Each night, Accor welcomes more than 500,000 guests in properties across 100 different countries. From luxury brands such as Raffles, Fairmont and Sofitel to the trendy, lifestyle-focused Delano and Mama Shelter and mid-range and economy options such as Novotel and Ibis, the offering encompasses a staggering 30 different international hospitality brands. The Accor story begins in 1967 when when the first Novotel in Lille was launched. Since then, the company has grown internationally, acquiring a wide range of brands and expanding its activities to include luxury private rentals, co-working, conciergerie, dining, events and digital solutions. From Vancouver to Venice, Accor now operates 4,500 hotels worldwide and welcomes an impressive 120 million guests per year.
Mantis Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve, Port Alfred
Expect private chalets and uninterrupted views of the bush, sea and sky in this rolling reserve in South Africa (you might also spot zebras or rhinos, if you’re lucky). The 7km private beach is well worth a wander.
Hotel Santa Teresa Rio - MGallery, Rio de Janeiro
Nestled in a 1850s coffee plantation, this urban retreat in Santa Teresa is perfectly positioned for exploring all the city has to offer and boasts a faithful take on tropical modernism when it comes to its hardware.
Delano South Beach, Miami
Designed by Philippe Starck, Delano South Beach is an iconic beachside boutique hotel. At its beach club, guests can indulge in some poolside luxury by reclining on a daybed and sipping on a blueberry Moscow Mule.
Mama Shelter Los Angeles
A Thierry Gaugain-designed affair with 70 rooms over six floors. It’s all presided over by a rooftop freckled with primary colours that's beloved by the the city’s revelrous creatives from sundown onwards.
Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver
The ultramodern Fairmont Pacific Rim is in the heart of Vancouver’s financial district. Floor-to-ceiling windows reveal stunning coastal views and the internationally lauded Botanist restaurant serves plates of tender grilled octopus and succulent glazed pork.
Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech
A plush, 500-plus room hotel that offers both an escape from the more frenzied pace of the Red City outside, and a taste of the best Marrakech can muster in hospitality and charm within.
25Hours Hotel Paris Terminus Nord
Located in the heart of the vibrant 10th arrondissement, this Paris pied à terre is brimming with the easygoing, cosmopolitan spirit that’s made the 25Hours name a favourite from Zürich to Vienna to Berlin.
SO/ Berlin Das Stue
The 78-room SO/ Berlin Das Stue hotel is housed in the former Danish embassy. It is a majestic 1930s building nestled in the lush Tiergarten park with uniforms designed in collaboration with Dutch duo Viktor & Rolf.
Swissôtel The Bosphorus, Istanbul
A beautiful berth in Besiktas where you can survey Istanbul’s European shore and the traffic on the Bosphorus from a leafy, away-from-it-all enclave. Unwind at the Pürovel spa with a relaxing hammam experience.
Pullman Tokyo Tamachi
A Minato marvel and springboard from which to dive into the Japanese capital’s many diversions (via Tamachi station). For the less footloose, there are three seemly bars and restaurants and plenty else to enjoy on-site.
Orient Express Mahanakhon Bangkok
In 2019, the first Orient Express hotel will open in Bangkok’s tallest skyscraper, the King Power Mahanakhon Building, with Art Deco-inspired interiors courtesy of French designer Tristan Auer.
Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund
On the banks of the Huangpu River lies Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund, an urban retreat in one of the city’s most scenic locations. Enjoy panoramic views over the city from the rooftop TOPS bar.
Rixos Premium Dubai
This stylish urban hotspot is a haven of contemporary luxury boasting floor-to-ceiling views of the glittering gulf. There’s a Turkish hammam and spa for those in mind of unwinding too.
First opened in 1887, Raffles is housed in a gleaming white colonial-style building that has hosted literary luminaries including Rudyard Kipling and W Somerset Maugham. The hotel will host a grand reopening this year following a careful restoration.
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
Located in the vibrant Darling Harbour precinct, the Sofitel Sydney provides guests with breathtaking views of the skyline and a champagne bar and rooftop infinity pool to relax in.
24 hours in...
Stay at: Raffles Singapore
09.00 Start out with a jog around Tiong Bahru and pay attention to the art deco-influenced apartments.
10.00 Neck a coffee at Forty Hands on Yong Siak Street then peruse some local literature at Books Actually.
11.30 Sample some hand-thrown ceramics at Supermama on Beach Road.
13.00 The Aussies are making culinary waves. Have lunch at Burnt Ends or Cheek by Jowl to see why.
15.30 Visit the renovated National Gallery Singapore then nab a rooftop drink overlooking the Padang.
20.00 Eat at Candlenut in Tanjong Pagar for Peranakan food par excellence – then head to the rooftop at Potato Head Folk for a sundowner.
Stay at: Orient Express Mahanakhon Bangkok (opening 2019)
09.00 Head out for a lap of Lumphini Park.
10.00 Take a coffee pit-stop at Casa Lapin X49 in Thonglor.
11.30 Check out The Commons for a prime example of why the mall model has a seemly future.
13.30 Sample the codfish ravioli and orecchiette at Roman restaurant Appia.
16.00 Head to Dasa Books to check out 17,000 titles.
19.00 The Never Ending Summer in Thonburi serves Thai home-cooking favourites including softshell crab and succulent grilled pork.
20.30 Catch a film at Scala cinema on Siam Square, an art deco marvel opened in 1969.
03. Los Angeles
Stay at: Mama Shelter
08.00 Griffith Park is perfect for a morning run.
09.30 Try Sqirl’s signature jam on toast at its pint-sized premises in Silver Lake.
11.30 Shop US brands such as Save Khaki and Engineered Garments at Mohawk General Store.
13.00 Gracias Madre in West Hollywood serves generously filled vegetable tacos in its elegantly decorated timber-framed dining room.
15.30 Head to Platform in Culver City to check out some of the city’s finest retail offerings (full disclosure: there’s a Monocle Shop).
19.00 Enjoy a spectacular sunset with a fresh grapefruit cocktail in hand at Mama Shelter’s popular and colourful rooftop bar.
Stay at: Delano South Beach
09.00 Wake yourself up with a dip in the glamorous palm tree-lined pool at the Delano South Beach.
10.00 Try a Sicilian omelette at the Front Porch Café, an Ocean Drive mainstay.
11.30 Marvel at the lavish interiors of the Vizcaya Museum, an Italianate mansion in Coconut Grove.
13.00 Head to vibrant Haitian restaurant Tap Tap to enjoy sumptuous stews served with rice and plantains.
15.30 Craig Robins Collection in the Design District is home to works from Richard Tuttle and John Baldessari.
20.00 Mandolin in Buena Vista is brimming with Hellenic charm. Enjoy calamari with almond tartar and glasses of Greek wine.
Stay at: Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour
09.00 Recharge with a coffee at Bourke Street Bakery.
10.00 Shop Aussie brands including swimwear from Comma at The Stables in Surry Hills.
11.30 Take a leisurely breakfast at Bills in Darlinghurst.
12.00 Enjoy the shops in Potts Point before eating like a god at Apollo.
15.30 Go for a stroll down William Street and grab a glass of Australian pinot gris at 10 William Street.
20.00 Dine on pork chops and grilled prawns at the Continental Deli Bar Bistro.
21.30 End your day with some unbridled joie de vivre at Sofitel’s Champagne Bar in Darling Harbour.
Stay at: SO/ Berlin Das Stue
09.00 Canal-side café A Horn serves slap-up breakfast with bagels and pastries.
11.30 Berlinische Galerie tells the story of the city in the 20th century through the art that was made there.
13.00 German and Austrian classics are served at Pauly Saal; think liver with apple, and venison with hazelnut.
15.30 Andreas Murkudis stocks the best of German brands, including Mykita eyewear and jewellery from Werkstatt München.
19.00 Housed in a former brewery, Katz Orange boasts a hearty meat-centric menu and cocktail bar for post-dinner piscos.
21.00 Head to SO/ Berlin’s Das Stue bar where live music sets the tone.
07. Rio de Janeiro
Stay at: Hotel Santa Teresa Rio - MGallery
The team at Circuito da Praia will help you kick off your day with alfresco workouts on Flamengo and Botafogo beaches.
Visit the Museu de Arte Rio, where you can get a glimpse of the famous Projeta Morrinho sculpture of a favela by Cirlan de Oliveira.
Enjoy crisp white tablecloths and tasty roasted goat at Nova Cappella.
Get your retail fix at Void General Store; it stocks everything from chewing gum to towels.
Head to Rubaiyat for views of Rio’s racing track.
Try a refreshing fruit cocktail at the Hotel Santa Teresa’s atmospheric Bar dos Descasados.
Stay at: Swissôtel The Bosphorus
09.00 Enjoy a bowl of muesli for breakfast at Swissôtel’s Café Swiss.
11.30 Admire Sakip Sabanci Museum’s vast collection of Islamic calligraphy and its lavish sculpture garden.
13.00 Homely Kantin’s menu includes Turkish classics such as rice-filled vegetables and poached fish.
15.30 Get lost in the Grand Bazaar; pick up some traditional Anatolian blankets and ikat fabrics.
19.00 Turquoise tiles line the interior of Karakoy Lokantasi, which serves marinated artichoke hearts and puréed aubergine with beef.
21.00 Nab a table outside trendy Unter bar and order a Bomonti beer or martini.
Stay at: Fairmont Pacific Rim
09.00 Birds and Beets makes a mean breakfast sandwich.
11.30 Head to Catriona Jeffries Gallery to see Canadian artists such as Liz Magor and Brian Jungen.
13.00 Grab a table on Blue Water Café’s sunny terrace and enjoy a plate of miso saké-glazed sablefish.
15.30 Nip to AI Studio, designer Joji Fukushima’s atelier-cum-shop, which stocks everything from handmade stools to cedar coasters.
19.00 Enjoy the vibe at the leafy plant-filled Botanist restaurant at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel.
21.00 Take a seat at one of the long communal tables at Alibi Room and order from the extensive beer list.
Stay at: 25Hours Hotel Paris Terminus Nord
08.00 Grab a cappuccino from the 25Hours vintage coffee truck.
09.30 Head to Liberté to pick up a croissant from master pâtissier Benoît Castel.
11.00 Design and photography bookshop Artazart is brimming with titles on everything from freehand typography to Scandinavian architecture.
13.00 Lunch doesn’t get much better than Flottes’ onion soup topped with a gooey layer of gruyère.
15.30 Visit Rodin’s famous “The Thinker” statue at the sculptor’s former home and studio in Les Invalides.
19.00 Get the classic French bistro experience at Le Baratin.
Stay at: Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech
09.00 Breakfast at the Amal Centre consists of local cheese, olives and honey served with warm flatbread.
10.30 Find tranquility at the verdant Jardin Secret, one of the Medina’s largest gardens.
13.00 Restaurant Le Jardin is tucked away in a lush courtyard in the Medina. Try the fennel tagine.
15.00 The Musée Yves Saint Laurent charts the history of the house through clothing, drawings and photos.
17.00 Destress at the jasmine-scented Ô de Rose spa at Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech.
19.00 Treat yourself to a plate of grilled lambchops with harissa on the rooftop terrace of Nomad.
Stay at: Rixos Premium Dubai
09.00 Try maple granola with a beetroot-and-apple juice at Al Quoz café Tom and Serg.
10.30 Check out contemporary-art galleries Elmarsa and Custot, housed in former warehouses on Alserkal Avenue.
13.00 Head to Bu Qtair in Jumeirah for unprepossessing, unpretentious but unmissable seafood.
15.00 Pick up a hand-crafted bar from the master chocolatiers at Mirzam.
19.00 Dig in to a plate of roasted marinated chicken with Thai herb sauce on the breezy terrace of The Farm.
21.00 Enjoy live music at Rixos Premium Dubai's Lock, Stock & Barrel bar.
13. Port Alfred
Stay at: Mantis Oceana Beach & Wildlife Reserve
08.00 Grab a bacon-and-egg roll from the legendary Nanaga Farm Stall to kick off the day.
11.00 Take a dip at Kelly Beach, a pristine spot popular with swimmers and surfers alike.
12.30 Have the team at Mantis Oceana Beach and Wildlife Reserve organise a private picnic for you on a platform perched on a dune looking out over the ocean.
15.00 Play a few rounds on the manicured greens of the Royal Alfred Golf Club.
16.30 Taste wine paired with cheese and charcuterie at the D’vine Deli, housed in the Postmaster’s Village.
19.00 Enjoy succulent Karoo lamb at Graze by the River.
Stay at: Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund
09.00 Get your caffeine fix at the popular SeeSaw café.
10.00 Check out the city’s finest art deco structure: Slaughterhouse 1933 is an art and design space housed in a former abattoir, complete with an Escher-like maze of 26 sky bridges.
13.00 Hidden away behind a metal gate in Xuhui is 1984, a café and bookshop with a leafy courtyard.
15.30 See contemporary Chinese art by the likes of Song Dong and Lin Tianmaio at Rockbund Art Museum.
20.00 Get a seat on the terrace at Ming Yuan restaurant at Banyan Tree Shanghai On The Bund to enjoy traditional Cantonese fare with scenic river views.
Stay at: Pullman Tokyo Tamachi
09.00 Pick up a treat for breakfast at master pastry chef Akimasa Sugikubo’s first bakery, 365 Jours.
10.00 Head to D & Department in Setagaya to peruse a vast range of furniture design classics, homeware, books and more.
13.00 Pick up an aromatic Japanese curry for lunch at Land in Nakameguro.
15.30 Visit Japanese digital art collective TeamLab’s eccentric and futuristic museum in Odaiba.
20.00 Try Mongenbo’s excellent signature dishes: kamonanban (duck soba) and katsudon (breaded pork).
21.30 Sip a Namerakana Sour at Pullman Tokyo Tamachi's rooftop bar, Platform 9.
Q&A – Sébastien Bazin, Chairman and CEO, Accor
Customers want new and unique experiences but brands are built on trust and recognition. How does a company manage to maintain its DNA while striving for difference? At its core, Accor has always been about audacity, entrepreneurship and the spirit of conquest. It bravely breaks the traditional codes of the hotel industry and reinvents the profession to offer guests a singular and memorable experience.
Q How have you seen customers’ expectations evolving?
A Hyper-informed and connected consumers are becoming more empowered to make decisions. As a result they are also demanding more experiences, which makes the hotel industry more challenging but also so exciting.
Q Do you imagine different customers gravitating towards your different brands?
A Our portfolio of brands is like a group of friends. You have friends with different backgrounds and different tempers, and therefore different lifestyles. However, they are all friends that you like to spend time with. Brands are like friends in this way and at Accor we have the richest portfolio of iconic brands.
Q The best hotels are more than rooms for the night – they are hives of activity and centres of communities. How important
is it to lure locals through the lobby?
A Going local translates itself to opportunities for stayover guests to engage with authentic local people, culture and traditions, which is one of the fundamental principles of why people travel. Inviting locals to discover our hotels can also make them our potential clientele.
Q Hotels are also agents of change. How can a good hotel change a neighbourhood?
A A hotel is the only place in a neighbourhood that can offer residents 24/7 solutions. We strongly believe that hotels have a bigger role to fill as they can facilitate and enrich the daily lives of the neighbourhoods they exist in.
Q How important is training, staffing and the personal touch in the guest experience, considering how much of the interaction can now take place digitally?
A Digitisation will not change the fact that the hospitality industry is all about experiences and connecting to people. We consider the personal touch an important element that helps differentiate Accor from its competitors. We have been undergoing a cultural transformation. It’s about leading with your heart to genuinely connect with the guest.
Q At its best, technology can offer better sustainability; at its worst it’s a nuisance. Where do you stand on in-room gadgets?
A Every piece of technology that we have in our hotel rooms is meant to better serve our clients and to meet their needs.
Q Apartment sharing didn’t upend the hotel industry but it did cause many people to rethink a hotel’s point of difference. What do hotels need to do to stay on top?
A Our key drivers of differentiation are putting customers at the heart of our strategy and providing experiences. We cannot be afraid of change.