Travel, UK

Discovering Accor Hotels – A Tour of the Brand

Accor Hotels is a name I have heard of but knew little about. I always thought Accor was the name of the hotels, like Premier Inn or Holiday Inn, but no. They are much more than that and I had the unique opportunity to experience just a few of the names within their hotel portfolio a few weeks ago. Let me introduce you to them, I think you will be surprised.

My tour started at Ibis and I visited the Euston St Pancras hotel which is a stone’s throw from Euston train station, perfectly located for a quick stayover in the capital. I loved that I didn’t have to drag my suitcase on the tube! Described as an economy hotel the reception is immaculate and the bar houses an impressive selection of spirits and local ales, I tried 4 that had been produced within the London area and it was great to see such a large hotel chain supporting local companies. The meeting rooms are well equipped and modern in style with excellent catering options, no curling dry sandwiches here. We were treated to prosciutto carved off the bone and a particularly good gazpacho in miniature form.

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Next to introduce you to is the Pullman brand. I hadn’t heard of Pullman Hotels before and I am a little disappointed that I have gotten to the tender (ahem) age of 34 without staying here before. More decadent than the Ibis range, you will find fine dining and a spot of luxury teamed with impeccable service and a personal touch. I visited Pullman London St Pancras which boasts the largest whisky bar in the city (although I am sure my whisky loving city dwellers may argue that one) and a fabulous ‘connectivity lounge’ where you can work away in plush yet quiet surroundings. The AA Rosette winning restaurant is beautiful with lines of glass chandeliers to welcome you and the prettiest of touches including the bowler hat light shades. There’s a wine library similar to those at Bakerie and Salut, for the Mancunian readers, and the food is exquisite.

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I am taking you a bit further afield now although I am confident it is to a brand you have heard of before. Novotel are probably the most well known in the brand portfolio of Accor Hotels and we visited the London Brentford hotel for a spot of dinner and a nosey around. Brentford isn’t somewhere that I would immediately think of for a visit but it is just outside of the city so perfectly commutable as an alternative to the hustle and bustle. The hotel itself is modern with a ‘pebble’ seating area, pods for lounging and also a pod for gaming, I loved this idea! Grab a beer and challenge your mates to a video game without having to do the dishes! The restaurant is large and fairly informal yet there is also an area at the back which can be reserved for larger parties by a hexagonal hanging screen. The staff are very accommodating and eager to please, our mojitos in bags made with 2 different types of rum were particularly good as was the chicken with spinach and leeks that they created without the mushroom sauce for me. I thought this would be dry as a bone due to the lack of sauce but it was soft and juicy meaning I didn’t feel like I was eating anything as healthy as it actually was.

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Last and my personal favourite is M Gallery by Sofitel, a luxury range of hotels in the Accor portfolio with beautiful design and first class service at the heart. We ate dessert and stayed overnight at the Castle Hotel in Windsor which is decorated in a French style with a Marco Pierre White restaurant within. The hotel oozes class yet takes a massive nod to the local history and surroundings meaning it fits in just perfectly.

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The rooms house perhaps one of the comfiest beds I have ever slept in with soft and fluffy pillows and a luxuriously thick duvet. There are plug sockets on both sides making it easy to either work in bed or charge your mobile without having to hot foot it to the other side of the room in the early hours to reset your wake up alarm. There is ample storage space and a spotless bathroom complete with White Company toiletries and a rain shower with just the right amount of pressure for a quick refresh of a morning. It was perfect and I only wish I had longer to lounge around and enjoy the surroundings.

The restaurant is chic and classic, as you would expect from Marco, the desserts simple yet tasty with a classic twist to the classic. My favourite was the crème brulee for its satisfying crack when tapping the caramelised topping and the light vanilla cream underneath with not even a smidge of curdle, just as it should be.

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The hotel is perfectly located just a stones through from Windsor Castle and the changing of the guard parades right in front of the hotel meaning you don’t have to leave your breakfast to witness a bit of royal tradition.

I have a newfound love for the Accor Hotels chain and will definitely look up their locations before booking into accommodation in the future. The M Gallery Collection is top of my list, who’s coming with me?

I was invited to the #WeLoveAccorHotels event as a guest. 

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