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Arora International Hotels Selects Sofitel Brand
for Hotels at Gatwick and Heathrow Airports

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19 October 2005 - Sofitel, the prestige brand of Accor Hotels with nearly 200 properties worldwide, today continues its UK expansion with the rebranding of Le Meridien Gatwick into Sofitel London Gatwick, together with the planned opening in 2008 of a brand new 600-bedroom hotel at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5, Sofitel London Heathrow. Both properties are in a franchise partnership with Arora International Hotels.
 
Directly connected to Gatwick’s North Terminal and close to the airport’s London Express rail link, the 500-room Sofitel London Gatwick will undergo a major facelift under the new management. This will include new granite flooring and creation of relaxation zones in the main atrium with a Zen central garden feature. 
 
In the guest rooms, Sofitel’s signature ‘MyBed’ will be introduced to the Executive and Deluxe rooms while in the public areas, a new Library will be created as well as a feature staircase off the atrium leading to the hotel's new destination cocktail bar - 'Kuà' - offering a hint of the Orient in contemporary surroundings. The hotel will have 3 restaurants - Le Café, reminiscent of a Parisian street café, and the stylish La Brasserie with its exquisite handpicked produce, together with the existing Gatwick Oriental featuring classic dishes from the Far East. 
 
Sofitel London Gatwick will offer all the facilities of a luxury international hotel including concierge service, a business centre, extensive meetings and events facilities and a leisure centre with gym, spa and  indoor swimming pool.
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Sofitel London Gatwick
(formerly Le Meridien Gatwick Airport)
North Terminal
Gatwick Airport
West Sussex, England UK
In addition, Sofitel Accor Hotels & Resorts, in partnership with Arora International Hotels will develop Sofitel London Heathrow at Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 which is scheduled to be operational in 2008. 
 
Arora International was chosen as the developer and operator by the British Airport Authority (BAA).
 
This 600-bedroom hotel will be directly connected to Terminal 5 and will have accommodation at 3 levels to provide for corporate and leisure travellers using the Terminal.
 
The hotel will also have a substantial meetings and events suite that will cater for both small meetings and large events for up to 1000.
 
As two of the world’s busiest airports, Heathrow and Gatwick play a major strategic role in business and leisure tourism both into and out of the UK. The Sofitel Airport properties occupy key locations at their respective destinations, and are set to become the favoured hotels of the international business and leisure traveller. With comprehensive conference and meeting facilities both hotels are ideally located for the international and domestic MICE markets.
 
Sofitel London Gatwick and Sofitel London Heathrow will complement Accor’s existing presence in London, the renowned Sofitel St James London, which since its opening in 2002, has become one of the capital’s most sought after addresses together with its acclaimed restaurant, Brasserie Roux.
 
The hotels will also be a valuable addition to the Sofitel hotels located at other major international airports, such as the Sofitel Chicago O’Hare, Sofitel Houston, Sofitel Miami, Sofitel Athens Airport, Sofitel Paris Charles-de-Gaulle Airport and the Dorint Sofitel Amsterdam Airport.
 
Throughout the course of the last few years, Sofitel has become a major player in the international upper upscale hotel market with nearly 200 properties that bring a unique French “art de vivre” to prime locations around the world.
 
Sofitel is now present in all of the major business cities (Paris, New York, London, Washington, Berlin, Tokyo, Chicago, Bangkok,…), all the leading holiday resorts (Mauritius, Morocco, French West Indies, Indonesia, Brazil,… ) and in key international airports. 
 
In 2005, Sofitel will continue its growth with some openings in China, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji Islands, Vietnam, Brazil and Egypt.
 
With 168,000 people in 140 countries, Accor is the European leader and one of the world's largest groups in travel, tourism and corporate services.
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Contact:

Siriporn Treepornpairat 
PR & Communications Co-ordinator 
Accor Asia 
www.sofitel.com

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Also See: European Airport Hotel Markets Have Had a Tough Time of Late; Heathrow and Gatwick Markets Suffered Double-digit revPAR Declines in 2003 / May 2004
The 880 room Le Meridien Heathrow Receives £15m Renovation, Reflagged to the Park Inn Brand / May 2004


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