacific, David Baffsky, said: The addition of the Sofitel in Sydney has been one of the highest priorities of Accor. We have been approached about many projects in the past, but the Wentworth was worth waiting for because it presented a unique opportunity, given its location, its history and the exciting refurbishment plans. Sydney is a one of the world`s major business and tourism hubs, and while we have a strong presence with all our other brands, Sofitel is the flagship for the group. It will complement new Sofitel openings this year in London, Washington DC, Chicago, Montreal, Marrakech, Buenos Aires, Bangkok and Venice.
Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.