Novotel's new hotel rooms mix work and play

By John Walton, February 25 2011
Novotel's new hotel rooms mix work and play

The upholstered sofa-style bed headboard and glass bathroom walls found in the Sydney Olympic Park Novotel are being rolled out across the French chain's other hotels, with every new Novotel worldwide to feature the new rooms.

Frequent business travellers know that having a hotel room that meets their needs is key to a productive and relaxing stay, and are used to changing their room to make it fit their needs

Novotel's Pierre Lagrange explains why: "There is no longer such a clear distinction between relaxation and work, which tend to overlap, so creating  adaptable space that guests can adjust to suit their needs and mood was a priority for the brand in designing this new guest room."

In Novotel's new-style rooms, the bed's headboard, for example, is covered with fabric and cushioned for leaning against. There's also what Novotel calls a "versatile side-table" that's the right height for using from the room's armchair or from the bed for working, having dinner or watching a movie on your laptop. 

The décor will be muted earth tones with red, blue or yellow accents, but the rooms are eco-green: low-energy lights, environmentally friendly bathroom products and water-saving fittings.

And it's the bathroom that's most distinctive -- it's separated only by a glass wall. Don't worry, though -- it's James Bond style Priva-Lite, with a switch to turn it from regular glass to frosted.

The new rooms can be found in Sydney's Novotel Olympic Park, as well as in Bangkok, Taipei, Buenos Aires -- plus Rennes in France and Ekaterinburg in Russia. The chain will be refurbishing all its 400 hotels within the next 5-7 years.

Novotel's parent company Accor is the largest hotel group in the Asia-Pacific region, and also owns the Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Suite Novotel, Mercure, Adagio, Ibis, All Seasons, Etap, Formule 1, HotelF1 and Motel 6 chains.

John Walton

Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.

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