The luxury hotel industry and hotel renovation project
We pick up our conversation with Fanélie Gaffinel, Design Director at Accor Group. Last time she described to us the guiding principles that define Sofitel, and today Fanélie shares more about the cultural heritage and personal philosophies that inform her unique architectural vision.
What first brought you to the luxury hotel industry? Can you describe to us your first hotel renovation project?
I am an interior designer by training, and my introduction to the hotel industry took place at the hands of SM Design, an agency that specializes in hotels. There I discovered an entire world with its own codes. After all, a hotel is a space of living that functions 24h/24, with its own unique structure that functions in service to its clients.
The hotel must therefore be able, at any given time, to offer its patrons a very personalized service, adapted to a wide variety of clienteles, and always remain in pursuit of the aesthetics of quality and excellence.
My first project with Sofitel involved the renovation of a prestigious address: the Sofitel Legend the Grand Amsterdam with Sybille de Margerie. For this historic hotel, already rich in display of decorative arts, we decided to work in an artistic collaboration with the students of the renowned Design
of Eindhoven. Each room is therefore adorned with decorative objects and a painting, specially created and inspired by the history of the building and the city of Amsterdam.
What have been your most breathtaking projects?
We are truly lucky to have had such varied and numerous experiences. The Sofitel in Vienna under Jean Nouvel, for instance, offers a remarkably extraordinary experience for the city. We have recently finished renovating the Sofitel Paris Arc de Triomphe in partnership with Studio Putman, and we find that it perfectly captures the Parisian spirit. We are also looking forward to several other exciting projects in development for the future.
Laurent Delporte, an editor and conference speaker, is a strategic expert in the sector of hotels. A visionary, he brings his unique look on hotels in service to the decision-makers in the industry, whether to enhance the development of new projects or strategic visions.
Laurent has visited and audited over 350 hotels across the world and also participates in mystery visits to provide quality control for the world’s finest hotels.