Expectations high ahead of Sofitel So Singapore opening

SOFITEL So Singapore will flaunt its design cred when it opens in May, almost one year after it was originally scheduled to take off.

Speaking to TTG Asia e-Daily about the unique aspects of the 134-key hotel, general manager Tony Chisholm said it will feature a small lounge adjacent to the hotel lobby, reminiscent of Parisian bookstores with a book selection by acclaimed fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld who designed the hotel’s emblem and had recently completed work on hotel staff uniforms.

Other highlights include a gold-tiled pool and the Xperience gastrobar which will feature a rotation of Michelin-starred chefs every two months.

The hotel’s only event space will be The Box, a 100m2 flexible venue that is good for small gatherings of only 30 people. Chisholm explained that the plan is to direct the bulk of MICE business to an upcoming Accor property on Sentosa Island. News of Accor planting a property on the resort island was announced at ITB Berlin this year. While no further details were shared, Chisholm said the Sentosa hotel will offer ample MICE facilities.

Asked if the Sofitel So brand was Accor’s answer to Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ chic, upscale W, Chisholm said: “The idea wasn’t to go out and take on W as the brands have different design inspirations and Sofitel So is meant to mirror what’s happening in the city.

“Everything that’s created for So is totally different from one hotel to the next, and I can’t take what I’ve done with Sofitel So Singapore to Auckland – it would be totally different!”

He pointed out that Sofitel So is the only Accor brand to boast its own scent, and the bespoke scent at the Singapore property is meant to reflect the city-state’s history on the spice route as a trading post.

Intra-Asia travellers from source markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, China, Malaysia, Japan and South Korea are expected to provide a strong customer base for the hotel, while Chisholm revealed that the hotel had signed a contract with key German operators that already work with Accor in South-east Asia. He had also seen interest from the Australian market.

Said Chisholm: “Singapore as a market is already strong with 86 per cent (occupancy on average). With our location (on Robinson Road), we are confident of opening with strong occupancies.”

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