French hotel brand Sofitel recently announced its plan to expand its presence in Asia, particularly in China, with at least 13 new properties by 2015.
Ten of the new hotels to open before 2015 will be in China, adding to the 18 existing Sofitel properties in Asia’s largest economy, said Sofitel Asia Pacific senior vice-president Markland Blaiklock. He said that this move is due largely to the high Chinese demand for French-inspired luxury.
In 2013, Sofitel will open a 590-room flagship hotel in Shanghai’s Jing’an District, which is close to the convention centre. According to Michel Molliet, vice president of Sofitel Greater China, the property will feature a distinctive interior by a famous Chinese designer and ‘will be one of the highlights in terms of hotel openings next year’.
The group will also open a second hotel in Xi’an, renovating the iconic People’s Hotel built in 1953 to create a 74-room boutique-style hotel. The property will reopen next year as People’s Grand Hotel Xian, and will have a classic design and ‘high-end luxury facilities’.
Outside China, Sofitel also plans to open a property under its trendy So brand in central Singapore next year. This is the third property under the brand, joining those in Bangkok and Mauritius.
Blaiklock said that the group’s first hotel in India opened earlier this year, Sofitel Mumbai BKC, has proven successful and will be the ‘first of many others to follow’ in the subcontinent. The group plans to open a second Sofitel in Mumbai in 2015, along with a property under the So brand.