Fanélie Gaffinel

Following the success of our first conference in January 2013 on the changes in luxury hotel renovations under the involvement of Studio Putman, Jean-Philippe Nuel, and Max Flageollet, I had the pleasure of working with Journal des Palaces to organize a second conference on hotel renovation at the Salon Maison et Objets.

I was able to discuss the concerns regarding budget, organization, and management that go into hotel renovation with our guests:

• Nicolas Adnet, interior designer
• Sybille de Marjorie, interior designer
• Fanélie Gaffinel, Design Director at Accor Group

In the coming three weeks, you will be able to read our interviews with each of these guests. Today I invite you to discover our interview with Fanélie Gaffinel, who works as Director of Design at Sofitel and has been responsible for the design of the hotels since the repositioning of the Sofitel chain.

Can you describe to us your role at Sofitel?


Currently I am Design Director at Accor, and I am in charge of a group devoted to supporting concept artists and accompanying architects and interior designers in renovation or construction projects throughout Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. We work to convey the standards and values of the Sofitel brand.


What characterizes the renovations of Sofitel hotels?

blue room
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We are currently the only French luxury hotel chain to have a presence on 5 continents across our 120 hotels. Each hotel is unique, and each one weds its French roots (elegance, expertise, the art of welcoming) with the best of the local culture.

The Sofitel brand is founded on three values: a passion for Excellence, the essence of Pleasure, and a spirit of Open-mindedness. We express these in our hotels through 3 strategic pillars: Design and innovation, Gastronomy and wine, and Culture and Events inspired by the French art of living.

Laurent Delporte Sofitel
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We work with renowned French designers and architects such as Jean Nouvel, Studio Putman, Sybille de Margerie, Didier Gomez, Studio MHNA, Isabelle Miaja, as well as designers like Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, Kenzo TaKada, and many others. We also work with local architects, as we have done at Sofitel So Bangkok, where five Thai interior designers, including the well-known Smith Obayawat, came together to design a hotel under the theme of the five elements.

Each designer tells his or her own story, taking inspiration from the spirit of the place and relying on their own creativity. Thus, each Sofitel offers a truly unique experience of the French art of living in harmony with the discovery of the local culture.

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Above all, these architectural creations integrate new concepts, the specific project demands, a good management of flow, the integration of new technologies, the management of resources, and the constraints of the hotel. But these projects also reflect the values of our brand through the bold vision of the designs, the creativity, the innovation, and the design in the choice of the furniture, the materials, the level of detail, even the light changing over the course of the day’s various activities. We envision our hotels as destinations where “Life is Magnificent.”

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