Sofitel is a French luxury hotel chain managed by Accor, which opened its first property in Strasbourg in 1964. Its first overseas opening (in Minneapolis, USA) was in 1974. In 1995, Sofitel had 100 hotels in 40 countries and employed 12,500 people. Two years later, Sofitel joined the Accor Group, founded in 1983 and in 2000, opened properties in Philadelphia and New York. In 2005, Sofitel continued its expansion with Sofitel Asia Pacific. In 2007, Sofitel created a strategy to compete on the international luxury hotel market with its French Touch and the slogan "Life is magnifique". In the following year, Sofitel became its own unit in the Accor group with 161 Hotels worldwide. In 2009, the new brands Sofitel Legends and SO by Sofitel were introduced.
Different Sofitels around the world were voted the best hotel of its kind by the Readers of Business Traveller Magazine; Sofitel London Heathrow, for example, was voted the Best Airport Hotel and the Best Business Hotel in the UK. The same magazine voted the Sofitel Berlin Gendarmenmarkt the World's Best Small City Hotel in 2009. The Sofitel Buenos Aires, Sofitel Cartagena Santa Clara, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf and Spa Resort can be found on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2010. Sofitel London St. James was ranked the 8th in UK business hotels of the Readers' Travel Awards 2010. The Sofitel Chicago Water Tower in Illinois gained a GreenLeafTM Eco-Rating Program for Hotels from Audubon International.