Accor launches Handwritten Collection soft brand

Accor is launching the Handwritten Collection, a global portfolio of intimate hotels. The company already has more than 110 Handwritten leads globally totaling more than 11,500 rooms, including 13 secured signings, with five properties expected to debut throughout the first quarter of 2023. 

The first property in the collection—Hotel Shanghai Sheshan Oriental, Handwritten Collection in Shanghai, China—officially opened today. Handwritten Collection properties opening over the next several months include Le Saint Gervais Hotel & Spa, Handwritten Collection in Saint Gervais, France; Wonil Hotel Perth, Handwritten Collection in Perth, Australia; Hotel Morris, Handwritten Collection in Sydney, Australia; and Le Splendid Hotel Lac d'Annecy, Handwritten Collection in Annecy, France.

Additional properties are slated to open throughout the remainder of the year (and beyond). Among them:

  • Hotel Les Capitouls Toulouse Centre, France;
  • Oru Hub Hotel, Handwritten Collection in Tallinn, Estonia;
  • Square Lodge Hotel La Roche sur Yon, Handwritten Collection in La Roche-sur-Yon, France;
  • Sunrise Premium Resort, Handwritten Collection in Hoi An, Vietnam; and
  • Paris Montmartre Sacré Coeur, Handwritten Collection in Paris, France.

Properties in Bucharest, Romania, and Madrid, Spain, are also in development. Some property names may change before opening.

Ultimately, the Handwritten Collection portfolio is expected to reach more than 250 hotels by 2030.

"Handwritten Collection enriches Accor’s offering in the ‘collection brands’ segment with a curated selection of hotels that exhibit charming and one-of-a-kind concepts. Our aim, beyond delivering a truly authentic guest experience, is to support the growing number of independent and boutique hotel owners looking to boost their global profile, connect with more audiences and grow their revenue without losing their identity,” Alex Schellenberger, chief marketing officer, premium, midscale, economy brands at Accor, said in a statement. “The hotels we will feature in Handwritten Collection are those sought out by travelers who appreciate heartwarming travel experiences and a twist on traditional hospitality, as well as by hoteliers who cherish the unique personality of their properties while desiring the benefits that come with a leading global partner.” 

Personal Touches

Handwritten Collection are meant to be distinctive as private homes, with each local hotelier incorporating their character and personality into the property and bringing a personalized energy to the guest experience.

“The manner in which each host interacts with their guests is thoughtfully considered and brings to life their own personal passions,” Caroline Bénard, Accor’s global SVP economy and midscale brands, said. “Whether in a social setting or the privacy of a guest’s room, there will be moments of storytelling and engagement that create a genuine connection. This rapport between host and guest contributes to a more meaningful and memorable stay experience.’

The Handwritten Collection is designed to attract independent hotel owners. With a current conversion rate of 80 percent, the bulk of properties joining Handwritten Collection will be conversion projects rather than new builds, requiring a simpler transition and ramp-up process and a more sustainable growth and development model. According to the company, the brand’s standards are designed to be “flexible, light and easy to attain.” Owners will also have access to Accor’s sales, distribution and loyalty platforms and can take advantage of the company’s environmental, social, and governance capabilities.

“In 2022, Accor signed on average globally more than one hotel per day and opened nearly one hotel per day,” Camil Yazbeck, Acccor’s global chief development officer, premium, midscale, economy, said. “We aim to continue this growth by anticipating the needs of our guests and aligning with the investment criteria of our partners and owners. Independent hotels are increasingly seeking the strength of Accor’s powerful sales, distribution and loyalty platform to increase their revenue and assist them in optimizing their costs, whilst retaining their own distinctive personality and offering a highly qualitative product, service and experience. Handwritten Collection offers them an ideal solution, providing the option for a franchise contract and a flexible and cost-effective level of investment. We look forward to working collaboratively with owners and partners and welcoming additional hotels from around the world into this outstanding collection. With over 110 properties and 11,500 rooms in negotiation to become part of Handwritten Collection, including 12 hotels committed already, we aim to have over 250 properties by 2030.” 

Accor expects the collection to have 250 properties by 2030.