TORONTO — AccorHotels continued to ramp up its presence in Canada with a huge booth at CHIC, and the introduction of some new and exciting brands. CLN sat down with Greg Doman, senior vice-president, development, to talk about Accor's expansion.
The big theme for Accor is lifestyle, with their acquisition of SLS, Hyde, and Mondrian.
SLS is a luxury brand with focus on food and beverage and lifestyle. The Accor website notes that “SLS is the home of an extraordinary experience. Culinary artistry, theatrical interiors, subversive design touches and unexpected indulgences. From giant metallic ducks to a curated in-room bar for 'saints' and 'sinners' no other luxury hotel can boast such a diversity, such richness, such a playful ambiance.” So far, there are six hotels with a total of 2,557 rooms in two countries.
Mondrian is more flexible, suitable for mixed use and franchise. Suitable for the cultural connoisseur, design innovators and plug-and-play traveller, Mondrian is positioned in the premium international sector at 4 to 5 stars. Mondrian is always at the heart of the most exciting cultural scenes in the world, serving up innovation and creativity for everyone. Mondrian provides a playful framework so that guests and locals alike can immerse themselves in the culture of each city it inhabits. There are four Mondrians with a total of 901 keys in two countries.
Hyde stresses food and beverage. It's midscale but into big entertainment. It's not suitable for central business districts; it's more of a neighbourhood brand. Doman sees Hyde as suitable for Niagara Falls, Mississauga, etc., ideally starting in the Toronto area. Hyde Hotels, Resorts & Residences are intuitively dialed into the desires of the in-the-know; their interests, aspirations and tastes. This is a new kind of hospitality, grounded in the spirit of discovery, the fantasy of nightlife and the adventure of connection. “Hyde is more than a brand, it’s a state of mind,” the Accor website says. So far, there is just one Hyde Hotel with 60 rooms.
The brand, 21C, is a combination art museum and hotel, that would work in Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal. In places like Montreal, it could be a contemporary, curated museum, with art constantly rotated. There would be a significant art collection, meeting spaces and ballrooms — all of which have art interwoven. In the U.S., Accor is getting ready to open 21Cs in Chicago, Nashville and Kansas City.
There's a new brand called TRIBE, an Australian company, with 100 projects in Europe. TRIBE competes just below Novotel and has a limited F&B design. TRIBE was created for travellers seeking a high-quality hotel experience at an affordable price, enabling guests to live, work and play in contemporary interiors. Gaurav Bhushan, chief development officer at Accor, said “The pipeline of over 50 hotels being negotiated for the coming years leads us to believe that the TRIBE brand will achieve significant growth all over the world including gateway locations such as Paris, London, Singapore, Dubai, Bangkok… It will be making its debut in 150 international destinations by 2030.
The Jo&Joe hostel brand could be suitable for Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, said Doman. This brand creates the Open House, a new kind of hospitality with surprising design, animations and talents. A house where guests are free to meet and mix, clink glasses, have a bite to eat together, cook, chat, laugh, unwind, dream, work, love, do yoga, play the guitar, explore the city… and sleep! So far, there are two open in France at Paris-Gentilly and Hossegor. This brand can repurpose existing space, requiring just 50-60 square feet per bed in a 500-bed hostel with big F&B. “I'd like to start by franchising three, with six to eight in the next three to five years,” Doman added.
Accor is partnering with the soft brand, MGallery, starting in New York. There will be a formal rollout for franchise and management opportunities. MGallery by Sofitel is a collection of boutique hotels dedicated to lovers of life, literature and culture. Each MGallery hotel stands as a gateway into another world – be it a bygone era, a hidden haven or a spectacular natural landscape. There are 103 MGallery hotels worldwide with a total of 10,773 rooms in 30 countries.
Accor is continuing to build more Sofitels, a luxury brand and rejuvenate Novotel, which is a midscale brand, said Doman. They are organizing to set up with key management companies.
Accor is looking at new development, and see there is not a lot of new luxury development, maybe one or two new Fairmonts or Sofitels. Canada and the U.S. together still have more than half of the Fairmonts. There are 76 Farimonts with at total of 30,276 rooms in 26 countries worldwide. Canada has 19 Fairmonts, while the U.S. has 20.
Accor is also looking at co-working, and are looking at the right opportunity to bring it to Canada. “Our lab is in Europe, primarily France. We call it WoJo, and our goal is to have 50 in Europe. WoJo Corners are less than 1,000 square feet in facilities such as airports and train stations.