Accor’s Sofitel Los Angeles Readies for Its Close-up After $35 Million Extreme Makeover

World-Class Designers, a Celebrity Chef and a Leading Bar & Lounge Operator Come Together to Transform the Hotel Into One of LA’s Most Vibrant Locales

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ — Sofitel, the prestige brand of Accor hotels, announced today that the Sofitel Los Angeles will undergo a $35 million transformation, fusing French sophistication with the energetic pulse of Hollywood.

Sofitel Los Angeles has engaged designers Cheryl Rowley and Yabu Pushelberg, celebrated chef Kerry Simon and nightlife pioneer Rande Gerber to transform its flagship southern California property into the epitome of high style, elegance and luxury that befits both the Sofitel brand and Hollywood itself. This renovation further strengthens Sofitel’s presence within the North American market, where the brand has 11 properties in key cities such as New York, Chicago, Miami and Washington, DC.

The work will be complete by spring of 2006 and will reflect the distinctive, modernist sensibility of the design team of George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg. Their redesign will transform all of the Sofitel’s public spaces, from the dramatic two-story lobby, restaurant, bar and pool area to a luxurious new spa — LeSpa by Accor Thalassa — a first for a Sofitel hotel in North America.

Cheryl Rowley, whose leading design firm has specialized in distinctive luxury properties for more than two decades, demonstrates her chic, visionary design in the hotel’s 295 rooms. Striking lacquers in cream, cinnabar and chartreuse with exotic Macassar Ebony and limed white oak finishes add Hollywood glamour to the posh guestrooms. Seating is upholstered with rich velvets in a sexy chocolate and blond color palette.

All guestrooms will now feature up-to-the-minute technology, including 32-inch plasma televisions and laptop connections, while bathrooms will feature oversized enclosed rain showers with Switchlite(1) glass panels, many with views of the famous Hollywood sign. Suites will include Bose stereo systems, walk-in closets and large soaking tubs with televisions. Every room will have a simple-to-operate alarm clock with mp3 player connections. The alarm clock can only go off once a day, so there is no chance of being awoken at a time set up by a previous guest.

Every guestroom will also feature MyBed, a new bed concept created exclusively for Sofitel by Epeda, French makers of high-quality bedding. MyBed offers layer upon layer of custom-designed comfort: a mattress that supports every curve of the body, a soft featherbed, plush feather duvet and fluffy, oversized pillows — all hypoallergenic.

Another import from overseas is Sofitel Los Angeles’ LeSpa, which will follow in the traditions of Accor Thalassa. Accor Thalassa is known throughout the world for specializing in seawater-based treatments and has more than 25 years of experience in the spa industry. Deeply rooted in French beauty techniques, it will be an oasis of refinement and tranquility, sending clients into the deepest levels of relaxation and the highest states of well-being. The spa will consist of eight treatment rooms and a Turkish Hammam, and its design will integrate the elements of water and natural light to reflect the feel of Southern California.

Additionally, culinary star Kerry Simon is making his mark in Los Angeles with the launch of SIMON, his signature restaurant at the Sofitel Los Angeles. Three years ago, Simon changed the culinary landscape of Las Vegas when he and his partners opened Simon Kitchen + Bar in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. His innovative approach to classic comfort food quickly became popular among locals, out-of-towners, and a large celebrity clientele. Simon’s latest venture at the Sofitel Los Angeles will feature a large outdoor patio with a separate entrance. It is expected to become the city’s preeminent dining destination, appealing to both Angelenos and travelers alike.

Moreover, nightlife entrepreneur Rande Gerber, founder of Midnight Oil Company and After Midnight Company, and creator of sexy, hip lounges across the country, will open a new bar and lounge at the Sofitel Los Angeles. Between the cutting-edge interior design, exclusive clientele and signature cocktails, he will once again create his trademark ambience — a hallmark of all Gerber establishments.

Furthermore, Sofitel Los Angeles will continue its relationship with Nancy Kennedy and Bobby Strom, two of the most sought-after fitness and nutrition experts in the country. This husband-and-wife team, who has whipped countless celebrities into shape, will be in charge of Sofitel’s new 24-hour, state-of- the-art fitness facility, which will be the largest hotel fitness facility in Los Angeles. Nancy, who has more than 15 years of experience as a personal trainer, and Bobby, an award-winning body builder and former New York City cop, will supervise a staff of trainers at the Sofitel, offering weight loss programs, physical therapy and intensive fitness training.

“With the caliber of talent we’ve attracted to this project, we are confident our hotel is poised to become one of LA’s most desirable addresses,” said Brent Martin, general manager of the Sofitel Los Angeles.

There will be no doubt among guests of the new Sofitel Los Angeles that they are truly ensconced in the heart of Hollywood, where glamour and style will fuse with all of the latest technological and design innovations expected by today’s demanding traveler, whether they are staying for business or pleasure. Previous visitors will be dazzled by the new Sofitel Los Angeles, while new guests will be thrilled they have discovered a hotel they will return to again and again.

Located on restaurant row and just steps from the Beverly Center, the Sofitel has always been at the epicenter of Los Angeles’ numerous attractions. With many of the world’s foremost modernist and avant-garde design outposts just a stroll away, and more opening every day, guests will feel that this innovative hotel truly lives up to its locale. And as always, first-rate shopping, dining and entertainment remain just minutes away.

Throughout the course of the last few years, Sofitel has become a major player in the international upper upscale hotel market, with more than 190 properties that bring a unique French “art de vivre” to prime locations around the world.

Sofitel is now present in all of the major business cities (Paris, New York, London, Washington, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, Bangkok, … ), all the leading holiday resorts (Mauritius, Morocco, French West Indies, Indonesia, Brazil, … ) and at key international airports.

In 2005, Sofitel will continue its growth with openings in China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Vietnam, Brazil and Egypt.

With 168,000 people in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world’s largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services, with two major international activities:

– hotels: over 4,000 hotels (more than 466,000 rooms) in 92 countries,
casinos, travel agencies, and restaurants;
– services to corporate clients and public institutions: 19 million people
in 34 countries use a broad range of services (food vouchers, people
care and services, incentive, loyalty programs, events) engineered and
managed by Accor.

(1) Switchlite glass frosts over at the turn of a switch, providing total privacy for the person inside the shower stall, while allowing him/her to see the outside.

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