Sofitel Luxury Hotels is pleased to announce that discerning travelers can now Live the Legend in China when they stay at Sofitel Legend People’s Grand Hotel Xian. With this recent addition, Sofitel is now managing a total of 19 properties in Greater China.
Seven thousand years of history and tradition surround this heritage building which has been lovingly transformed into the first hotel in Greater China to join Sofitel’s exclusive ultra-luxe Legend Collection.
Opened in 1953, as the State Guesthouse, the hotel was designed by Hong Qing, Chief Architect of the Northwest Institute of Architectural Design. He skilfully sited the building in an extensive garden, formerly part of the grounds of an imperial palace. Hong used a number of French touches, including fleur-de-lis (stylized lily) as a recurring motif.
“As the first Legend hotel in Accor China’s portfolio and only the fifth in the group’s world map, we feel this beautiful property strikes the perfect note of French elegance in the heart of this timeless city, with its long history as a cultural crossroads at the start of the Silk Road,” said Paul Richardson, Accor Greater China Chief Operating Officer.
Lofty ceilings and generous proportions in the 71 rooms and suites convey a rare feeling of time and place. Guests will enjoy all the sophisticated French pampering touches associated with Sofitel such as Hermès toiletries and French-designed floral arrangements. Additional features include personalized butler service from the moment of arrival, an extensive garden setting, private health club, swimming pool and spa, an authentic Italian restaurant, an exclusive top-floor Louis XIII Bar and a private museum. All-weather links provide easy access to the neighboring Convention Centre and Grand Theatre.
The People’s Grand Hotel Xian is part of Renmin Square, an extensive hotel complex (all under Accor management) within a 40,000 m² landscaped garden. Ideally located inside the Ming Dynasty city walls at the heart of historic Xian, the hotel is only 15 minutes walk to the world’s first museum, the Forest of Steles, or to the colorful Moslem quarter where traders have flourished in the spice-laden air for many centuries.
“In a city that is synonymous with history, French flair combines with Chinese traditional hospitality to create a new Legend with a unique sense of time and place. We are excited to see the opening of Sofitel Legend in Xian after extensive renovation and preparation over the past 28 months,” said Michel Molliet, Vice President of Sofitel Greater China. “The People’s Grand will add value to the brand and further reinforce Accor’s presence in Xian. We promise a high-level of product and service experience in this legendary setting.”
Acknowledged as the world’s finest city in its heyday, Xian was China’s capital through 13 dynasties. Today it is a vibrant centre for education, high technology and tourism. Long before the discovery of the Terracotta Army in 1974, Xian was already an important cultural destination for visitors eager to experience the picturesque city wall and such attractions as the Big Goose Pagoda, repository of sacred manuscripts and other items brought from India by Xuan Zang when he introduced Buddhism to China.
Award-winning project designer Joe Cheng, chairman and CEO of Hong Kong-based Cheng Chung Designs, was invited to tackle this project because he has had considerable experience of working with heritage properties. “Giving a heritage hotel a new lease of life is all about details and the distinct story that each location tells,” he says of his approach to the renovation of The People’s Grand Hotel Xian. For him this meant paying attention to ceiling mouldings and covings with Fleur-de-Lis motifs and Art Deco styling of the front entrance and Lobby as well as creating the appropriate ambience in guestrooms and public areas.
Since its opening in 1953, The People’s Grand Hotel Xian has played a special role in the city’s history: this is where visiting Chinese leaders, including the late Premier Zhou Enlai and Marshal Chen Yi stayed, as did former premier Zhu Rongji. The guestbook has been signed by heads of state including French President François Mitterrand, royalty from Europe and Asia, captains of industry and international VIPs like Henry Kissinger.
Sofitel, World Class Hotels & French Elegance
Sofitel is the only French luxury hotel brand with a presence on five continents with 120 addresses, in almost 40 countries (more than 30,000 rooms). Sofitel offers contemporary hotels and resorts adapted to today’s more demanding and more versatile consumers who expect and appreciate beauty, quality and excellence. Whether situated in the heart of a major city like Paris, London, New York, Shanghai or Beijing, or nestled away in a country landscape in Morocco, Egypt, French Polynesia or Thailand, each Sofitel property offers a genuine experience of the French “art de vivre”.
Sofitel Legend and & Sofitel So are two labels that come to enrich Sofitel Luxury hotels.
Sofitel Legend hotels are iconic and mythical; they are often centuries-old listed heritage buildings: Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam and Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena.
Sofitel So hotels are new « boutique hotels » characterized by a stylish focus on contemporary design by famous architects and/or embellished by international celebrities from the world of fashion, design or art: Sofitel So Mauritius BelOmbre, Sofitel So Bangkok and Sofitel So Singapore (2014).
Nearly 45 years, Accor has constantly reinvented its businesses to keep pace with the world around it, with the goal of providing innovative, high-quality products.
Thanks to our powerful, highly respected brands, our employees forge lasting interpersonal relationships and deploy their unique skills to develop and deliver solutions that create wellness.For nearly 45 years, across all brands and regions, Accor’s five core values of innovation, a spirit of conquest, performance, trust and respect have been shared and expressed every day by its160,000 employees in Accor brand hotels worldwide. Managers leverage these values to provide support for team members as part of the Group’s ongoing transformation and development.