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Here, XAVIER ROYAUX, Chief Marketing Officer for Sofitel MGallery & Emblems, reveals the reasons behind the seed change and what guests can look forward to in the future.

The site of the very first Sofitel, then and now in Strasbourg.

Q: Your new short film is amazing. Where did the concept come from and how does it link to the brand?

A: Given our recent repositioning with a new vision and brand platform, we also wanted to rework our approach in terms of communication to reflect that change. 

Our objective was to develop a campaign that illustrates our brand pillars and anchors our new positioning around the ‘cultural link’, our logo symbolising the encounter of cultures, people and ideas.

Through our film, The Encounter, we wanted to capture the beauty of encounters between people, between our guests and our hotel teams, and between cultures that meet up every day in our hotels all over the world. 

This film features two free minds from different and diverse cultural backgrounds, whose lives intersect until they finally meet.

Having this objective in mind, we chose to collaborate with Gillian Anderson and Dali Benssalah – our two inspiring ambassadors who perfectly represent Sofitel’s vision and values: two multi-cultural renowned actors, who illustrate both the diversity of our clientele and the brand’s commitment to culture and arts.

Q: Tell us more about the repositioning of the Sofitel brand. What changes have been made and why was it decided to make these changes?

A: We have redefined our four brand pillars for greater impact and coherence. The first one, as mentioned earlier, is our cultural link. We take pride in building bridges between the French culture and local cultures and communities where our hotels are based. 

Secondly, the French zest aims at making the French mindset shine through in everything, from cuisine to decor and offerings. 

Then a heartfelt service culture where our service comes from the heart: we possess an innate desire to surprise and delight every guest and to tailor services to each individual. 

And last but not least, we take great pride in promoting vibrant local cultures and possess a deep respect for communities and the environment, through which our committed luxury pillar comes in.


Sofitel Melbourne on Collins

Q: So what changes might travellers see in Sofitel hotels?

A: As always, our guests will be able to enjoy Sofitel’s authentic and heartfelt service culture, as well as its French joie de vivre. 

These are strengths that are very important to us and on which we want to keep accelerating with a unique objective in mind: to continue elevating our guests’ experience.

At Sofitel, beauty especially lies in the details: life’s simple pleasures such as gastronomy and sleep are art forms that the brand has always placed at the heart of its priorities and on which it will keep focusing for the upcoming years.

Q: Sleep as an art form is quite a concept.

A: Back in 2003, Sofitel revolutionised the market with its major innovation: the Sofitel MyBedTM experience, the epitome of comfort. A box spring, mattress, topper, comforter and an extensive selection of pillows. 

Sofitel is now taking its commitment a step further by phasing in new rituals designed to provide guests with unequalled sleep quality, starting this July. 

Among other things this will include light meals formulated to help guests fall asleep more quickly, bespoke treatment protocols, relaxing playlists curated specially for the brand’s hotels and precise lighting and room temperature adjustments.

Q: And of course, being French we have to mention the food.

A: To keep delighting our guests who love gastronomy, Sofitel unveiled at the beginning of this year a brand new concept: Haute Croissanterie. 

All around the world, many of our pastry Chefs have given a twist to the most delicious French symbol of them all: the croissant. 

It’s an experience that came to life to elevate croissants to an unparalleled level, by revisiting the traditional French recipe with local flavours. An exciting new concept that is here to stay, as our Chefs will reveal new croissant recipes all year long.


Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Q: What else is in the pipeline?

A: Our commitment to culture also promises to become increasingly prominent. 

At Sofitel, we strongly believe that culture is essential to transmitting knowledge and traditions, respecting different lifestyles and promoting social cohesion. It is also essential to drive positive social change. 

This is why Sofitel is a place where culture infuses and spreads, making it accessible to everyone through several initiatives – which are becoming more and more important – such as opening events to the communities, integrating bookshelves within lobbies and kids’ clubs or building partnerships with local institutions.

Q: You are rightly considered a luxury brand but has the typical Sofitel guest changed?

A: Since COVID, leisure clientele has taken on a much greater importance as it now represents 64% of our global clientele (vs 47% in 2019). 

Consequently, their expectations have also changed: 64% of them travel accompanied, and aim to share moments together (discovering, exploring, experiencing…).

Another evolution we are experiencing is our clientele rejuvenation: Sofitel customers are getting younger and that is exactly what we are looking for.

On top of this, the message we want to convey with our new brand campaign is that absolutely everyone is more than welcome at Sofitel, just as they are, whatever their lifestyle, culture or desires. 

Our short film reflects the enthusiasm and passion that drives the Sofitel teams on a daily basis, to make each stay a unique experience in line with the aspirations of every individual.