Sofitel plans a major renovation of its New York City hotel in celebration of its 60th anniversary

It’s not just one diamond jubilee and heritage conversation these days for Accor’s Sofitel. This 60-year-old brand is just starting a new era of growth and innovation.

One could argue that one of Sofitel’s best assets, despite its small presence in the US, is its brand awareness. Everyday American travelers may know the French-influenced luxury brand better than the name of parent company Accor. Sofitel, most famously, doesn’t create stereotypical hotels: The properties reflect the surrounding community while embracing French hospitality, culture and cuisine.

Even though their footprint in the United States is small, Sofitel hotels are located in key cities here, such as Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York City and Washington, DC. Furthermore, although its presence in the United States may be small, Sofitel still counts on American tourists: According to a company presentation this month at the International Hotel Industry Investment Conference NYU, USA, along with Australia, top the list of major feeder markets for the brand.

But Sofitel also faces more competition today than when it launched six decades ago.


Moving a brand forward can be a mixed act of keeping things fresh and consistent at older hotels, while also tracking growth and expansion with new properties. Along with plans to open 30 new hotels over the next four years, the Sofitel team is working to refresh some of its most popular properties, including Sofitel New York. 26% of Sofitel’s network of about 120 hotels have just been renovated or are about to be renovated.

“I believe that the power of a brand depends on its culture,” said Maud Bailly. Accor CEO of Sofitel, M Gallery and Emblems. “Our Sofitel brand is beautiful and loved, but it clearly has a deep heritage.”

One of the big changes taking place at the Sofitel during its 60th anniversary is the newly announced refurbishment of the Sofitel New York, which is expected to begin later this year.


The renovation — no price tag was given other than Bailly assured reporters that it was “Plenty and worth it” — includes the entire hotel, including 398 guest rooms and suites. The hotel’s lobby, meeting spaces, guest elevators and lobbies will also be refreshed.

The development team is working with designers at HBA San Francisco to refresh the hotel’s existing aesthetic of Parisian art deco and 1940s Manhattan glamor with a continued—and modern— chemistry — artistic decorative motifs. Design elements such as the Sofitel New York’s grand lobby staircase will remain the same, but require refined interiors and finishes throughout the space to be overhauled.

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The entire renovation is expected to be completed by fall 2025 and will complement other Sofitel renovations underway in the Americas, such as the complete renovation of Sofitel Montreal Le Carre Dore recently launched as well as a newly renovated lobby and lounge at Sofitel Philadelphia at Rittenhouse Square.

Bailly, who took on his current role early last year, has been outspoken in saying that the revamp is key to making Sofitel’s product consistent across its growing network.

“Especially in luxury places, you cannot afford inconsistency. So wherever you are, you must enjoy the same product quality, the same level of service and the same promises “, she said. “We also need to rekindle our desire. There are a lot of new brands, lifestyle brands [and] competition: We need to rekindle ourselves.”


But Bailly is clearly also busy making sure Sofitel stays stable And growing: 30 new hotels in four years is an impressive growth target for any luxury brand, let alone one turning 60.

Some of that growth also extends to Sofitel Legend, a division of Sofitel that focuses on heritage assets such as Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo in Panama. The next Sofitel Legend hotel is expected to be located in Prague, where The Mozart Praha is undergoing extensive renovations. Some of Sofitel’s upcoming locations include India and Qatar, and Bailly said there are new potential deals for additional hotels in the Americas.

So what keeps guests and owners coming back after all these years to visit the French Sofitel?

“Why should you choose one brand over another? I think it’s important to be different, and part of our difference is being French. Being French – doesn’t mean we are arrogant or preachy to the world or means we’re grumpy and complain about everything.” time – but the meaning is, my God, we know how to live well,” Bailly said with a laugh.

“We know how to sleep well, drink well, eat well [and] live well,” she continued. “We are people who love life, we love art and culture, and are trying to build bridges between cultures.”

When you put it like that, who wouldn’t want to check in and enjoy a little French joie de vivre?

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