Accor's Pullman hotel brand will make a renewed push for today's business travellers with upgraded technology, improved menus and what the chain calls "an active commitment to design and art".
There's even a new word to describe the hotel's raison d'être – it's 'bleisure', which Accor helpfully explains is "a contraction of the words business and leisure".
(We presume the desired pronunciation for this clumsy concoction is b-leisure, rather than sounding like 'pleasure' when said with a head-cold.)
The repositioning of the Pullman brand, which is named for the original Pullman carriages which revolutionised luxury rail travel in the 1880s, is intended to target what Accor describes as "today’s more cosmopolitan, hyper-connected and mobile traveller, for whom the lines between work and private life have become increasingly blurred."
"Connectivity by Pullman is designed to offer guests a high-speed digital experience from the boardroom to the pool deck, with free high-speed Wi-Fi, a unified entertainment device and the latest technology in partnership with Microsoft and Samsung."
Meanwhile, new round-the-clock food with signature services will include Tapastry by Pullman for friendly after-work gatherings; Vinoteca by Pullman and Tea Deli by Pullman, which give guests a taste of flavors from around the world; and Open Kitchen, "which turns cooking into a show."
Pullman is also working with famous designers "to create iconic objects that link its hotels around the world."
Christophe Pillet has reinterpreted the guest welcome by creating a reception table with an easily identifiable design and an armchair inspired by train carriage seats, echoing Pullman’s railroad origins.
Mathieu Lehanneur has designed a globe for the lobby that symbolises the brand’s cosmopolitan nature plus a meeting table designed like a poker table, a private area for informal exchanges or breaks, and a cabinet of curiosities, "reinventing hotel codes to stimulate creativity."
Pullman is also starting a collection of contemporary art, initially in Paris, London and Brussels. Contemporary art will be displayed in the hotels in permanent or temporary exhibitions, through partnerships with local or international artists, etc.
Beyond the 79 hotels already running across 23 countries, this year's Pullman openings will include Melbourne, Dubai, Brussels, Hanoi and Phuket.
Half of the Pullman network is located in Asia Pacific, including 15 hotels in China, the country with the largest Pullman presence.
For more information on the Pullman’s new look go to www.pullmanhotels.com.
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About David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.