By Louise Birchall
Hotel group looks to increase number of 'So by Sofitel' hotels with push in Middle East
France-based Sofitel is looking to increase the number of 'So by Sofitel' branded hotels to 18 globally in the next five years, including plans for a property in Dubai.
The firm currently has two properties operating under its So brand but has major expansion planned with Cairo and Beirut also being targeted.
"Eventually we’ll have somewhere between 15 and 18 Sos operating around the world in the next five to seven years. I'd love to bring it to Dubai, Cairo and other parts of the Middle East. We’re looking at an opportunity in Beirut," Sofitel CEO Robert Gaymer-Jones told Hotelier Middle East.
"The destinations have to be around fashion and design. The So we've just launched in Bangkok is unbelievable because guests choose their room by their preferred designer – it’s very fashion led. The uniforms and hotel accessories – the bath robes and soaps – are all designer."
Worldwide, the hotel group has already signed So properties in Singapore and Sydney and is also actively looking for sites in "trendy areas" in London, Paris and New York.
Gaymer-Jones said the brand was even more fashion-conscious than Rezidor's designer lifestyle brand Missoni.
"We went to Chanel and asked how our ladies should look, how much make up should they put on, how much nail varnish they should they wear and so we created a 'So look book' for our staff," said Gaymer-Jones.
"We're really focusing on fashion from a guest point of view, but also from an employee point of view, and we're using the background of Paris to create that."For all the latest travel news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.