Sofitel's Luxury Makeover Returns a Profit

The French hotelier has slimmed down and moved upscale
The exterior of Sofitel hotel near Times Square in New York Photograph by Andy Kropa/Redux

Singapore’s old Ogilvy Centre, a 1920s landmark built in neoclassical style and boasting large, decorative, iconic columns and recessed balconies with cast-iron balustrades, will reopen as a high-end Sofitel hotel in 2013. The $100 million project will be among several Sofitel launches since its parent company Accor (AC:FP) began repositioning the French-inspired lodging chain as a luxury international hotel brand in 2007. Moving upscale meant slashing the portfolio to 120 hotels in 2011, from 201 in 2006. Big name designers and architects were hired to craft new properties and renovate existing ones. All staff received training on providing top-notch service. The result, says Chief Executive Robert Gaymer-Jones: The once money-losing hotel brand is now profitable.

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