Accor has slated its five-star Pullman brand for aggressive expansion over the next three years, with a target of 150 hotels by 2015 across the globe, a large number of which will be in the Asia Pacific region.
Having recently taken over 43 Mirvac hotels, Accor has just rebranded the former Sydney Marriott to the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, and will invest over $7 million to bring the landmark hotel to global Pullman standards.
The top four floors of the hotel were renovated not long before the take-over and now the refurbishment will continue with a fresh new lobby and upgrades to the rest of the hotel’s guest rooms.
“The hotel has great DNA and a fantastic location on the edge of Hyde Park so the rebranding to Pullman will help position it as one of Sydney’s smartest five-star business hotels,” said Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath.
“Given the pressure on rooms in Sydney, the upgrading of the hotel to Pullman will meet the increasing demands for quality accommodation in the city and its prime location will make it popular with both business and leisure guests.”
Overlooking Hyde Park in the city centre, the 241-room hotel boasts some of Sydney’s best conference facilities with nine meeting rooms encompassing a total of 588 square metres, two floors of executive rooms and a rooftop pool and spa. Situated in the CBD and within a short walk of vibrant dining and entertainment options, the hotel boasts stunning city and harbour views from many rooms.
The rebranding comes at a time when Accor is investing heavily in the development of the Pullman network around the world, with the launch of key hotels in London and Paris this year. The Pullman London St Pancras has just launched and renovations are currently finishing on the signature Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel which will boast spectacular views over that city’s most famous landmark.
Auckland saw its first Pullman open in early 2011 when the former Hyatt was rebranded. Pullman has already established a reputation for taking a fresh approach to upscale hospitality with its ‘check in, chill out’ positioning around three fundamentals: conviviality; calm; and connectivity. The Pullman Auckland quickly set itself apart in the city, introducing Auckland’s most exclusive penthouse suite, with a price tag of around NZ$10,000 per night which is popular with visiting celebrities, politicians, sporting stars and royalty.
The hotel also boasts three Pullman Executive levels, some of Auckland’s most extensive conference facilities for up to 1000 delegates and a world-class spa and health club featuring a 25m heated lap pool with retractable roof, steam room, jacuzzi, juice bar and spa boutique.
Already there is a strong Pullman presence in many of Australia’s major feeder markets including Auckland, Beijing, Shanghai, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Delhi. Recent openings include Pullman Bangkok Hotel G on Silom Road and the Pullman Gurgaon Central Park in Delhi, with several more openings planned for China and India in the next two years.
Pullman is Accor’s five-star upscale international brand, focused on the requirements of the cosmopolitan, seasoned business traveller. Pullman hotels provide a range of tailored services, access to world-leading technology and a new approach to organising large-scale private events and conferences.
The Pullman brand aims to set itself apart in the conference and meetings space, with dedicated teams and facilities to ensure every event runs smoothly. With a hotel brand so focused on meetings and events, PCOs can be sure of the highest levels of service and conferences that are run flawlessly.
One of the reasons the Pullman brand has been so successful is that it has proven to be a ‘hotel for the times’ with guests wanting five-star services at more affordable prices. The Pullman brand is positioned just below Accor’s five-star luxury Sofitel brand and as such is very popular with corporate travellers and leisure guests who want VIP treatment at a more accessible level.
Simon McGrath says the first Pullman to launch in Australia – the Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park – really set the standard for what the brand was all about.
“It has been interesting to see the impact of the Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park,” he said.
“While it made a big statement by being the first five-star hotel in Western Sydney, its character and pricing have made it accessible and popular with businesses from all around the city.”
The other Pullman in Australia is the Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns, which has been undergoing its own renovation program in recent months, including the unveiling of a new $3 million state-of-the-art sports ‘arena’ which features a huge theatre with the largest LED screen in Queensland and tiered seating for more than 180 people, plus dry bars and a party-pit. This latest addition to the hotel’s entertainment complex makes the Pullman Reef Casino the number one venue for conferences and events in Cairns thanks to its wildlife dome, gaming complex, numerous bars, dining outlets and shows providing endless diversions for guests and conference delegates, all in one place.
Pullman hotels combine bold, stylish interiors with a new approach to customer service. Instead of a concierge, guests are greeted by the Pullman Welcomer who can assist with all elements of their stay, and the brand has IT assistance available 24-hours a day for today’s increasingly tech-savvy guests.
The Pullman Co-Meetings concept also delivers a new approach to hosting events, with such features as dedicated ‘chill out’ spaces, cutting-edge technology, innovative break ideas and inventive menus designed for the health and well-being of today’s ‘road warriors’.
In addition to city-centre locations, the brand is also increasingly introducing new Pullman Resorts including Pullman Bali Legian Nirwana, Pullman Pattaya Aisawan and the newly opened Pullman Marrakech Palmerai Resort & Spa in Morocco. These resorts are perfect for in-house conferences and incentives, as well as for the leisure market.