Since its 2005 acquisition by Starwood Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: HOT), both Starwood and its hotel ownership groups have transformed Le Méridien into a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand.
Le Méridien, which at the time of its purchase offered a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings, continues to provide opportunities for new deal signings and conversions in both emerging and established markets, respectively.
“Starwood is seeing increased interest in Le Méridien among owners, especially around conversions,” said Simon Turner, President of Global Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “Le Méridien is benefiting from growing brand recognition and deal signing momentum around the world, and the brand’s long-established global presence remains a competitive advantage.”
Over the past seven years, Le Méridien has undergone a full transformation, including a comprehensive portfolio review as well as a re-development of its brand strategy, marketing approach and service culture training. With the strongest portfolio and performance levels in the brand’s history, Le Méridien has had more new hotel deals signed in the past year than in the previous four years combined.
“Le Méridien has soared under Starwood, with a new design perspective and truly unique positioning that helps guests unlock their destination through culture and cuisine,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels. “After significant investment and consolidation, Le Méridien boasts its best portfolio ever, and this will be a milestone year for us as we welcome an unprecedented number of new hotels into our ever-growing family.”
Le Méridien will open nine new hotels in the next 12 months, including:
Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran – January 31, 2013 – Located on Bali’s south-western coast, Le Méridien Bali Jimbaran overlooks the Jimbaran Bay and its well-known fishing village. Featuring a large-scale lagoon with direct access from some guestrooms, the hotel also offers several signature bar and restaurant experiences, as well as an ice cream shop; 118 guest rooms, including rooftop penthouses and villas with private plunge pools; modern fitness center; and glass chapel with stunning views over the island.
Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter – February 21, 2013 – Following a multi-million dollar, 18-month renovation, Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter will open this year in the heart of Dunwoody. Just minutes from downtown Atlanta and adjacent to the Perimeter Mall, the hotel will feature 275 oversized guest rooms and suites, a ground floor bar and restaurant with outdoor seating, fitness center, pool, and state-of-the-art meeting space.
Le Méridien Zhengzhou (China) – May 2013 – Centrally located in the progressive capital of Henan Province, Le Meridien Zhengzhou offers a sophisticated gateway to the city. Chinese, Japanese, and European specialties are served in modern restaurants with private rooms, complemented by a designated wine room, a cocktail bar, and a coffee hub. The 350 spacious guest rooms and suites feature contemporary art elements with a local touch, as well as modern furniture and the inviting Le Méridien bed. The contemporary bathroom comprises a deep French-style bathtub and a rainforest showerhead.
Le Méridien Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam) – June 2013 – Situated beside the Saigon River and close to various entertainment and commercial areas, Le Méridien Saigon is an ideal base for exploring the local culture and community. For a relaxing escape from business or sightseeing, Explore Spa offers guests a range of treatments to calm the body and mind. The 350 modern guest rooms and suites boast river views, while sleek contemporary furnishings offer a restful retreat or serene productivity.
Le Méridien Dhaka (Bangladesh) – July 2013 – Adjacent to the stock exchange, Le Méridien Dhaka provides new perspectives of the city for business and leisure travelers alike. The hotel is conveniently located between the central business district and Shahjalal International Airport (DAC). A revitalizing massage in the spa awaits at the end of a long day, or one can work off stress in the state-of-the-art fitness center. Each of the 300 guest rooms and suites is complete with indulgent amenities and a palette of warm tones that create an inviting ambience.
Le Méridien Cairo Airport – September 2013 – Le Méridien Cairo Airport will be located at Terminal 3, making it the only hotel with direct access to Cairo International Airport terminals. The hotel features 350 guest rooms, a 24-hour restaurant, specialty restaurant, coffee bar, lobby bar, lounge, fitness center, and swimming pool. A business center, ballroom, and six meeting rooms totaling approximately 750 square meters of meeting space provide ample room for a variety of business functions.
Le Méridien Jiaonan Resort (Qingdao, China) – October 2013 – Discover the “Switzerland of the Orient” at Le Méridien Jiaonan Resort. A captivating garden city located at the foot of Mount Laoshan, Qingdao is nestled on the shore of the Yellow Sea in China’s Shandong Province. Situated on the city’s longest beach, the resort is located just two kilometers from the Jiaonan County government, less than five kilometers from Orient (Qingdao) Golf & Country Club, and just 30 minutes from the Qingdao Liuting International Airport (TAO).
Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa (India) – October 2013 – Meaning “God of Great Power” in Sanskrit, small and picturesque Mahabaleshwar is a hill station situated in the Indian state of Maharashtra. Surrounded by rare evergreen forests in the Western Ghats, Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa offers guests an atmosphere of luxurious relaxation. Located near the city center on Satara Road, the resort is 90 minutes from the Pune International Airport.
Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center – January 2014 – Located in Greater Chicago, directly adjacent to Oakbrook Center, one of the most prestigious shopping destinations in the United States, Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center is set to undergo a $20 million transformation prior to its 2014 debut. The hotel will feature 172 guest rooms and suites, fitness center, ninth floor bar, restaurant and meeting spaces, and a rooftop terrace.
All new hotels will feature the Le Méridien Hub™ experience, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative people to converse, debate, and exchange.
Le Méridien Hub offers both guests and locals a creative atmosphere where contemporary, curated artwork sets the environment. Le Méridien Hub further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture, curated by Le Méridien brand’s Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans.
Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring LM100 ™ artist designed key card collections that not only offer access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour soundtrack curated by Sans.
About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005.
With over 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase.
Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy.
By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests.
Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts within the next five years, concentrating on markets in Asia-Pacific and the Americas.
Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Atlanta, Chicago, Zhengzhou (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Qingdao (China), and Dhaka (Bangladesh).