I am one-eighth French, even though you would not know if by looking at me. But hey, we all have more to us than what appears on the outside. Up until this past week, the most French-like things I have ever done included eating a crepe, having two French-speaking friends, having a poster of the Eiffel Tower in my living room, having a roommate that has been to France, and hosting a French tourist for a weekend. However, the 1st annualSofitel Luxury Hotels General Manager Roadshow on June 7 changed all that.
Located in the Grand Ballroom of the Sofitel Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA, twelve charismatic General Managers from Sofitel Hotels across the globe came to meet for one fantastically French-infused, educational evening.
Having spent many years repositioning the only French hotel brand in the world, Sofitel reemerges with the campaign entitled, Be Magnifique. Originally with over 250 hotels worldwide, Sofitel now has a little over 120 world class hotels in over 40 countries with 11 set to debut in 2011. Each hotel is unique and individual and falls under one of two labels: Sofitel So or Sofitel Legend.
The Sofitel SO label is boutique. It is contemporary design mixed with the pleasure and personality of its locality. The Sofitel Legend label is historic. Every hotel under this category are registered buildings with at least 100 years of history. The synergy of Sofitel’s French roots and unique elements of the local culture make every Legend hotel a prized, community monument.
Maintaining a high standard of French elegance is of utmost importance to all Sofitel Hotels. The company makes it a distinct point to steer clear of a classification as, “hip and trendy,” and instead strives for, “fashionable and elegant.” All hotels are determined to combine the special attributes of the city it is located with the vision of French elegance. Many Sofitel hotels seek attention from renowned French designers and architects that understand and nurture the concept of Be Magnifique, yet also know how to mix in aspects of the local culture.
Sofitel is also thrilled to announce the debut of their new, low-calorie menu options, called De-Light, at all North American properties. The menu will be available under every level of Food and Beverage from restaurants, to room service, to banquets, and beyond. All chefs were flown to France for extensive training in healthy, satisfying meals that do not sacrifice flavor. Examples include Creamed Peas with Truffle Essence (104 calories per serving), Fish with Avocado Cream (129 calories per serving), and Panacotta with Berries (115 calories per serving).
Tuesday’s roadshow event included Sofitel representatives from Amsterdam, Germany, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Morocco, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Rome, Brussels, Chicago, Vietnam, and France. Each visiting hotel had their own booth with personalized and interactive iPad presentations. Here are some highlights of what I learned:
* I am having my honeymoon in Amsterdam. This new Sofitel Legend hotel combines French elegance with Dutch heritage and includes features such as a two hour boat ride around the city with your own personal butler, skipper, and picnic and Sofitel brand bikes to ride around town. You also get the chance to feel like royalty knowing that the Queen’s palace is just 100 yards away. Architecture is described as having a feminine flair with high, white arches, a light show, and hundreds of handmade butterflies in the lobby.
*Brussels has the greatest proximity to other major European cities and a really fun general manager. Although it would only take about two days to explore Brussels, you are just a short trip away from many other popular European destinations.
*The Sofitel in Munich, Germany is known for having the greatest customer service out of all the properties worldwide.
*The Sofitel in Morocco is the only luxury brand in the country and there are locations in all imperial cities. This hotel is definitely one of the most uniquely designed that I have seen and 70% of visitors come for leisure purposes.
* *Rome has stylish men. There is so much to see and do and the Sofitel Rome is in the heart of it all. A one week stay would not be long enough.
* Los Angeles is the only Sofitel in North America with a spa and has the largest fitness center.
*The Sofitel Chicago was designed to stand out among the city’s other skyscrapers with its feminine design. The building is actually pointed like the end of a boat and rests as if lying on an imaginary, upright cone.
Leaving the event, I felt as though I had just traveled the world in two hours with more French flair than I ever thought imaginable. Clearly the Sofitel experience is designed for those looking for only the best in all corners of the world.