It’s a peculiar surprise to be greeted in French as you enter the lobby of a Brisbane CBD hotel, but at Sofitel Brisbane Central “bonjour” is just the beginning. For those guests that know us well, our French touch comes as no surprise, but first-timers may be taken aback.
Let’s take a tour back in time to when a legacy was born. Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Ile opened its doors on 26 June 1964 and developed a reputation for its art exhibitions, gourmet dining and discerning clientele. This sparked the beginning of what would eventually become one of the largest hotel chains in the world, now with over 100 Sofitels in 41 different countries.
The “what” stems strongly from the “why”, and our “why” is what makes us stand out from others. Sofitel is where innate French elegance artfully blends with local culture to create exceptional experiences, and at Sofitel Brisbane Central, our rituals are a manifestation of this.
The four brand pillars of Sofitel – Design and Innovation, Gastronomy and Wine, Culture and Events, and Well-being – are the foundation from which our rituals are formed. Some of our rituals are hard to miss, whilst others may go unnoticed unless you know where and when to look. That is why we have crafted an explanation of our rituals, and we ask that you keep an eye out the next time you visit.
At 7am each morning at every Sofitel property around the world, a member of the Concierge is responsible for polishing the name-plate at the hotel entrance.
A special white cloth is used to polish the plaque in an anti-clockwise direction, reflecting the movement of the earth. The cloth is then folded five times – to represent the five continents – and carefully placed back in the storage box.
At 5pm each night, two of our Front Office and Concierge ambassadors, dressed in traditional Parisian attire, light the candles in the lobby to signify the passing of day to night. Historically, Paris is known as the first city of light, so it only makes sense to pay tribute to our heritage.
In 1662 King Louis XIV declared that the streets should be illuminated with candles so that the people of Paris would be safe going out at night. In 2016 Sofitel Brisbane Central performs this ritual, not only to pay homage, but to create a magnifique ambiance for our guests.
Les Clefs d’Or
Pericles Yiannakis is our Chief Concierge, and if you look closely at the pin on his suit, you might notice two gold keys crossing over. These keys signify that he is a proud member of the global concierge organization, Les Clefs d’Or. But they are more than just a symbol of his membership; they are a symbol of guaranteed, quality service.
Everything about the Sofitel experience is designed as a feast for the senses. We have our own signature fragrance dispensed through the air-conditioning system that can be noticed before you even enter our doors.
We’ve commissioned a musical composition exclusively for Sofitel to accompany the Candle Ritual. And everywhere you look, the eye is drawn to the colourful artworks and floral displays that bring life to the interior décor.
Le Ritual de Pain
Staying true to our French heritage, we even have a ritual dedicated to our boulangerie. Baking begins before dawn to ensure our guests have an array of fresh bread and pastries available at every meal, and once this is done, our pastry chefs start on our tantalizing desserts.
Cheese and Wine Ritual
Celebrating the art de vivre, Sofitel continues its signature rituals with the Cheese and Wine ritual. Our guests can choose from a selection cheeses and wines, taste-testing each and choosing which one they like most.
Inspired by the cultural and culinary tradition of enjoying l’apéritif, this particular ritual truly brings together tradition and new French art de vivre alive. L’apéro-chic is a time in the early evening to socialise, relax, catch up with friends and indulge in drinks and canapés. Put your glasses together and say santé (cheers) for this fun French tradition.
MyBed™ & Pillow Menu
Your Sofitel experience wouldn’t be complete without the true luxury of putting your head down on the pillow of your choice. MyBed™ is a unique service that combines the comfort of home and the luxury of the Sofitel to create the ultimate sleep experience.
The Pillow Menu in each room allows you to choose from a number of options to ensure your utmost “wellness”, and our dedicated ambassadors will have it brought up to you in time for a superb night’s sleep.
Signature Sofitel Song
“Rêverie” by HAUTE, created as the signature song for Sofitel Hotels & Resorts, is a blend of electronic R&B and soulful pop. Both vocal and instrumental versions are available for the hotels to be used for a selection of significant moments and touch points: openings, press events, conventions and speeches.
French duo Anna and Romain are the avant-garde collaboration that make up HAUTE. Born in France, but growing up in America, they blend traditional French heritage with global sensibility, which is perfect for Sofitel.
Now that you know why we do some of the interesting things we do, don’t be afraid to ask questions if you see an ambassador in a trench coat, holding a lantern at 5pm.
It's all part of being magnifique!