So by Sofitel to make regional debut in Bangkok

(Vietravel) - SOFITEL will open its first Asia-Pacific property under its new So By Sofitel sister brand, which reinterprets boutique hotels, in Bangkok in the first quarter of next year.

  17/04/2010 23:55

In line with So’s positioning emphasising style and creativity, the 238-room hotel has taken the unusual step of having four Thai design firms to handle interior design for each bloc of a little more than 50 rooms, a fifth to work on restaurant concepts and the sixth for public spaces.

“It’s truly out-of-the-box,” said Markland Blaiklock, senior vice president, Sofitel Asia-Pacific, of the Bangkok property, the line’s second in the world after Mauritius.

The launch of So – aimed squarely at trend-conscious customers – and Sofitel Legend, a collection of “character properties”, emerged with Sofitel’s repositioning as a luxury brand in 2006. As part of the relaunch, the portfolio will be whittled down from 205 properties in 2006 to 130 in 2012.

According to Blaiklock, the group has its “eye on a couple of Sofitel Legend” prospects in China. A historic building in Xian that sits across from the Sofitel hotel has been identified as an ideal conversion candidate.

The main Sofitel brand has its largest regional presence in Greater China, home to 25 properties, but Blaiklock also pointed to hotels exiting the network because “sometimes in China it is not easy to rebrand in the same group”.

Among them, Sofitel Hefei is to be rebranded as a Pullman, but openings in Dongguan and Hangzhou this year followed later by Qingdao, Haikou and Lianyungang projects will make up for the five to six departures expected in the China network. (Sources: Sharon Desker Shaw, Hong Kong, TTG Asia)


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