Brand perceptions

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Old Mar 28, 19, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Nander View Post
While true, this is in my opinion one of the biggest issues with Accor - the lack of consistency and the extent to which hotels are allowed to make exceptions to the rules. If lounge access is a Platinum benefit, it is absolutely unreasonable to expect members to check a constantly changing list of hotels where that benefit does or does not apply.
Hmmm I don't really follow you here. Lounge access is indeed a Plat benefit and it is quite well consistently applied. Sofitel Berlin Kurfurstendam is the only exception I have in mind and one case doesn't make it an inconsistent benefit. There are many LCAH benefits that are applied inconsistently but not this one IMO.
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Old Mar 28, 19, 2:50 pm
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As the Concorde what is now the Sofitel Berlin Kudamm was a three star dump that I certainly would not have stayed in.

I have been once to it since rebranding and it had clearly not had the necessary investment to bring it up to standard, it was still very much the Concorde with some nicer toiletries.

I won't be going back and I would also say they should have kept the Swissotel.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 6:10 pm
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I believe Accor's forte is in their mid-level and "economy" brand portfolios. Thanks to Mercure's flexibility, Accor managed to get unrivalled coverage across Europe, while the new rooms and other enhancements at "red" ibises makes them viable options at quite attractive price points. The cream of the crop is obviously the ibis Styles brand, where a lot of new, often purpose-built, hotels offer both style and great rates, coupled with breakfast included, trumping the less exciting Hamptons and HIExpresses. I love the fact that Accors is pushing this brand actively to franchisees, as the results are attractive properties in otherwise underserved locations.

On the difference between Novotel and Mercure - Mercure was originally intended for conversions, i.e. independent properties and ones poached from other chains, where the operator could acquire an Accor brand with minimal investment and not have to fret about meeting some very strict requirements (e.g. room size in historic properties, or particular fixtures / decor). Novotel, on the other hand, was Accor's original brand being the innovative one in Europe that had entirely standardized purpose-built properties, down to sharing the same L-shaped footprint with an outdoor pool. By now, the Novotels are much more diverse in their footprints, but still the expectation is that Novotels are always purpose-built or at least extensively refurbished (e.g. office building conversions).

The Mercure brand suffers a lot from its resulting inconsistent character though, and I am most puzzled why Accor did not spend more effort on either migrating "better" properties out of the brand, or separating the older ones into a "lower rung" brand (I hope this would be what "Tribe" was about, but it seems they are 25hours / MAMA Shelter without the need to share profits with other brand shareholders). The "new" Mercures, mostly directly-operated properties, are very nice and often above and beyond the current standard for Novotels. It is a shame they share the plaque with so many properties nowhere near their standard, which provides for so many disappointed and/or wary guests.

My experience with Starriott properties in the "limited service" segment (Moxy, AC, Courtyard, Four Points, Aloft) is that they tend to be priced more in line with Mercures, Novotels or Holiday Inns than ibis hotels.


When it comes to upscale / premium brands, Pullman and MGallery are my faves as well. Both can be mixed-bag, but each hotel in both chains (after a number were shed in Europe) tends to provide a memorable and comfortable experience, at the same time often being very competitive price-wise. It does seem Accor has done a surprisingly good job of realigning properties across chains, with small puzzling exceptions (Pullman Aachen, MGallery Milan), and I am happy to see that MGallery was once again promoted to a standalone brand.

The new and refurbished Sofitels do tend to provide far more charm, elegance and character than their counterparts from competing chains (Sheraton, Westin, Marriott, Interconti, Radisson), although I do tend to view them as overpriced vs so many great MGalleries, Pullmans or even Novotels and Mercures.
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Old Mar 29, 19, 6:42 pm
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Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
These 2 brands overlap among themself I guess ....
Although I believe Accor intends to position Novotels above Mercures.
I'd agree - I've always perceived Novotel above Mercure in the pecking order - the Accor brands website has the ordering Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure. It says Mercures are "locally inspired" whereas Novotels are "Time well spent"

My take on the brand perceptions is that Novotel had a more business imagery associated with it, Mercure seemed to have a softer touch in the marketing and not so business orientated. Although looking at Accor's own brand fact sheets Mercure actually has a higher percentage of business guests than Novotel (although, this is probably based on that question when direct booking?) https://group.accor.com/en/hotel-development

Personally, with so many brands in the stable now Mercure is the one that speaks least to me, despite regularly staying at them. Wouldn't miss it if it vanished, it has been a dumping ground for average properties for far too long.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 7:20 pm
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I've never understood what Novotel was going for, I always got the impression that it was trying to be a "family friendly" type of venue but there seems to be little consistency. The Brisbane Novotel looks like it's supposed to be an art project, while the one in Yangon is more like a luxury hotel. I find Mercure to also be similarly inconsistent. Accor seems to have no problem with branding in the higher end Sofitel or the lower end Ibis line, but when I book their mid-range ones it's a real roll of the dice.
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Old Apr 11, 19, 1:58 am
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I can’t imagine that Novotel have been created with any “family oriented” purpose ...

on my experience Novotel is clearly business oriented brand.

The idea to have pool in each property was great and the “new” style standard is also very nice

unfortunately in Europe there are too many old properties, often not so well trained staff, too many turistic groups accepted and low quality restaurants

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Old Apr 11, 19, 5:35 am
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Dav77 View Post
I can’t imagine that Novotel have been created with any “family oriented” purpose ...

on my experience Novotel is clearly business oriented brand.

The idea to have pool in each property was great and the “new” style standard is also very nice

unfortunately in Europe there are too many old properties, often not so well trained staff, too many turistic groups accepted and low quality restaurants

I can confirm that the Novotel brand was created in France (in the 70’s ?) with a very strong family orientation. The Sofa bed in the room for the 2 kids staying in the same room as the parents, the pool and the most important : kids were staying for free (no overcharge for the kids and free breakfast). I still remember the commercials on radio when I was young “chez Novotel les enfants payent zéro francs”. All Novotel commercials in France were targetting families. Those hotels were very modern at that time and so it was somewhat a bit of fresh air in the French hotel market which was composed at that time of mostly independant hotels with some good ones but also some very bad ones. In link with that, the concept also pleased business travellers because they were sure to have a modern and clean room with a decent restaurant instead of the Russian roulette of independent hotels.




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Old Apr 11, 19, 9:57 am
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Originally Posted by Goldorak View Post

I can confirm that the Novotel brand was created in France (in the 70’s ?) with a very strong family orientation. The Sofa bed in the room for the 2 kids staying in the same room as the parents, the pool and the most important : kids were staying for free (no overcharge for the kids and free breakfast). I still remember the commercials on radio when I was young “chez Novotel les enfants payent zéro francs”. All Novotel commercials in France were targetting families. Those hotels were very modern at that time and so it was somewhat a bit of fresh air in the French hotel market which was composed at that time of mostly independant hotels with some good ones but also some very bad ones. In link with that, the concept also pleased business travellers because they were sure to have a modern and clean room with a decent restaurant instead of the Russian roulette of independent hotels.



...I forgot for a while that Accor is a French company and, as Italian, i’m totally unable to understand what my French friends think and do ... 😂😂😂


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Old Apr 11, 19, 12:34 pm
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Interesting about Novotel being a family oriented hotel.

From my non too many Novotel stays that I remember, I found its quite mixed.
Novotel Darling Harbour - can see it is a family oriented hotel.
Novotel Bandung - more like upscale business hotel
Novotel on Stevens - not so upscale business hotel

I guess the number of properties does wonder to brand standards
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Old Apr 11, 19, 8:50 pm
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I've also found the Novotel marketing posters in the hotels to be very "fun" and feature kids in them along with talking about family-related promotions and this is also mentioned prominently on their online site as well.

Personally I find Novotel and Mercure to be very close to each other although Mercure is usually the cheaper option, but again with Mercure you can be rolling the dice just the same. My wife's first experience in a Mercure was at the one in Nadi and that certainly wasn't a very good impression of the brand! I had to convince her that this was not the norm at all when I booked our trip to the Kuala Lumpur location!
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Old Apr 14, 19, 9:13 am
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Originally Posted by kaizen7 View Post
Interesting about Novotel being a family oriented hotel.
Novotel's brand fact sheet says its customers are 51% business and 49% leisure. It is specifically positioned (according to the document linked) as a well-trusted and well-known upper midscale brand which targets a "mix of business / leisure, group or individual".

There is the family aspect, yes. But nowadays, it's an aspect, not the brand's sole focus. Just look at some of their flagship properties: Novotel NYC Times Square, London Canary Wharf, Bangkok Sukhumvit. Yes, they do target leisure travelers and families. Obviously, those flagship properties are in expensive locations and they want to fill these properties during weekends, the summer, over Christmas-NYE, etc. But they clearly need lots of business travellers for Monday through Thursday nights to make these flagship properties profitable.

Also, there are a ton of Novotels in airports and conference locations. You def need a good share of business travelers with early onward flights and/or conference attendants to make these work.

Interestingly, the Pullman brand (according to Accor's own profile) is not more business-y than Novotel. Accor says they got just 45% business customers. That surprises me a bit. On the other hand, I also had Swissotel in mind as a business brand. And indeed, Accor states that the share of business travellers in Swissotel is 53%.

Note that Rixos has got just 4% business travellers, Angsana has 13%, Sofitel has 31%. Those are mostly leisure brands. Novotel with 51% business travellers is relatively close to Accor's business-focused brands Mercure (60% business customers) and ibis (58% business customers).

Obviously, with very large brands like Novotel, Mercure, or ibis, the hotel focus and the target audience will vary quite a bit from property to property. Nevertheless, I would consider it somewhat misleading to consider Novotel a chain of family hotels or a family-oriented brand.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 10:35 am
  #27  
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Originally Posted by newflya View Post
Note that Rixos has got just 4% business travellers,
Well most Rixos are resorts in holiday locations.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 12:41 pm
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Raffles, So Sofitel, Sofitel Legend, Fairmont, and Banyan Tree : 5 Apple Property
Sofitel, Swisshotel, Movenpick and Grand Mercures : 4 Apple Property

And so on
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Old Apr 14, 19, 6:56 pm
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As an inexperienced guest with the various Accor brands, I have personally relied on @starflyergold 's listing of brands in decreasing order of luxury found here, and I found it very useful for my purposes (so thank you for providing)
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/accor...corhotels.html

I am not sure if it's a ranking coming from an objective source or whether it is personal opinion, but at the very least it can help people (including me) to set expectations when facing many choices in one city.

It would be useful if So Sofitel was added to that list as a separate brand than Sofitel because I have never stayed in So Sofitel so I do not know where it stands in the pecking order. Would be nice to have Mövenpick added to the list too for the same reason.

As an uninformed observation, I was surprised to see Swissotel so low on that list.
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Old Apr 14, 19, 10:35 pm
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Originally Posted by escape4 View Post

I am not sure if it's a ranking coming from an objective source or whether it is personal opinion, .
It was a ranking coming from Accor, with so many brands differences will be very subjective. I need to update it again. For the current list: https://group.accor.com/en/hotel-dev...ands-portfolio
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