As an Australian international model, photographer and Inspired by Her ambassador, I was flown out from London for the event ahead of Sydney Fashion Week, to speak on the Inspired by Her program and why it is so important to cater to the needs of travelling women.
Held in the big barn at the new hotel, guests of the intimate lunch were welcomed with long tables laden with extravagant flower arrangements and sparkling glassware Mains of grilled Atlantic salmon and hummus-crusted chicken were complemented by a tasting plate dessert of Kahlua and Frangelico chocolate mousse, toasted yuzu meringue and fresh dates with mascarpone and pistachio pashmak.
Throughout the event, I was asked to give an insight into my life as a photographer and my thoughts on what makes a hotel a great hotel.
“I am on a plane almost every week for work and I have stayed in just about every style of hotel, and there is something very special about boutique hotels. Hotels that tell a story and are unique really resonate with me, and the MGallery by Sofitel brand embodies individuality and style so well,” said Candice.
“When I heard about the Inspired by Her program, I thought it was just so smart. It doesn’t surprise me that 80% of MGallery by Sofitel guests are female as the hotels are just so welcoming and personalised and they really think about those little touches that make women, and men, feel special.
“Having those thoughtful extras in a hotel such as great bathroom lighting, quality high powered hairdryers and emergency kits which have items such as stockings, hair ties, nail polish remover and moisturiser turns a good hotel into a great hotel, and one that you want to keep coming back to. It is always a pleasure when I know I am travelling to a destination where there is a MGallery by Sofitel hotel and it has been wonderful learning more about brand.”
In 2017, MGallery by Sofitel worked with global marketing research company, IPSOS, to conduct a global in-depth survey to understand guests’ habits and what they want to see and experience in hotels. The survey found that 86% of female travellers wanted a hospitality program designed specifically for them.
As a result, MGallery by Sofitel established Inspired by Her, which focuses on the needs of women when they are travelling.
73% of women surveyed said they often forget to pack an essential item and don’t realise they’ve left it behind until they get to the hotel. As a result, through Inspired by Her all MGallery hotels offer emergency kits that include complimentary beauty items, makeup remover, nail polish remover, hair ties and pins, moisturiser, sunscreen, stockings and more.
Women also stated they want quality hairdryers and good bathroom lighting when staying at a hotel; all MGallery hotels in the Pacific now have quality hairdryers and makeup mirrors available.
“Over 80% of guests in our MGallery by Sofitel hotels in Australia are female, so it was important for us to bring in feminine touches to enrich the guest experience, and the Inspired by Her program certainly does that.
“Having listened to what women want, we are extremely proud to be launching the Inspired by Her program across our network. Eight out of 10 men surveyed also told us that they were supportive of a female-oriented hospitality program.
“Through the emergency kits, wellbeing experiences and food and beverage offerings, we hope Inspired by Her will ensure our guests feel welcome,” said Bridie Commerford, VP Marketing, Communications and Guest Relations for AccorHotels Pacific.
As part of the Inspired by Her program, MGallery hotels in Australia have also added light and healthy menu items in restaurants and a number of dishes have been created specifically around inspiring females.
Signature cocktails have also been created ‘with her in mind’ with floral creations, champagne and muddled fruit a feature. An elegant tea pot service has also been created for guests. On request, a staff member will deliver a specially brewed pot of tea to the room.