PARIS, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Sofitel, with over 200 prestige hotels worldwide, has been chosen by the readers of Business Traveler magazine as the "Best Hotel Chain in Europe" in it's 2006 Best in Business Travel Awards, beating out frontrunners Marriott and Starwood Hotels for the top slot. Sofitels around the world embrace a unique appreciation for the art de vivre a la francaise (French art of living), which is embodied in the hotels' high standards of service, alluring design, gourmet cuisine and thoughtful amenities. This focus is strengthened by relationships with renowned French personalities, including fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castalbajac, interior designer Pierre Yves Rochon and Michelin-starred chefs. Located in key business destinations throughout Europe, including London, Paris, Budapest and Brussels, Sofitel offers custom made, ultra-plush SoBed(TM) bedding for a restful night's sleep; wireless and/or high speed Internet access; 24-hour business and fitness centers; quiet library spaces and upscale French and international restaurants. Frequent guests can also choose to enjoy the benefits of the Sofitel Privilege Loyalty Card, which allows them to earn points towards upgrades, free room nights and other special promotions from Sofitel and its partners. Sofitel is already present in most key business cities around the world, and will continue to expand its network in 2007. Currently, Sofitel is in the midst of its largest-ever expansion of the brand in China and the Asia Pacific region, with new properties slated to open in Beijing, Cairo, Dubai and beyond. For Sofitel reservations and information visit http://www.sofitel.com or http://www.accorhotels.com, or call 1-800-SOFITEL (763-4835). Sofitel: 200 premium hotels around the world Because no one country or city is the same, Sofitel has made each of its 200 hotels around the world a truly unique establishment. Combining the spirit of each place with the values of modernity, refinement and absolute comfort, they are all imbued in their inimitable way with the French "art de vivre." Whether their setting is a great business metropolis like Paris, New York or Bangkok, or nestling in the landscape in Indonesia, Polynesia or Brazil, each Sofitel hotel offers travelers a genuine haven of peace. So that each guest, for an overnight stay or longer, during a business trip or for a holiday, can enjoy the rich variety of these unique places in comfort and tranquility. Accor, European leader in hotels and tourism, global leader in corporate services, operates in nearly 100 countries with 160,000 employees. It offers to its individual and corporate clients nearly 40 years of expertise in its two core businesses: * Hotels, with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, Suitehotel, Ibis, Red Roof Inn, Etap Hotel, Formule 1 and Motel 6 brands: over 4,000 hotels and 475,000 rooms in 90 countries, as well as strategically related activities, such as Lenotre, ambassador of the gastronomy 'a la francaise' worldwide; * Services to corporate clients and public institutions: 21 million people in 35 countries benefit from Accor Services products -- meal and food vouchers, people care, incentive and loyalty programs.