Accor Innovates Guest Experience in All Dimensions

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Cindy Liew

Imagine you have been planning a trip for months or even years, be it to London, Paris or Tokyo. You are filled with excitement after your flight touched down, and can’t wait to check into your hotel.

Upon entering your hotel room, you are satisfied that it is clean and tidy, but wait a minute – surprise, surprise! You pick up a note or a manual introducing you to all the amenities and easiest routes to that specific destination you have been wanting to visit to spend a memorable day with your loved ones.

“Sweet! How could they have known about it and arranged all these?” you think to yourself.

The above is not a scene in a TV ad, but a real story that had happened to a family checking into Ibis Hotel in Paris. The arrangements were done because they wrote briefly about their trip when they made the booking online.

Positive and Augmented Hospitality

Strongly driven by data, providing personalised experience on a mass scale to guests is part of AccorHotels’ “positive and augmented hospitality” strategy. This is part of its plan to interact with and bring more value to customers not only for their stay, but also for their work and entertainment.

Some examples are Accor’s collaboration with Potel et Chabot, a French luxury catering company, and Groupe NOCTIS, a French leading high-end event organiser.

Tapping on the prestigious reception venues that Potel et Chabot has, like Pavillon Gabriel which lies at the heart of Champs Elysees gardens, Accor is able to make valuable offers to customers who cherishes its exquisiteness.

Have you ever thought of spending a night at ParisLongchamp, the historic horse racing site at Bois de Boulogne operated by NOCTIS? Now you can. This thrilling experience suits guests who enjoy a perfect mix of sport and entertainment.

Having acquired stakes in both Potel et Chabot and NOCTIS, Accor has the unique advantage of making such proposals to its customers, promising memorable experiences.

“What I want to do tomorrow for the customer is to ‘lennovate’ – leverage the new business acquired by the [Accor] group so there is a strong value for the guests,” says Franck Gervais, CEO Europe for AccorHotels.

Yet Accor’s moves to innovate do not just stop here.

frank gervais
Franck Gervais, CEO Europe of AccorHotels. A believer in “positive and augmented hospitality”, he hopes Accor will be “ahead of competition and invent what hospitality will be [for] tomorrow”.

Flying Nest: Hospitality on the Move

Have you heard of “Flying Nest”? Well, it is not a nest that flies, but an ephemeral and mobile accommodation concept invented by Accor.

More specifically, it is 25 mobile guestrooms assembled with converted marine containers that can be transported and placed right next to a much-celebrated event, bringing guests an unprecedented experience.

Franck describes this concept as “mobile and temporary hospitality”, with “25 mobile hotel rooms” that “take [guests] to the events”.

Flying Nest at French Formula 1 Open Race.

“[A previous] event was the French Formula 1 Open Race. Those 25 rooms were put just in front of the race, for 2-3 weeks’ time. People would stay there, sleep there, drink there, being just in front of the event.

“This is really what we want to do for augmented hospitality. We want to be ahead of competition and invent what hospitality will be [for] tomorrow,” says Franck.

Designed by Ora Ito, the guestrooms were created to offer a functional and pleasant experience with no lack of hotel comfort. This enables guests to enjoy a fully immersive experience at the heart of exciting events.

Creating the Hotel Experience for All

If you still believe hotels are only for travellers, think again. Accor provides strong offers of food, beverages and entertainment not only for guests, but also for locals.

Citing Accor’s flagship Novotel in London’s Canary Wharf, Franck explains: “A best example would be Novotel Canary Wharf in London, our brand-new Novotel which is today the second biggest brunch [location] in London each Sunday, the second biggest location where you can have a brunch in terms of [guest] volume.”

novotel canary wharf
Novotel Canary Wharf, the second biggest brunch location in London each Sunday. (Credit: AccorHotels)

Expanding Coverage in the Luxury Brand Market

These innovative strategies are in line with Accor’s asset-light approach adopted two years ago, which places customers’ and partners’ needs and experiences at the core.

Going forward, Accor will accelerate the size and importance of luxury brands.

“The top three luxury [brand] markets are London, Moscow, and Paris,” says Franck.

raffles Europejski warsaw
Raffles Europejski Warsaw, newly opened on June 1. This fully restored Polish icon joins Paris and Istanbul as the third European destination where the inimitable Raffles experience can be found. (Credit: Raffles Europejski Warsaw)

One recent opening is Raffles Europejski Warsaw on June 1. Bringing over 160 years of history and heritage to the culturally rich Raffles Hotels & Resorts brand, this fully restored Polish icon joins Paris and Istanbul as the third European destination where the inimitable Raffles experience can be found.

A new Fairmont hotel is also being built in Moscow; it is scheduled to open next year.

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