Sofitel Luxury Hotels has unveiled an ambitious strategic plan to launch two hotel brands and separate from parent company Accor.

Sofitel CEO Yann Caillere says the brand will become a new global reference in international luxury hotels between now and 2010.

Two sister brands will be launched – Sofitel Legend, aimed at travellers seeking luxurious accommodation, and So by Sofitel, a stylish hotel aimed at a new generation of guests.

“The Sofitel network is being completely reviewed through a robust programme to reshape our current network and to upgrade each of our hotels through extensive renovation and refurbishment,” Caillere says.

In order to stimulate change and aid the implementation of the strategic plan, Sofitel will operate as a separate business within the Accor Group, the company says.

Seven Sofitel hotels are expected to become Sofitel Legend properties over the next two years – with the Metropole Hanoi, Vietnam, scheduled as the first property to open under the brand in mid-2008.

The first So by Sofitel will open in Paris in 2009, followed by properties in Berlin, London and Shanghai.

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh