We spoeak to the GM of Grand Mercure in Myanmar – Accor’s latest gem in the “land of gems”

Posted by - September 5, 2018

Grand Mercure recently announced the opening of its first property in Myanmar. One of Southeast Asia’s largest and most diverse countries, Myanmar remains one of the most undiscovered destinations but is emerging as a popular travel destination.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the country welcomed just 21,000 international arrivals in 1990, that rose to 120,000 in 1995, 660,000 in 2005 and 790,000 in 2010. Last year, Myanmar welcomed 3.44 million visitors up from 2.9 million in 2016 – an 18% increase.
We chat with general manager of the newest property Vinoth Kumar to discover the hidden gem – both Yangon and the first Grand Mercure in Myanmar.
TD: What makes Yangon an exciting place for Grand Mercure?
VK: Southeast Asia has long been a strategic market for AccorHotels. Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire is the newest of nine hotels within the AccorHotels’ portfolio with five more in the pipeline for Myanmar.
The property located in Yangon is an exciting connection to a land of incredible beauty and rich culture that is rapidly emerging into the modern world. The significant future growth makes Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire truly an attractive destination for tourists, business and corporate visitors.
What are you looking forward to in terms of business?
Although the citywide occupancy of Yangon continues to fluctuate, there is strong allure of an emerging market paired with captivating tourist destinations. The strategically located Grand Mercure makes us to look forward to embracing more travellers at our unique property.
How will Grand Mercure Yangon and its location help attract tourists for Yangon?
AccorHotels’ network reaches 39 million people through Le Club, AccorHotel’s loyalty programme. Le Club continues to reward loyal customers that travel to various AccorHotel destinations around the world. The New Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire is an exciting addition to the network of hotels that provides a desirable location for tourist, business and corporate visitors.
“Myanmar’s potential as a destination for tourism and business will continue to grow”
Where do you see Yangon on the tourist map?
Myanmar’s economy has grown at an incredible pace over the past few years. As the country continues to develop in areas such as energy, garment, healthcare, and education, which has much room for progress, Myanmar’s potential as a destination for tourism and business will continue to grow.
The continuous strong support from domestic and foreign investment will only continue to increase Yangon’s presence in the region.
How will you meeti the growing demand and influx of tourists?
Our hotel offers 175 rooms ranging from 30 sqm for superior rooms to the 340 sqm two-bedroom suites. This allows us to meet the growing demands with a variety of unique solutions while maintaining the excellent standard of service.
The hotel is also glowing with culinary diversity, Flavours Restaurant offers a nostalgic selection of assorted international and Asian cuisine, including halal food. Specialty cakes and fresh pastries are available at Mahura Deli, a special destination to enjoy a casual meal along with a fine selection of gourmet coffees, teas or a glass of wine.
For light snacks, finger foods and cocktails, guests are invited to a lush tropical garden to experience the Ken pool bar beside the outdoor swimming pool.
“Local artist Pyar Dade has put his artistic flair”
What efforts are being taken to blend in with the local culture?
Local artist Pyar Dade has put his artistic flair in the interiors of the guest rooms and suites of Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire with vivid hand-painted ceilings inspired by the colourful sapphire, emerald, gold and ruby gemstones that adorn the historic Shwedagon Pagoda, which Myanmar, the land of gems, is renowned for.
Which are your favourite hotspots in Yangon?
I enjoy exploring the many new restaurants and cafes that add to the diverse taste of Yangon as well as paying a visit to the tranquil temples and pagodas.

Interactive: Here are all the Mövenpick properties Accor has just acquired

Posted by - September 4, 2018

AccorHotels has announced the completion of its acquisition of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts. The Enterprise Value (EV) represents CHF 560M (€482M) and encompasses 100% of Mövenpick company’s share capital, as well as ownership of the Mövenpick brand for all activities related to the hospitality business.
As an asset-light business, the acquisition of Mövenpick is perfectly aligned with AccorHotels’ strategy.
Comprised of 84 properties with over 20,000 rooms and 42 signed pipeline hotels to be opened before December 2021, the Mövenpick network consolidates AccorHotels’ footprint in Europe and Asia while accelerating growth in Africa and the Middle East, where Mövenpick already enjoys significant brand awareness.
“Mövenpick’s European-Swiss heritage and its combination of modernity and authenticity… fit perfectly with AccorHotels’ core value”
Sebastien Bazin, chairman of Accorhotels, said: “With a footprint in more than 20 countries, we strongly believe Mövenpick represents a strategic opportunity to bring synergies and new developments in key areas.
“Mövenpick’s European-Swiss heritage and its combination of modernity and authenticity embodied by committed and talented teams fit perfectly with AccorHotels’ core value. Along with our new partners and thanks to our strengthened brand offering further enhancing the variety of experiences available to our clients, we look forward to a rewarding future together.”
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts will benefit from AccorHotels’ loyalty programme, distribution channels and operating systems that will ultimately serve to improve top-line performance across the network.

Heal thyself at MGallery’s latest in the sacred mountain of Yen Tu, Vietnam

Posted by - August 30, 2018

Part of AccorHotels, the boutique hotel brand, MGallery, has announced the opening of Legacy Yen Tu on the sacred mountain of Yen Tu, a resort that pays homage to Vietnam’s ancient architectural design.
Nestled approximately 1,068 metres above sea level, Legacy Yen Tu is situated near the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ha Long Bay. The destination is part of Vietnam’s historical golden era and has a rich history dating back about 760 years.
“A getaway for travellers in search of a complete rejuvenation”
Patrick Basset, chief operating officer for AccorHotels Upper Southeast & Northeast Asia and the Maldives, said: “The opening of Legacy Yen Tu, MGallery combines the quintessence of wellness tourism and luxury travel to provide a getaway for travellers in search of a complete rejuvenation of their body, mind and spirit.”
The 133-room property was designed by Bill Bensley, a renowned designer of luxury resorts. Built using ancient methodologies to emulate the peaceful way of life, the rooms feature the signature wooden-inked slab traditionally used for calligraphy and an outdoor patio living area.
“Inspired by the ancient architectural design”
“Inspired by the ancient architectural design, Legacy Yen Tu, MGallery is a testament to Vietnam’s rich history. The property features handcrafted interior décor items with hand-made traditional materials to blend with its surrounding ambience,” said Markus Hesse, the resort’s General Manager.
Legacy Yen Tu, MGallery offers a retreat for self-discovery and spiritual transformation while exploring the destination. Legend has it that a hermit monk An Ky Sinh travelled to Yen Tu Mountain in search of medicinal herbs during the pre-Buddhism times some two thousand years ago. Since then, the mountain has been regarded as a divine and sacred place.
Additionally, the resort features authentic Vietnamese cuisine at the Tho Quang restaurant and wines at the Thien Tra Lobby Bar which overlooks the mountain. For events, weddings and meetings, the hotel’s ballroom can cater up to 800 guests. The hotel is also home to a range of leisure facilities, including Tue Tinh Am Wellness that offers an open space for meditation, yoga and Truc Lam Zen practices.
MGallery has more than 90 boutique hotels around the world and four hotels in Vietnam which include MGallery Hotel de l’Opera Hanoi, MGallery Hotel Des Arts Saigon, MGallery Hotel Royal Hoi An and MGallery La Veranda Resort Phu Quoc.

Accor launches Novotel São Paulo; targets 500 hotels in South America by 2020

Posted by - August 20, 2018

With the goal of opening 500 hotels in South America by the end of 2020, AccorHotels has revealed its latest property in the region – Novotel São Paulo Morumbi.
The hotel is located in São Paulo’s business district of Morumbi and is aimed at catering to business and leisure travellers across all strata, with its choice of four different rooms – including standard (main picture), suite, superior and executive.
The rooms of the hotel are finished with clean lines and simple, yet stylish fittings and furnishings, including plenty of natural light through the large windows overlooking the city.
All rooms, including 21 rooms for people with reduced mobility come with air conditioning, automatic air control, safety deposit box, telephone, fibre optic WiFi, high speed transmission line work desk, extra baby bed and mini bar, as standard.
The Novotel São Paulo Berrini backs up its leisure facilities – fitness centre, sauna, and family play area not to mention the light-filled cool of the Gourmet Bar and Restaurant, with six function rooms. The Chafic Maluf (23 Sqm), Chucri Henri Dunant (87sqm), Chucri Zaidan (44sqm), Estaiada (22sqm) Henri Dunant (44sqm) and Roque Petroni (8sqm) are backed up with audio-visual conferencing tech, and support from the hotel’s events team.
The Chucri Henri Dunant roomAccorHotels has made South America its third most important biggest market and is now present in eight countries on the continent; Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay.
The group has opened 52 hotels in South America last year and now has more than 330 hotels and 52,000 rooms (including 289 hotels in Brazil with 45,000 rooms) as well as 175 hotels in the pipeline – including the Novotel Santiago and the Novotel Viña del Mar, both set to open by the end of this year.

AccorHotels’ Grand Mercure debuts in Myanmar

Posted by - August 20, 2018

Grand Mercure has announced the opening of its first property in Myanmar. One of Southeast Asia’s largest and most diverse countries, Myanmar remains one of the most undiscovered destinations but is emerging as a popular travel destination.
According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the country welcomed just 21,000 international arrivals in 1990, that rose to 120,000 in 1995, 660,000 in 2005 and 790,000 in 2010. Last year, Myanmar welcomed 3.44 million visitors up from 2.9 million in 2016 – an 18% increase.
Overlooking the famed Schwedagon Pagoda, Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire features 175 guest rooms and suites designed by local artist Pyar Dade. Featuring detailed hand-painted ceilings inspired by sapphire, emerald, gold and ruby gemstones, the rooms range from 30 sqm for superior rooms to 340 sqm two-bedroom suite.
“Yangon is definitely poised to lead further growth “
Patrick Basset, chief operating officer of AccorHotels, Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives, said: “This is our first Grand Mercure in Myanmar and the opening of Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire encapsulates the cultural touchstone of the destination and heritage in bringing local stories to life.
“As Myanmar develops as a popular destination for tourists, business and corporate visitors, we expect to see significant development within the years to come. Renowned for its lush tropical trees, beautiful lakes and one of the ancient wonders of the world, Yangon is definitely poised to lead further growth in the country.”
Burmese style Culinary offerings are spread across the property’s restaurant, deli and pool bar. Flavours Restaurant offers diners a nostalgic selection of diverse international and Asian cuisine, as well as halal food.
Specialty cakes and fresh pastries are available at Mahura Deli, where guests can enjoy a casual meal along with a selection of gourmet coffees, teas or a glass of wine. A selection of light snacks, finger foods and cocktails are available at Ken pool bar beside the outdoor swimming pool surrounded by a tropical lush garden.
Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire is the wellness area complete with an outdoor swimming pool, children’s pool, and a fitness centre. For relaxation, there is a spa with open-air Jacuzzi, sauna and steam bath, while a nearby golf course completes the suite of leisure facilities.
For meetings, private parties and weddings, the hotel boasts of two ballrooms that can host up to 400 guests with a large pre-event function area and seven meeting rooms that feature natural daylight overlooking the beautiful Yangon skyline.
Vinoth Kumar, general manager of Grand Mercure Yangon Golden Empire, said: “We look forward to welcoming business and leisure travellers to this urban garden, where our staff aims to bring captivating stories of the destination to life”.
Grand Mercure is a portfolio of charming upscale hotels that embody the authenticity of each local culture. With its origins in Asia Pacific, and further expansion planned for Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, the Grand Mercure brand now boasts more than 45 hotels worldwide.

World’s first ‘coralarium’ – underwater art installation to preserve coral – launches in Maldives

Posted by - July 23, 2018

AccorHotels’ first and only Fairmont Resort in the Maldives has launched the Coralarium, the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery, created by underwater naturalist and British artist Jason deCaires Taylor.
The post World’s first ‘coralarium’ – underwater art installation to preserve coral – launches in Maldives appeared first on Travel Daily Media.

AccorHotels launches Pullman brand in Laos

Posted by - July 17, 2018

Pullman, the upscale subsidiary of AccorHotels, has announced its first location in Laos with the opening of Pullman Luang Prabang.

Located in the UNESCO listed town and former royal capital of Luang Prabang the new hotel, little more than six miles from Luang Prabang International Airport, is situated inside a 16000 sq.mt estate set against a peaceful, yet dramatic backdrop of mountains, green fecund flora and the local paddy fields and farmland, etched with twisting rivers and streams.
Made up of 123 guest rooms and suites, as well as a two bedroom villa – which features separate living and dining spaces, a garden and pool – capable of hosting up to 50 guests, Pullman Luang Prabang incorporates traditional Laotian influences into its architecture creating a striking low-rise site.
The premium deluxe room “We are delighted to introduce our first Pullman property in Laos. The resort styled hotel encapsulates the Pullman spirit of bringing global nomads together in the historical town of Luang Prabang,” said Patrick Basset, chief operating officer of AccorHotels in Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia and the Maldives.
Related Posts The all-day dining L’Atelier restaurant offers a range of buffet and à la carte menu options while The Junction offers the Pullman brand signature Tapastry and Vinoteca which features a curated selection of wines and signature cocktails. Set amidst landscaped gardens and paddy fields, H2O pool bar serves a healthy choice of salad selections, sandwiches and homemade gourmet ice creams.
“Comprehensive meetings and events facilities make the resort a destination in itself”
Not forgetting the all-important meetings and events market Pullman Luang Prabang makes great play of its MICE facilities like eight different function rooms and breakout areas, as well as the town’s largest ballroom, the Nam Khong Ballroom, a 400 sq.mt conference and banquet hall capable of hosting 280 seated guests and 300 standing. Its outdoor patio is perfect for al-fresco events and pre-dinner cocktail functions.
“As the largest resort in the town Pullman Luang Prabang features low density designs on expansive grounds, its comprehensive meetings and events facilities make the resort a destination in itself with its natural surroundings and we look forward to welcoming leisure and business travellers,” said Jean Marc Lafosse, general manager of Pullman Luang Prabang.

India’s newest Novotel in Chennai is high on design and F&B concepts

Posted by - July 11, 2018

The newly launched Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road is the first Novotel with a contemporary design and interiors in India.
The hotel has been conceptualised by SODA, an international design firm known for creating fresh, innovative and sustainable spaces. The hotel has been designed keeping in mind the rich, artistic and traditional culture of Chennai thus catering to today’s new-gen traveller who is in search of exciting and unique experiences.
The contemporary feel starts at the entrance of Novotel Chennai Chamiers road, which has been inspired by the 20th century buildings of the city, giving it an earthy yet modern look.
The hotel features around 100 well-appointed rooms including four suites, as well as rooms designed for the specially-abled. Guests can relax in the swimming pool or workout in the fitness centre both of which have a view of the Chennai skyline. The hotel also boasts of four meeting rooms which can accommodate more than 100 guests for conferences, meetings, events and other social gatherings.
Nestled in the city centre, the Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road offers two dining options: first, Food Exchange, the all-day dining restaurant, serves international gourmet dishes as well as local dishes with a twist. The laid-back nature of the restaurant allows for interaction with chefs.
Related Posts Second, the Gourmet Bar’s lounge atmosphere serves beverages and quick bites through the day. With its vibrant coloured artworks and sunny views, it provides a fresh space for the active, urban Chennaite as well as hotel guests and their visitors.
“Chennai deserved a hotel inspired by cutting edge international design combined with nouveau F&B concept”
“Our work in the European fashion industry exposed us to several boutique and unique hotels all over continental Europe. We felt that Chennai deserved a hotel inspired by cutting edge international design combined with nouveau F&B concepts catering to the discerning, widely travelled guest,” said Ashish Gupta, managing director, AG hospitalities.
With the launch of Novotel Chennai Chamiers Road, AccorHotels has achieved a milestone of becoming the largest international hospitality player in Chennai with the total inventory of more than 1,000 rooms.
“The opening of this hotel marks our seventh hotel in Chennai and eighth property in the state of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is fast becoming a key market fuelled by both strong business and leisure traveller growth in an improving economic climate.” said Jean-Michel Cassé, CEO, India & South Asia, AccorHotels.

AccorHotels opens world’s 500th Novotel

Posted by - July 3, 2018

Accorhotels has today announced the opening of the world’s 500th Novotel – the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences, in South Korea.
As the name suggests the 523-room site has been conceived as combination of hotel and residential style property — comprised of 331 guestrooms and 192 apartments.
“Seoul is the heart of the national design scene and… a technological powerhouse”
Patrick Basset, chief operating officer of AccorHotels in the Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia explained: “The opening of Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences heralds an era of new beginnings for the Novotel brand with the property’s first mixed-use flagship development that combines a hotel and residences.
“Seoul is the heart of the national design scene and competes on the world stage as a technological powerhouse – this stunning newly built property combines these two strengths and transposes them onto experiential stays for leisure, business, and family travellers.”
The hotel Each of the 331 rooms come with a choice of double, twin, or triple bed arrangement and are finished with “Korean flame-finished granite stone” and the natural tones and textures of natural wood elements. Heunginjimun leaves motif are found throughout the hotel, guest rooms and bathroom doors. There’s an indoor swimming pool on the 20th floor and fitness centre.
Residences Related Posts Designed for long-term stays, the 192 residences offer unique studios and one-bedroom suites that feature high-speed wireless internet, 55” full HD television and one-touch temperature control.
Through the GIGA Genie voice and touch system provided in the executive, premier and deluxe rooms, and premier and Dongdaemun suites, guests will be able to control the room temperature and have access to various amenity services and music streaming through voice-recognition technology.
MICE Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences is a great spot for all manner of business events, conferences and weddings, boasting a Grand Ballroom (maximum capacity 280) as well as a meeting room and board room (for up to 20 guests) for workshops and more intimate meetings.
“The soul of South Korea”
Mini Cho, GM of Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences, said: “Seoul really is the soul of South Korea and for this hotel we were inspired by the Korean culture of simplicity. Located near major attractions such as Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), Dongdaemun Fashion Street, and the Dongdaemun History and Culture Park Station on lines 2, 4 and 5 of the Seoul underground, guests staying at the property can look forward to enjoying the sights and sounds of the city.
“We are delighted to be welcoming our first guests with the opening of Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels & Residences, our first mixed-use development.”

AccorHotels to acquire 50% stake in sbe Entertainment Group for USD 319 million

Posted by - June 30, 2018

Mondrian Doha, an sbe property AccorHotels and sbe Entertainment Group have signed a Letter of Intent and entered into exclusive negotiations for AccorHotels to acquire a 50% stake in sbe. This partnership demonstrates AccorHotels’s strategy to expand its offering in the luxury lifestyle hospitality segment.
Accor will acquire the 50% of sbe’s common equity held in part by Cain International for $125 million. Sam Nazarian – who founded the company in 2002 – will continue to own the remaining 50% of sbe. In addition, AccorHotels will invest $194 million in a new preferred debt instrument that will be used to redeem all existing preferred units, also held in part by Cain International. AccorHotels’ total investment in sbe will be $319 million.
This long-term investment will allow sbe to leverage AccorHotels’ global hospitality platform while remaining an independent luxury lifestyle operator. Sbe will continue to be led by its founder and CEO Sam Nazarian as well as its management team while retaining its global headquarters in New York.
Sam Nazarian Through this investment, sbe will accelerate its international growth with expansion into new markets outside of the US, including priority growth markets in the Middle East and Latin America.
sbe’s pipeline includes projects in some of the most important global gateway cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Washington D.C., Dubai, Rio de Janeiro, Mexico City, Cancun, Tokyo and Los Cabos.
Nazarian said: “This partnership with AccorHotels marks a new milestone in sbe’s history. This long-term investment by AccorHotels provides sbe, its customers and hotel owners with greater depth and breadth around the world and supports our collective ambition to be the best lifestyle hospitality company in the market.
“Building on our acquisition of Morgans Hotel Group in 2016, this investment will further accelerate our growth both domestically in the United States and in new markets internationally, particularly in Europe.
“Myself and the over 7,000 associates at sbe are thrilled and honoured to partner with AccorHotels.
“Moving forward, sbe and AccorHotels together are committed to bringing our unique lifestyle experiential offering to more destinations.”
Related Posts “Expanding AccorHotels’ footprint in this fast growing segment in key US cities”
Sébastien Bazin, chairman and CEO of AccorHotels, added: “I am delighted to announce this strategic partnership with one of the most innovative groups in the luxury lifestyle space worldwide. It marks a new step in expanding AccorHotels’ footprint in this fast growing segment in key US cities such as Miami, Los Angeles or Las Vegas, and in other international destinations.
Sébastien Bazin “‘The new luxury’ is all about exclusive experiences and incredible lifestyle concepts and sbe brands have the perfect know-how that will complete perfectly the AccorHotels portfolio.
“We remain committed to providing all our guests with unparalleled service and always renewed experiences around the world”.
Jonathan Goldstein, chief executive of Cain International, concluded: “Cain International became partners to sbe in 2016 providing the investment required at that time to enable the group to expand its footprint of some of the leading luxury lifestyle hospitality assets in the world.
“We are confident that sbe will continue to go from strength to strength with its new partners, AccorHotels; we wish them every success in the future and are proud of the role we have played in their exciting growth story.”
SBE Entertainment’s portfolio sbe’s accommodation brands include SLS, Delano, Mondrian, Hyde, The Originals (Sanderson, St. Martin Lane, Hudson, 10 Karakoy, Shore Club) and Redbury Hotels. Through its Disruptive Restaurant Group platform, sbe has created culinary brands Katsuya, Umami Burger, Cleo, Leynia, Diez & Siez and Filia and entertainment brands including Hyde nightclub and dayclub, Nightingale, Privilege dayclub Black Orchid, S Bar, Skybar and the Doheny Room.
By the end of 2018 sbe will operate 25 hotels, comprising 7,498 keys with a majority in North America. It currently has a further 20 hotels and residences in its pipeline, as well as 59 standalone restaurants and nightlife venues.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals. It should be completed by 31 July 2018.