Sofitel combines its “Legends”
Sofitel Métropole Hanoi - Vietnam (Select Member)
The coverpicutre of the book by Andreas Augustin (Metropole Hanoi)
Built in 1901 in a pure colonial style in a Hanoi, which had become the capital of the Indochinese Union (Cochin China, Annam, Cambodia and Tonkin), until the end of the 1930’s the Métropole was one of the most refined and exclusive western palace hotels in the Far East.
Following Vietnamese independence in the 1950’s, the new national government chose it as the official hotel for important visitors. During and after the war years the hotel became a base of operations for journalists and diplomats.
Restored, renovated and reopened in 1992 under the Sofitel brand following a partnership agreement signed with the Vietnamese government, the Métropole had already recovered its identity and prestige.
From the moment it opened, the Métropole quickly became a meeting place for writers, artists and officials. The hotel’s guest book includes the signatures of Presidents of the United States, France and the Republic of Togo, Prince Albert of Monaco, the King of Malaysia, Prime Ministers of Australia, Japan, France and Canada, major business delegations such as the World Presidents Organization and the Asia Leaders Forum, as well as great movie stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, Catherine Deneuve, Robert de Niro, Oliver Stone…
It was the Métropole Hanoi that inspired Graham Greene to wirte “The Quiet American”, which predicted the outcome of the confrontation between Uncle Sam and Uncle Ho… That was in 1951, and the hotel has been perpetuating Greene’s memory ever since.
Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam - NetherlandsThe Grand, a registered historic monument, has since the 15th century successively housed royal guests, the Dutch Admiralty when Holland ruled the seas, and even the Amsterdam city hall before becoming one of the city’s most beautiful hotels. Marriages are still celebrated in the hall of the hotel where Queen Beatrix married Claus von Amsberg in March 1966. More recently the hotel has also received distinguished guests such as Madonna, Michael Jackson, 50 Cent…
The site exudes a sort of “grand bourgeois” and affluent majesty that is powerfully charming, and also sometimes evokes the shadows and contrasts of Dutch painting.
Thanks to an expertly realized restoration, the hotel has retained the spirit of a historic monument while offering the finest in contemporary comfort. The 182 rooms and suites have each been restored while respecting the hotel’s historic heritage. The Grand is situated a few minutes away from the famous “Dam Square” cultural quarter.
Sofitel Palais Jamaï - Morocco
Luminous, exotic, secret, an imperial city with a Medina – the world’s largest – which is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, Fez offers an excellent occasion to discover its marvels while relaxing in the voluptuousness of a palace. Behind the medieval ramparts of this cultural and spiritual capital rises the Palais Jamaï. The only hotel in the Medina, it dominates the labyrinth of alleys and dead-end passages where many craftsmen continue to honor Moroccan art in all the richness of its many influences.
In 1879, Jamaï, grand vizier of the sultan Moulay el-Hassan I, had a palace built in Fez that would remain in the hands of the powerful Jamaï family until the 1930’s, when it became a luxury hotel. His Majesty Mohammed VI resided here when he was still only a young prince, preferring it over the royal palace. In a subtle association of pavilions, patios and fountains that seem to merge into an Andalusian garden perfumed by tangerine and lemon trees, this exceptional palace has all the magic of Arab/Moorish architecture: painted walls and ceilings, myriads of vaults and niches, fine woodworking, ceramic mosaics, and stucco embroideries. Each element sublimates the refinement of the ornamentation of this palace, which since the 1930’s has become the jewel of Moroccan hotels.
With its subdued lighting, brick-red Tadelakt plasterwork, white marble benches, and rooms decorated with blue enamel inlays, the hotel’s spa is a veritable temple to wellness that invites relaxation of the mind and body. These are privileged surroundings for discovering or rediscovering the rituals of the hammam in their purest tradition.
Today, the Palais Jamaï is one of Sofitel’s most remarkable hotels.
Sofitel Old Cataract Aswan - Egypt (Select Member)
Rising from the desert, the Sofitel Old Cataract was built on a granite promontory overlooking the sacred river, providing guests with a view of the splendor of the Nile in the heart of luminous Aswan.
The Old Cataract hotel takes its name from the meeting of the river with the granite barrier, which creates the first cataract of the Nile.
The dreamlike history of the Old Cataract began in 1899. Prestigious guests have honored this place: Sir Winston Churchill, The Aga Khan, King Farouk, and also the former French president, François Mittérand, who often came here for rest and relaxation.
The enchanting atmosphere of the hotel also inspired the famous author Agatha Christie for her book “Death on the Nile.”
With its legendary “Elephantine” terrace, the famed “1902” restaurant covered with an impressive array of ogive arches and arabesques, and its deliciously retro décor redolent of a bygone era, the Old Cataract faces the mausoleum of the Aga Khan.
The Sofitel Old Cataract of Aswan was named in 2005 by the prestigious Condé Nast Traveler’s Gold List as the most beautiful hotel in the Africa/Middle East region.
Sofitel Old Winter Palace Luxor - Egypt (Select Member)
Luxor, living witness to the splendor of the time of the Pharaohs, where each stone tells of a legend, has an exceptional hotel appreciated by Egypt’s most famous visitors: the Sofitel Old Winter Palace.
The hotel was built in 1886 in a splendid and luxurious tropical garden and for over a century was the privileged host of royal families from Europe and the East. Today, prestigious guests like Hillary Clinton continue to honor the hotel with their presence.
In 1922, the famous archeologist Howard Carter announced the discovery the tomb of King Tutankhamen from the steps of the entrance to the Winter Palace.
Each of the 104 rooms and suites is an invitation to dream, enchanting guests with the colonial charm of this splendid hotel through the delicateness of its woodwork and the elegance of its materials. A timeless luxury that reconciles overabundant oriental sensuality with British rigor, as desired by King Farouk, the last King of Egypt, who chose to live here. In this palace, the Belle Epoque meets modern comfort.
Sofitel Santa Clara - Colombia
The Sofitel Santa Clara is located in the heart of the old city, in the interior of a former convent, a jewel of 17th century colonial architecture which is on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez used this convent as the setting for one of his novels, “Of Love and Other Demons”.
The renovation of the hotel, completed in close collaboration with engineers from Colombia’s agency for Historic Monuments, led to the discovery of numerous archeological artifacts that are now on view at the hotel
Located in the historic quarter of Cartagena, the former convent has now reopened it doors under the Sofitel brand. The hotel features 180 rooms, including 18 suites, one of which is a Presidential suite. All rooms have a direct view over the old city, the Caribbean Sea, or the hotel’s interior gardens.
LeSpa at Sofitel offers the finest in wellness; its 8 rooms are veritable havens of relaxation, where guests can chose between relaxing or energizing massages, or beauty treatments for facial glow or body energy… Aromatherapy, shiatsu, fitness club with cardio-training, hammam, an herbal tea bar and a superb terrace overlooking the Caribbean: everything is geared toward total relaxation. True to its values of authenticity, rigor and professionalism, LeSpa at Sofitel offers a full range of exclusive treatments. This offering is completed by a pool and a Jacuzzi, which are ideally situated so that guests may take advantage of the Colombian sun during any season of the year.
Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort - Thailand (Select Member) will
Still pending is the membership of the Hua-Hin based property. For the time being this hotel will be featured as part of a "Luxury Collection" of Sofitel, to become a Legend in 2011.
Hua Hin gained
the esteem of the people of Thailand when Prince Purachatra declared
his desire to build a luxury hotel in the city. Thus, in 1923
construction began on the Railway Hotel in a western style.
Prince Purachatra personally supervised construction of the new hotel, which was designed by an Italian architect, Mr. Rigazai. The hotel was intended to be a luxurious building, built with wood and brick in a European style, as commissioned by the royal family.
In 1986 the royal railroad station ceded restoration rights for the Railway Hotel to the Central hotel group and to Accor, which re-launched the hotel under the Sofitel brand. The historic charm of the hotel was perfectly preserved, and Sofitel received from the Thailand Architects Association a prize for quality preservation of historical buildings in Thailand. Covering 13 hectares, the Sofitel Central Hua-Hin Resort blends Edwardian architecture and colonial traditions, offering sumptuous landscapes and curving architectural gardens for the 207 rooms and suites in the hotel’s three wings. In this décor that recalls the charms of the past, the Sofitel Central Hua-Hin Resort has added contemporary facilities: an annex housing the Palm restaurant, a bar with a beach terrace, the Museum tea room, 4 swimming pools, two tennis courts, a human-scale chess board, a golf course and a labyrinth.