Marriott has taken over the 782-room Sofitel Paris Rive Gauche. The US chain plans to undertake extensive refurbishment with the property being rebranded as a Marriott in late 2007.
The programme calls for additional suites, a three-storey executive floor including a lounge, revamped food and beverage outlets and an extended health club.
In the meantime, the four star property (originally built in 1972) will continue for business. It's located along the Boulevard St Jacques near the St Jacques Metro station and a 15 minute walk from Montparnasse.
The new Marriott will fill a gap in the chain's Paris portfolio. Weekday room rates currently start at Euros 200 with executive rooms at Euros 225 and suites priced from Euros 270. At weekends the rates are Euros 175, 200 and 270 respectively.
In other news, Marriott recently opened a Courtyard (its value-for-money brand) in Berlin City Centre. The property is situated on Axel-Springer-Strasse and the nearby Stadtmitte U-Bahn (underground) station provides speedy links to Potsdamer Platz and Alexander Platz. It's a five minute walk to Checkpoint Charlie.
Here you'll find all the features of the "new generation" of Courtyards such as quasi four-star rooms with air-conditioning, in-room safe, trouser press, empty mini-bar (either bring your own drinks or buy them from the "grab and go" lobby shop), affordable broadband and a good bath and shower. There is also one restaurant and a bar. Business Traveler stayed there last week, and found the hotel to be excellent value, with weekday rates at Euros 119 room only. At weekends you pay Euros 109 room only or Euros 119 with breakfast for two.
Another Courtyard, this time in the northern area of Zurich, is set to open next September. With similar features to Berlin this property will be opened on a development area at Max Bill-Platz. Oerlikon station is a short walk away and it's located roughly midway between the city's airport and the Hauptbahnhof (central station). Frequent suburban trains serve the airport and downtown. Room rates are not yet finalised.
For more information go to www.marriott.com
Report by Alex McWhirter