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 Thakral Holdings Appoints Accor to Manage
the Former Sheraton Brisbane;
Will Be Re-branded Sofitel

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BANGKOK, 9 December, 2004 - Hotel and property development company, Thakral Holdings, announced today that it has appointed Accor to manage the former Sheraton Brisbane. The hotel will be re-branded to Accor's luxury hotel brand, Sofitel, from 1 February 2005. 

The appointment of Accor to manage the hotel as the Sofitel Brisbane follows Thakral Holdings' purchase of the hotel from Mulpha Australia Ltd.

Sofitel won the management contract against a range of other major international hotel brands including Intercontinental Hotels, Hyatt and Sheraton. 

The launch of the Sofitel Brisbane will precede the launch of another Sofitel in Queensland, Sofitel Gold Coast - also owned by Thakral Holdings - in May 2005.

The launch of the Sofitel Brisbane is part of the largest ever expansion of the Sofitel brand in the Asia Pacific region. Sofitel Brisbane will be the fifth Sofitel in Australia, and a further four are scheduled to be added to the network by the end of 2006. 

In Asia Pacific over 10 more Sofitels are under development in Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand, China and Thailand, which will extend the network of Sofitels in the Asia Pacific region to 45 hotels by the end of 2006, making Sofitel the largest network of 5-star hotels in the Asia Pacific region.  

There are over 180 Sofitel hotels and resorts globally in the world's most renowned city and resort destinations. Accor is Australia's and the Asia Pacific region's largest hotel group with 220 hotels in 15 countries. Accor operates a total of 4,000 hotels worldwide.

The Sofitel will be Brisbane's most prestigious internationally-branded deluxe hotel. Built over the city's Central Station in the heart of the central business district, the hotel comprises 410 rooms and suites, designed in contemporary fashion, with unparalleled views and the latest in-room technology and communications.

The hotel recently underwent a major AUD$10 million refurbishment. 

The Sofitel offers Brisbane's largest hotel venue for meetings, dining and entertainment, with 14 function rooms able to cater for up to 1200 delegates and a choice of five restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The hotel also offers a fitness and health centre, rooftop swimming pool and business centre.
 
Accor Asia Pacific Chairman, David Baffsky, said the hotel was an outstanding addition to the global Sofitel collection: "The hotel offers the best position for business, leisure and conference guests and is a landmark in Brisbane's hospitality sector," he said.

"Brisbane has developed significantly over the past decade and is now one of Australia's most desirable State capitals for corporate and leisure travel and we believe there is even greater potential to develop business further.

"In particular, we see opportunities to build on the close relationship between Brisbane and the Gold Coast by having Sofitel hotels in both destinations. The momentum that the Sofitel brand has gathered in recent years, and especially the high profile of Sofitel in key feeder markets such as Sydney and Melbourne, makes us confident that we can deliver the best results for the property.

"With Sofitel Brisbane joining Sofitels in Cairns and - in the near future - Gold Coast, Noosa and Palm Cove, Sofitel will become Queensland's largest and most distinctive network of 5-star hotels.

"Our Sofitel hotels in Australia have won the highest awards for excellence in service and product, and we will bring this proven record to the operation of Sofitel Brisbane."
 
With 158,000 people in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world's largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services.


 
Contact:

Tom Racette
Manager PR and Communications - Asia, 
Tel: (662) 659 4535
Tom.Racette@accor.com

Also See: Mulpha Australia Ltd's Acquisition of Principal Hotel Group's Australian Properties Voted Deal of the Year at the 15th annual Hotel Investment Conference Asia Pacific / October 2004
Air Pacific, Fijiís International Airline, Upgrades Denarau Island Resort Project from Novotel Brand to Sofitel / Aug 2004
ACCOR Acquires Thakral's All Seasons Hotel Management Business for AU$29 Million / Dec 1999
Accor Takes Over the Melbourne (Australia) Sheraton/ Aug 1998


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