Emlyn Brown takes on a new mission at Accor

We talk exclusively to Emlyn Brown, who has been named senior vice president of wellbeing, strategy, design, development at Accor


By Mark Smith

03 August 2023

Emlyn Brown has been appointed senior vice president of wellbeing, strategy, design, development at Accor.

This new role sits within the design and development side of the business, focusing on the Group’s Luxury & Lifestyle division. This includes the brands Raffles, Fairmont, Sofitel and M Gallery amongst others.

In his new role, Brown will assume responsibility for delivering highly impactful elements of design, ensuring that new concepts and ideas can be articulated correctly in each property.

Wellbeing remains central to all development and Brown’s strategic vision across the group will help to realise this within current projects and new developments.

“This new role has allowed me to really focus on design and development strategy,” explains Brown, “And then support those people in operations executing those programmes across the various global markets.”

man in blue suit smiling gat camera

“This is a fantastic role. I've been working very closely with the design and development team throughout my tenure. It now formalises those relationships and allows us to go to another level in terms of strategy and execution.”

Emlyn Brown

Senior vice president of wellbeing, strategy, design, development at Accor

Leading the world in hospitality

One of the world’s leading hospitality companies, Accor is a multinational business that owns, manages and franchises hotels and resorts.

It is the largest hospitality company in Europe; the sixth largest worldwide. It operates in more than 5,500 locations in over 110 countries.

Within this, Accor operates more than 600 spas and has 1,000 hotels with dedicated fitness facilities.

indoor swimming pool
The Accor group includes Fairmont St Andrews

Emlyn Brown’s new role

Brown’s new role reflects many internal shifts within the business. Accor has more than 43 brands in its portfolio and, as Brown explains, they have been working in a transversal way for several years.

“Sébastien Bazin, Accor’s chairman and CEO, announced changes to the Group’s organisation – this new structure has been in place since the beginning of the year.

“This new approach allows us to simplify our ways of working and better maximise the potential of our brands.

“In the case of our luxury and lifestyle brands, it enables us to accelerate growth and be much more agile, while being brand-led and creating tailormade strategies for each brand.”

people in white shirts at a thai ritual blessing
Raffles Retreats are a new development in the Accor group

Individual CEOs within Accor’s Luxury & Lifestyle division have been appointed across four distinct multi-brand groupings – Raffles and Orient Express; Fairmont & Mantis; Sofitel, Emblems and MGallery and Ennismore.

Brown elaborates:“We can now regionalise and work from economies of scale. We now clearly understand the power of our brands and the power of the need for relationships and for more vertical integrated thought process with dedicated teams for luxury.

“The impact on myself and the wellbeing department is positive, as we previously worked transversely across all brands, but now I’ve moved over to the luxury lifestyle division.

“The move into the design and development side of the business is really where we can have the most impact on the experience of our concepts.”

Defining and redefining wellness

“We’ve been working very hard over the last two years to define or refine our wellness concepts and each brand,” continues Brown. “Now I can be hyper focused and vigilant about ensuring it is deployed in the right way.

“We also recognise that execution is clearly the differentiator for any experience. This new structure allows us to place the right talents and expertise within our brands.

“These are people, programme and profit, supported by me in a more strategic role.”

Indoor swimming pool
Brown's role will focus on wellbeing, strategy, design and development

The importance of wellbeing

Accor’s luxury brands and hotels have been at the forefront of the wellbeing movement, leading the way to integrate health and wellness into all aspects of the guest experience.

“The good news is that we are redoubling down on the importance of wellbeing within our luxury offerings,” says Brown.

Building on the work of previous years, wellbeing became central for the entire business with a focus on ROI. Following Covid and initiatives like Health to Wealth, Accor remains squarely focused on delivering wellbeing at every touch point of the guest journey.

people standing side by side looking at the sunset
Wellbeing is a core part of the strategy at Accor

Accor’s luxury properties have been innovating in the wellbeing sphere, with many exciting wellness modalities being introduced including cryotherapy chambers, biohacking and JetPeel Facials.

“This [role] is another demonstration of the imperative that we’re placing on wellbeing within the group. And we’re seeing our competitors and peers taking a similar approach, there have been a number of newly announced to senior leadership roles within Hilton and other global providers, recognising the performance of the luxury sector.”

“It also doesn’t take away our focus on bringing wellness to all and being democratic about wellbeing within our Premium, Midscale and Economy brands too. But again, it gives us more agility, more focus, and more drive through guest experience which I think is the key part of this next evolution for us.”


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