Accor offers planners a diverse array of over 40 brands, 19 of which are in the luxury or premium categories and cater to small, mid-sized and large groups. Overall, Accor currently offers 5,300 hotels in 110 countries, with plans of a 3.5 percent net growth per year.
We recently sat down with Meenaz Diamond, sr. VP of sales, worldwide at Accor, who spoke to Prevue about some of the hotel giant’s new and reimagined properties. She also took the time to speak with us about the company’s future projects, including its first luxury property in Panama and the revitalization of those famous Orient Express trains, which will make their long-awaited comeback in Europe in 2024.
Speaking of Europe, Diamond says, “we have several great choices that recently reopened and are ideally suited for groups. These include the Carton House, a Fairmont Managed Hotel dating back to the 18th century. Located on 1,100-plus acres just outside of Dublin, it sports two golf courses, a spa and activities for groups including falconry. We also opened the 251-room Fairmont Windsor Park, 14 miles outside of London; it went through a reimagining and features a large spa and wellness center.”
Says Diamond, “Fairmont properties really lends themselves to meetings and incentives due to the number of rooms and meeting spaces, including outdoor facilities, they offer.”
Hop on over to North America, where Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles underwent a complete reimagination and reopened in 2021. In early 2025 a newbuild 550-room Fairmont will open in Orlando.
In Latin America, the Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, considered an “undiscovered gem,” according to Diamond, opened in 2019 and features an amazing rooftop space with stunning views. For retreats and smaller groups, Diamond points to the first luxury Accor property opening in Panama, the Sofitel Legend Casco Viejo Panama. This waterfront hotel in Panama City’s historic Casco Viejo District overlooks the Pacific Ocean and has its own rooftop bar/lounge. Diamond notes that the Sofitel brand is good for smaller meetings and incentive groups.
For luxury incentives, Accor has announced that the Orient Express La Dolce Vita train service will debut in 2024, with six itineraries across several regions in Italy. Additionally, look for two new Orient Express hotels—Orient Express La Minerva Hotel in Rome and Orient Express Venice Hotel, located at the Palazzo Dona Giovannelli—opening for train passengers. In 2025, Accor plans to debut an Orient Express train experience from Paris to Istanbul.
“From the U.S., business has been climbing steadily all year and we have surpassed 2019 meetings figures since Q3 [in 2022],” says Diamond. “We are feeling cautiously optimistic.”
When asked about sustainability, Diamond admits it’s a “big subject, but we’re up to it. Our approach to sustainability is more around contribution as opposed to compensation, so we focus on reducing our impact on the planet in a positive way like new buildings that we make green. We made a commitment to eliminating single-use plastics by 80 percent by the end of 2022 and we were able to accomplish that goal. At events, we provide ID bracelets for groups that are made in partnership with a company that uses some of the proceeds to help save the oceans. We plan on being net zero by 2030. Our sustainability focus is also on helping underprivileged communities, through education and training.” —Laurel Herman