Pullman is one of the legendary names in hospitality coined after the great American designer, George M Pullman (1831–97) and best known for its association with the luxurious railway carriages that changed the face of overnight accommodation and dining on trains in America, Britain and Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, the first ‘hotels on wheels’.
Pullman carriages still operate on the Orient Express in Europe.
Accor acquired the brand name in the early 1990s as part of its purchase of the Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits.
Accor is using the Pullman name for its new upscale hotel brand that is positioned between the newly upgraded Sofitel luxury brand and the well-established four-star Novotel brand.
The establishing of the Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park is part of a global rollout of the brand that will see the brand growing to some 300 hotels by 2015.
The Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park is the first five-star hotel to be developed in Sydney since the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games and the first-ever five-star hotel to be opened in western Sydney and joins three other Accor hotels at Sydney Olympic Park, Novotel, Ibis and Formule 1.
The 640-acre Sydney Olympic Park precinct in western Sydney initially attracted worldwide attention for hosting what many commentators considered “the best ever Olympics” in the year 2000. Since then, the park has developed into a fully integrated and dynamic business, events, recreation and residential precinct.
Sydney Olympic Park is currently home to over 60 national and global businesses and the recently released 2030 Master Plan for the park envisages a residential population in 2030 of 14,000, a working population of 28,500 and 5000 students. Currently, over six million people visit the park annually for business, conferences, leisure or events.
The 16-storey Pullman comprises 212 rooms and suites, many with panoramic views of the Sydney city skyline. There are three floors of executive accommodation, with a Pullman executive lounge. All rooms feature a bed exclusively designed for Pullman that promises the ultimate in comfort.
Renowned designer Joseph Pang has created a highly contemporary and stylish interior design with spacious public areas, rich tones in guest rooms, maximum use of natural light and attractive design features such as a ‘chill out’ area in the lobby.
The Pullman is targeting the conference and events sector, offering a range of meeting facilities, with 340m² of conference space plus pre-function areas (for up to 220 delegates) and a boardroom, supported by a 24 hour IT solutions manager.
The Pullman’s dedicated events managers also work closely with the surrounding Olympic Park venues to create unique and exciting conference options such as behind-the-scenes tours of the Olympic venues, mini Olympics for team-building in the stadium and corporate games in the Olympic Tennis Centre.
Pullman aims to set the pace in the corporate and meetings travel markets. The brand provides a tailored offer based around three key areas:
– Connectivity – including wireless and broadband access throughout the hotel, iPod docking stations in all rooms, free Internet access in the executive lounge and web cameras in the business lounge, all supported by 24 hour IT solutions;
– Calm – rooms are tailored for optimum comfort and facilities – such as 24 hour gym – are designed specifically for the market; and
– Conviviality – such as welcomers to assist guest arrivals and share tables in the restaurant.
Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park offers a 24-hour hi-tech gym and guests enjoy free access to the adjacent Sydney Olympic Aquatic Centre. They can also utilise a number of other fitness and recreational facilities in the precinct, including a golf driving range, cycling and jogging tracks and even a trapeze school. There is a vast range of recreational and entertainment activities staged regularly at the park, including historical and cultural tours, weekend markets, art shows, music concerts, family events and numerous sporting contests. Sydney Olympic Park features extensive parklands and natural wetlands, with abundant native flora and fauna.
The hotel’s signature Bacar restaurant is a chic dining space, featuring high ceilings, contemporary furnishings and cutting-edge digital artworks, an open kitchen, a private dining room and focal wine displays. Menus focus strongly on European traditions with Asian influences. Tasting plates are also available in the wine bar for those who want to share the flavours of Bacar and match casual dining with an extensive range of wines.
Overseeing the Pullman’s restaurant is executive chef, David Greenhill, whose impressive background includes Sir Terence Conran’s Bluebird and Quaglino’s restaurants in London, Chateau Restaurant Joel Robuchon in Tokyo, and the Summit Restaurant and the three-hatted Pier Restaurant in Sydney.
Like the adjacent Novotel and Ibis hotels, the new Pullman will be a pacesetter for environmental standards. The hotel will use 40% less energy than most equivalent five-star hotels with solar panels on the rooftop supplementing power consumption. A specific focus in the hotel construction was the selection of natural materials, with priority on building products with recyclable and recycled materials. Some 80% of water used in the construction of the hotel was targeted to be re-cycled.
Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park general manager, Marcus Hanna, said that the hotel had followed a progressive and fully-integrated environmental program from the very inception of the hotel project.
“The development builds on the environmental initiatives introduced at the Novotel and Ibis, and is part of Sydney Olympic Park’s overall commitment to be a leader in environmental sustainability,” he said. “During the construction of the hotel, a minimum 80% of construction waste was recycled and wherever practicable, the selection of materials used minimised materials that depleted natural resources or created toxic pollution in their manufacture, use or disposal. That commitment is now carried through to the day-to-day operation of the hotel.
“One of Accor’s biggest focuses is to educate staff about the environment and inspire them to be innovative in finding new ways to help the environment. Through best practice management principles, staff training and public education, the Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park aims to be a showcase for green luxury hotels.”
“Designed to make the lives of women and men travelling on business easier, the new chain’s mission is to offer the right balance between calm and conviviality. Pullman hotels will offer a relaxing and sociable environment, designed to make guests forget the stresses of business travel as well as providing them with the guarantee that, thanks to new communication technology, they can get in touch with their families and business contacts at any time. The hotels will also offer a new and innovative range of services for meetings, seminars, and incentive programs as well as a number of extra features we have thought of to increase the comfort of business travellers.
“In the short term the Pullman chain will consist of 45 hotels that already exist. Located in 23 countries in Europe, the Asia Pacific region, the Middle East and Latin America, these hotels have a total capacity of 13,000 rooms.
“Over and above the initial network, our ambition is to open 25 new Pullman hotels a year. We therefore expect to reach our target of 300 hotels in 2015.
“The Reef Casino in Cairns became Australia’s second Pullman in December last year.”
Chairman and chief operating officer
Accor Asia Pacific
An environmental leader
The newly-launched Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park is one of the most environmentally friendly urban hotels to be built in Australia, targeting a 40% reduction in energy consumption and a 50% target for water conservation compared to similar inner-city five-star hotels.
The Pullman’s development builds on Accor’s strong commitment to the environment that was evident back when the group opened the adjacent Novotel and Ibis hotel complex at Sydney Olympic Park in 1999. The two hotels were the first hotels in Australia to achieve ISO 14001 Environmental Certification (the highest level of environmental certification available). This environmental certification is now extended to include the new Pullman.
Pullman at Sydney Olympic Park is the first five-star hotel to be built in Sydney where environmental sustainability has been factored into the development from inception, rather than retro-fitted, as is the case in most five-star hotels.
Much of the Pullman’s rooftop is occupied by solar voltaic panels that provide pre heated hot water to complement the instantaneous gas hot water system, dramatically cutting gas consumption by the hotel.
The Pullman’s façade design includes performance glazing and shading louvres that balance the increased natural light from the large windows and reduces the need for air conditioning.
The public areas of the hotel feature opening windows and cross-flow ventilation to reduce the need for air conditioning.
Key-tag switching in guest rooms for lights and air conditioning, compact fluorescent lighting and energy efficient appliances all further reduce energy consumption significantly.
The Pullman also participates in a buyback scheme with its energy supplier to contribute organic waste and purchase energy produced from landfill gas. The Pullman even shares services with the adjacent Novotel to make use of spared capacity and reduce waste wherever possible.
In addition, the Pullman uses renewable co-generative energy systems where appropriate; uses high content natural wool carpets and low VOC paints; uses only sustainable plantation timber veneers for paneling and joinery and no CCA-treated timber.
Potable water is also significantly reduced through the installation of dual water systems with high-grade reclaimed water connected to a Water Reclamation and Management Scheme for toilet flushing and wash down, along with the use of efficient appliances, fittings and taps.
Over the next year, the Pullman will also introduce a pioneering towel re-use program that will quantify the savings made by hotel guests re-using their towels, with funds raised through the savings contributing to reforestation projects under the United Nations’ Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign.
And in the next phase of environmental initiatives, the Pullman will introduce a worm farm to re-cycle food waste and the resultant fertilised soil will be used for a proposed herb garden.
These initiatives will be part of the hotel’s daily recycling and waste management practices that include the collection and recycling of used cooking oil; separation and collection of grease from foodstuffs; and recycling where possible of all packaging that comes into the hotel.
In addition, Accor is working to improve waste and chemicals management, emissions and water efficiency by subscribing to the Australian government’s Sustainable Cities Program.
Accor was one of the first hotel groups to invest in a genuine environmental policy as early as 1994 and has designed a group-wide Sustainable Development Committee that oversees the company’s commitment to environmental policy.
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