Ibis launches fixed rate summer offer for key European destinations

Ibis, a worldwide economy hotel brand and member of the Accor Group, has launched a fixed rate summer offer for the three key European travel destinations of Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Regardless of the format used to book accommodation at any Ibis hotel in any of the three participating countries, the price will be fixed at €45 (£38). The promotion, believed to be the first of its kind for any hotel group, is available to book immediately and will run until May 31. It allows for bookings of one or two people between the offer dates of June 1 and August 31 this year.

The offer is for all 74 Ibis branded properties across the three countries and includes those in the major cities of Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Milan and Rome.

Ibis claims to offer competitively priced, well-equipped rooms, welcoming staff that are available 24 hours a day, an uninterrupted bar and snack service daily, breakfast from 4 o’clock in the morning until noon, and free Wifi. The company is also offering its new bedding concept, Sweet Bed by Ibis, which it says has involved a thorough analysis of beds and bedding to arrive at a sleep comfort package to suit the whole family.

The terms of the fixed price offer state that it is subject to availability, that bookings are not cancellable and that it must be prepaid. A list of full conditions for the offer can be found at www.ibishotels.com and at www.accorhotels.com.

Established in 1974, Ibis now has more than 107,000 rooms and 900 hotels in 48 countries around the world.

Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill Hotel announces launch

The new Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill Hotel, formerly the Abbey Hill Hotel, is being launched following a refurbishment that has cost £1.5m.

The Mercure brand has announced that its latest property, in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK, features a decorative theme throughout its public spaces that is inspired by nature. This includes the hotel’s 60-seat restaurant, 50-person capacity bar and lobby area, and its 88 bedrooms. For business guests and private functions, the hotel can also provide five state-of-the-art meeting rooms.

The hotel is located conveniently close to Milton Keynes town centre, five minutes’ drive from the town’s railway station, and adjacent to the Abbey Hill Golf Course.

Guests have the option of booking one of the hotel’s 12 Privilege rooms, which offer 28 square metres of accommodation with views across the golf course, super-king size beds, a complimentary mini-bar, Nespresso coffee maker, bathrobe and slippers, additional toiletries, a Jacuzzi bathtub and a sofa seating area.

Meanwhile, the hotel’s new restaurant, Moltens, will introduce an interactive dining experience this February, with diners able to cook their own choice of meat or fish on volcanic slates that are heated to 440 degrees C. The restaurant intends to cater for the more adventurous meat eater by this summer with the introduction of venison, ostrich and crocodile to the menu, but will also offer a full range of vegetarian options.

Nazim Manji, chairman and CEO of Clubhouse Group, owner and operator of the new Mercure property says, ‘After months of hard work we are thrilled to be unveiling the newest hotel in the thriving business hub of Milton Keynes, which is said to become one of England’s largest cities by 2031. The hotel was one of the first purpose built business hotels in Milton Keynes around 1987, so we are pleased to be carrying on the legacy. The new facilities will better serve our business market whilst also appealing to those that visit the region’s many attractions at weekends.’

Jonathan Sheard, managing director of operations for MGallery and Mercure Hotels, Northern Europe, commented, ‘The Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill Hotel is a fantastic addition to the growing Mercure network in the UK. Each Mercure hotel has its own unique story and this hotel is no different. We are very pleased to welcome it on board.’

Accor Announces Four New Mercure Hotels to Open in UK

Accor, a France based hotel company and owner of brands such as ibis, Mercure, and others, will be opening four new Mercure hotels in the UK.

The company is opening four new hotels under its Mercure brand in London, Scotland, Milton Keynes and Darlington, increasing its portfolio to 75 hotels in the nation.

The company has entered into franchise agreements for the new hotels, which will be adding around 394 rooms to the Mercure network.

Jonathan Sheard, the managing director of operations, for MGallery and Mercure Hotels UK and Ireland, said, ‘We are delighted to welcome our new partner hotels to the Mercure network in the UK.

Each hotel has its own unique story and represents an exciting new destination for business and leisure travellers alike.

We are committed to significantly growing our Mercure hotel portfolio by 2015 and this will largely be driven through our growing franchise development in the UK.

We are delighted to welcome these four new hotel partners, all of which are a natural fit for the Mercure brand.

By joining with our business, our franchise partners will be able to boost their hotels’ existing exposure through the use of our brand name and benefit from our existing expertise, powerful global distribution networks and committed sales force.’

The new Mercure Darlington Kings Hotel is currently open, and will be followed by the Mercure London Greenwich Hotel, and the Mercure Eddleston Barony Castle Hotel and Spa in Scotland later this month. The Mercure Milton Keynes Abbey Hill will be open in January 2013.

Accor to Open Four New Hotels in London in 2012 October

Accor, a France-based hotel company and owner of brands such as ibis, ibis budget, and ibis Styles, amongst others, will be opening four new hotels in UK in October 2012.

The company is opening its new flagship Ibis London Blackfriars hotel in the UK, with 297 guestrooms, an open plan lobby with the reception, and a bar and restaurant. Located in the heart of Blackfriars, the hotel is within easy commutable distance with other parts of the city. A new Novtel hotel will also be opening at the same property, with 182 rooms and complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness centre and an indoor pool.

Commenting on the design of the ibis London Blackfriars hotel, Thomas Dubaere, the managing director, Accor UK and Ireland, said, ‘This is ibis like never before, and we are confident that ibis London Blackfriars will transform perceptions of economy hotels. We believe that travellers looking for affordable and reasonable accommodation shouldn’t have to compromise on quality and style. Guests will be surprised by the revitalised offering at Blackfriars and the hotel will also play a part in the current rejuvenation of this popular area.’

The new Ibis London Shepherd’s Bush will open in London with 128 rooms, located with easy distance of the food and fashion destination of Westfield London.

Dubaere said of this development, ‘We are thrilled to open this ibis hotel, which has all the innovation and style that mark the new era for ibis, and indeed those looking for affordable, quality accommodation. We believe travellers on a budget shouldn’t have to settle for anything less than the latest in design, technology and comfort. The hotel is perfectly situated in the revitalised Shepherd’s Bush area and is itself contributing to the ongoing development of the area.’

Finally, the new Mercure London Greenwich is also opening in October, with 145 rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness centre, and a restaurant and bar.

‘2012 has been a decisive year for London, which has been a huge magnet for tourists particularly. We believe it is important to invest in the city for the longer term, as illustrated by the opening of four new hotels in just one month’, says Dubaere.

Accor Revamps Economy Hotel Brands

Accor, a France based hotel company and owner of brands such as ibis, ibis budget, and ibis Styles, among others, will be reviewing its economy hotels in 56 countries.

The company is planning a transformation of all its economy hotel brands in 2012, which will include new beds switched with around 66,000 old beds; refurbished public areas in 50 hotels; and a new marketing campaign. The relaunch of the hotels will be in keeping with changing customer demands of today.

Denis Hennequin, the company chairman and chief executive officer, said, ‘What we are doing with ibis is reinventing economy hotels by setting a new standard. Our goal is to open up new territories – I mean new hotel experiences as well as new geographies. This project is unprecedented. It has put ibis’ vision one step ahead. It is treating our customers to unrivalled choice at affordable prices and our franchisees to even more brand appeal.’

This economy-brand renewal project commenced in 2011 and includes incorporating ibis, ibis Styles (all seasons) and ibis budget (Etap Hotel) branded properties under a single umbrella if Ibis brand. The properties are expected to be under the new banner by October 2012, with around 80% of those in the network close to finishing off the remodelling project.

The company operates 43 ibis hotels; four ibis style hotels (earlier known as All Seasons brand); and five ibis budget hotels (Etap hotels) in the UK.

The company is also launching a €30 million communication campaign simultaneously in 56 countries in October, to highlight its transformation, and will be running the campaign until the end of December 2012, over a number of communication channels, including billboards, online, TV, and the press.

Accor to Offer Complimentary Wi-Fi at Hotels

Visitors to Accor properties in the UK will now be able to surf the Internet for free, as the France-based hotel group is planning to scrap Wi-Fi charges at 500 of its properties worldwide.

The hotel company owns the Ibis, Mercure, Sofitel and Novotel hotel brands, and has opted for free Wi-Fi after a recent survey concluded that travellers decide on hotel room bookings based on availability of complimentary Wi-Fi services.

A survey conducted in January 2012 by Hotels.com, a US-based travel company and a part of the Expedia group, suggested that travellers voted for complimentary Wi-Fi as the hotel amenity that they most searched for, when asked to comment on their favourite in-room and hotel amenities.

While 38 percent of the respondents to the survey voted in favour of complimentary Wi-Fi being the amenity to decide their hotel stay, 35 percent reported complimentary Wi-Fi as an amenity that they wished was more available in hotels.

Taylor L Cole, APR, the director of public relations and social media for Hoetls.com, explained, ‘Given the explosion of mobile use in the past few years, it is no surprise that travellers are requiring free and fast Wi-Fi. Many guests never travel without their tablets, smart phones and laptops. It’s as intuitive as packing a toothbrush. Guests use these items in their rooms to plan activities for the next day.

We are also seeing an uptick in mobile booking the day of a stay. Guests are creating their trips while on-the-go with Tonight’s Local Deals on our site and the hotels.com mobile apps, which feature exclusive mobile deals – it is only natural that they’d want to stay connected while in their hotel rooms.’


Accor Announces New Hotels Opening in London

Accor SA, a France-based hotel company will be opening four new hotels in the UK by the end of this year.

The company is opening a Novotel and ibis hotel in Blackfriars, London, a second ibis hotel in Shepherd’s Bush, in London, and a new Mercure brand property, in Greenwich, London, all scheduled to open in October 2012.

In 2012, the company is opening a total of 1,000 additional guestrooms in the capital, with six new hotel openings in total, and extensions added to existing hotels. The company is also intending to completely refurbish around 12 of its London hotels soon.

The company has also reported that its MGallery and Mercure hotel brands have doubled their properties in the UK in 2012, with around 70 hotels in the country, taking the brand-wide total to 700 hotels globally.

Jonathan Sheard, the company managing director of operations for MGallery and Mercure hotels, said, ‘This is a really exciting time for MGallery and Mercure hotels in the UK. We have ambitious growth plans and both brands are well positioned in the upper and midscale markets to attract new partners to Accor. I am extremely proud to be working with these great brands at such an interesting time.’

Thomas Dubaere, the managing director for Accor UK and Ireland, said, ‘2012 is an incredibly important year for London.

As the market leader in Europe and a key business player in the hospitality industry, Accor has treated this important year as a strategic opportunity to boost our presence in the UK’s capital by investing in upcoming areas such as Shepherd’s Bush, Blackfriars, Whitechapel and King’s Cross, and improving the training and development of young people in the hospitality industry, to ensure a long term legacy for 2012 and beyond.’

Francis Hotel Opens in Bath as Part of MGallery Collection by Accor

The Francis Hotel, which is located in the historic city of Bath, England, has opened on completion of a renovation project.

The hotel was opened to the public on May 28, 2012, as the Francis Hotel Bath, a member of the MGallery collection by Accor, a brand of hotels from Accor, a French hotel company.

MGallery is a portfolio of a luxurious hotels owned by the Accor group, which operates around 4,200 hotels and has 145,000 employees in 90 countries. Each MGallery hotel property is distinct in its features, design, and decor. All MGallery hotels offer their guests the chance to experience a ‘Memorable Moment’, through a special activity intended to provide added guest satisfaction.

The historic Francis Hotel, which neighbours the city’s main attractions, the Roman Baths, Pump Room and Thermal Spa, has undergone a meticulous £6 million refurbishment to provide 98 distinctly styled bedrooms, as well as a luxurious lounge and bar, and a front parlour and breakfast room.

Karen Bassett, the hotel manager, said, ‘We’re very excited about the refurbishment and look forward to welcoming guests to experience our beautiful new hotel. It’s fantastic that the Francis Hotel is being honoured in this way and being brought back to the impeccable standard of its heyday.’

The hotel room rates commence from £109.00 per room, per night.

The Francis Hotel Bath was originally constructed from seven houses, joined to create a hotel by local hotelier, Emily Francis, in 1884. Architectural firm, Househam Henderson, has designed the current hotel interiors.

Accor Group Go Environmentally Sustainable

Accor SA (EPA:AC), a France-based hotel company, has committed itself to sustainable tourism with the launch of its new sustainability programme, Planet 21.

The new programme provides strategies to convert each of the company-owned hotels into environmentally sustainable properties. In a briefing held at its Novotel Tower Bridge hotel in London, the Accor group’s executive vice-president for sustainable development, Sophie Flak, said, ‘Energy is the second layer of costs after employees. It’s a huge cost, EUR350 million per year, and we need to focus on reducing consumption of energy because costs won’t go down, particularly with taxes going up in countries such as the UK.’

The new strategies, to be implemented through the Planet 21 initiative, will be aimed at reducing the group’s environmental impact at around 4,400 individual hotels, and also at addressing local environmental issues in the 92 countries where the brand currently operates.

The Planet 21 programme is presently targeting around 21 commitments to operate a sustainable business, with specific goals that should be achieved by 2015. The sustainable initiatives include a 10 percent reduction in energy requirements; a 15 percent reduction in water usage; using eco-friendly products in 85 percent of the hotel properties; and promoting healthy meal options at around 80 percent of the properties. The Planet 21 programme also includes planting around 21 plantations within one year, and having a plantation in every country of operation within the next five years.

The company has earlier surveyed around 7,000 people across the globe before developing its sustainability campaign, and around 80 percent of respondents had voted for a sustainability strategy for its hotels. Flak commented, ‘They want to be a part of it but at the same time they don’t want to be forced into it or be made to feel guilty about it.’