Our History

Reaching for the impossible.



AccorHotels is the story of two friends, Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson, who opened their first Novotel in 1967 at a time when no one in France yet believed in this new hotel business model. Through their creativity and boldness, they pushed the boundaries of what is possible ever further. Today their dream of hospitality has become AccorHotels. A wind of conquest still blows over our Group which brings together over 4,100 addresses in 95 countries. Proud heirs of the co-founders' vision, everyday our 240,000 talented people continue to invent the hospitality of tomorrow and bring to life their passion for the guest.

Our 40-year book

In 2007, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of our Group, and unveiled in a dedicaded book, the story of how we had reached for the impossible. Discover or re-discover the highlights of our history from 1967 to 2007.

Our key dates


Meeting between Paul Dubrule and Gérard Pélisson.



First Novotel hotel in Lille Lesquin.

Founding of Novotel - SIEH hotel group.



Opening of first Novotel abroad, at Neuchâtel in Switzerland.



Acquisition of the Courtepaille restaurant chain.

Novotel sets off to conquer the Middle East and opens its first property, in Sharjah.



Opening of an ibis property in Bordeaux, the 1st economy hotel.



Acquisition of the 3-star chain, Mercure

Opening of the first Novotel in Africa, in Cameroon



Takeover of the Sofitel brand, the 4-star jewel of the French hotel industry.



Acquisition of Jacques Borel International, adding a new business activity.

with Ticket Restaurant® (an employee meal voucher scheme).



Acquisition of the tour operator, Africatours: looking towards the leisure tourism business.

Creation of Accor, the new entity with a total of 440 hotels.

1,500 public or institutional restaurants and 35,000 employees in 45 countries.



Accor buys the Quiberon thalassotherapy center and thus launches the Accor Thalassa brand.

The first Novotel stone is laid in Beijing, China.



Launch of the Formule 1 budget hotel chain.

Creation of Académie Accor, the first corporate university in the services sector in France.



Acquisition of the Motel 6 chain in the USA.

Lenôtre joins the Accor portfolio.



Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits et du Tourisme (CWL) joins the Group.

The Etap Hotel chain extends the "budget" sector.



Accor creates the Suitehotel concept, offering 30m² suites.



The Group's real-time hotel reservations site goes online: accorhotels.com.



Continued development of the services business in the fast-growing market for employee assistance programs with the acquisition of Employee Advisory Resource Ltd in the UK.

First ibis property in China.



Accor Services acquires Davidson Trahaire, Australia's leading human resources consultancy.



Opening of the first ibis in Tianjin, China.

Accor Services establishes itself in Panama and Peru.



Founding of Groupe Lucien Barrière SAS in which Accor has a 34% stake.



Accor Services launches the staff benefits voucher system, Ticket CESU® in France and Ticket Service® in Turkey.



Accor creates All Seasons, a new non-standardized economy brand.

Accor launches Pullman, the new upscale brand for business travelers.



Founding of MGallery: a new collection of characterful upscale hotels.

Launch of A|Club, the worldwide loyalty program for Accor hotels.

Creation of Solidarity Accor.

ibis opens its 800th hotel, in Shanghai, China.



Etap Hotel, the leader of the budget hotel segment, opens its 400th hotel in Europe.

accorhotels.com launches its free iPhone app.

Sofitel launches its new “So SPA by Sofitel” concept.

The 100,000th ibis room goes into service with the opening of ibis City West in Munich.

Accor sells its stake in Club Méditerranée.



Accor opens its 400th hotel in the Asia Pacific region, the Mercure Beijing Downtown.

Suite Novotel is the new generation Suitehotel: the Suitehotel brand that was created in 1998 now joins the Novotel family and becomes Suite Novotel.

Accor sells Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, its on-train catering business, to Newrest.

Accor confirms its intention to sell its stake in Groupe Lucien Barrière.

Accor reaches a milestone in China: the Group's 100th hotel after operating in China for 25 years.

accorhotels.com: a commitment to transparency - In partnership with TripAdvisor, customer reviews can now be seen on the accorhotels.com portal.

Opening of the first Sofitel in Saudi Arabia: the Sofitel Al Khobar The Corniche.



MGallery opens its first London hotel.

Signing of the contract for the sale of the Lenôtre Group.

Accor reveals its new strategy and launches its ibis megabrand with 3 economy brands: ibis, ibis Styles and ibis budget.

Opening of the world's first ibis budget: Accor opens the first ibis budget in Tangier,


A world first in the hospitality industry: Accor shares its environmental impact results.



Accor launches its international women's network: Women at Accor Generation.

150th Brazilian property for Accor.

Accor: already 500 hotels in the Asia Pacific region!



Accor wins award for its commitment to sustainable development.

Sébastien Bazin appointed as Chairman and CEO.

Opening of the 100th Novotel property, in Phuket, Thailand.


The strategic alliance between Accor and Huazhu (China Lodging) gives rise to a giant of the Chinese hospitality industry.

Accor acquires a stake in Mama Shelter.

The Group sets up its Web 2.0 internal communication platform to speed up its “Leading Digital Hospitality” digital transformation.

Accor reaches the 200 hotels milestone in Brazil.

Sofitel Strasbourg Grande Île: the first Sofitel celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The ibis family reaches a total of over 1,700 hotels and continues its pioneering revolution.



Accor becomes AccorHotels and asserts its unifying spirit.

AccorHotels signs the United Nations' “Women’s Empowerment Principles” (WEPs).

Accor becomes an official Roland-Garros supplier.

AccorHotels is an official COP21 partner.

AccorHotels is a partner in the HeForShe movement to promote gender equality.

Formal signing of a 10-year naming rights agreement with Bercy in Paris.

AccorHotels celebrates its 500,000th room with the recent opening of Pullman Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport and ibis Styles Roissy CDG Airport.

Takeover of FASTBOOKING, a digital services specialist for the hospitality industry.



Pullman unveils its 100th property in India!

MGallery becomes MGallery by Sofitel and opens its first hotels in Israel and Brazil.

AccorHotels acquires a 49% stake in Squarebreak, an innovative digital platform for upscale villas in France.

AccorHotels acquires a 30% stake in Oasis Collections, a digital platform offering a selection of apartments and services.

AccorHotels acquires onefinestay and becomes world leader in the rental of luxury serviced homes.

AccorHotels is an Official Paris 2024 Partner.

AccorHotels partners Viva Technology Start Up Connect Paris 2016.

AccorHotels finalizes acquisition of the three luxury brands, Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel, establishing itself as one of the global leaders in the luxury hotel market.

Acquisition of John Paul, world leader in concierge services.