Le Meridien Debuts in Chicago with Opening of Le Meridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center

Chicagoland's Newest Hotel Unveiled Following $25 Million Interior and Exterior Transformation, Including a Modern Rooftop Spanish Restaurant with Sweeping City Views and High Impact Artwork that Unlocks the Destination

CHICAGO - August 4, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced the opening of Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center, a Rockbridge Portfolio property, following a $25 million transformation. Managed by Wischermann Partners Inc., Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center provides a new lens on Western Chicago's sophisticated Oak Brook area, home to a multitude of upscale shopping and dining options as well as Fortune 500 business headquarters.

"We are on track to triple our North American portfolio since Starwood first acquired Le Méridien in 2005," said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. "With shared passions for culture, the arts and cuisine, Chicago has long been on our short list, and the location is a great backdrop for our Le Méridien brand promise to unlock the destination for the curious and creative-minded traveler."

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center features 172 guestrooms and suites, including an extraordinary Presidential Suite and six spacious Executive Suites all featuring contemporary and mid-century inspired furnishings. The hotel also boasts 3,500 square feet of expansive event space, two contemporary Spa Suites and a sleek Spanish restaurant, El Tapeo, offering contemporary tapas style dishes and handcrafted cocktails.

Guests will be immediately enthralled by the new modern façade, which opens into the hotel's signature and award-winning arrival experience, Le Méridien Hub™. Le Méridien arrival consists of four unique elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to the acclaimed Elmhurst Art Museum; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague. The Hub also features the signature Master Barista, a recently launched initiative to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. The Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each hotel, serve as a coffee cultural ambassador, and maintain knowledge of current coffee trends within the destination.

"Our vision for and strategy around the end user has created a hotel unrivaled in the market," noted Jim Merkel, Rockbridge President & CEO. "Rockbridge and the team focused on every detail to totally transform the hotel experience at Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center."

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center brings a new lens on Oak Brook through the work of local Chicago artists and abstract installations representing notable Chicago symbols, such as bicycles and the Ferris wheel, which debuted at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Upon arrival, guests will experience a large-scale, one-of-a-kind mural depicting the architecture of the city by contemporary artist Justus Roe of the Chicago Artists Coalition. The Hub also features an installation of a deconstructed bicycle, a nod to Oak Brook's many biking trails, with the bike chain in the shape of Illinois and the headlight representing Chicago. Each floor of the hotel's elevator lobbies showcases images taken from Chicago's signature "L" train, including the mileage and direction from the hotel in relation to where each particular shot was taken. The Executive Club Lounge features eight stunning photographs by Chicago native Satoki Nagata portraying Chicagoland locals caught in the rain. Custom graphic patterns throughout the hotel, created by Starwood's award-winning design team, are abstract designs of local contextual nuances, including original Daniel Burnham city plans for Chicago and maps of the public spaces of the Windy City.

The ninth floor of Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center boasts a 3,000 square foot Grand Salon Ballroom and Executive Club Lounge as well as the hotel's new restaurant concept, El Tapeo, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows and breathtaking views of the city. The 58-seat restaurant offers authentic Spanish cuisine, created by culinary artist and Chicago native, Chef Franco Diaz. In the hotel's 25-seat lounge and 12-seat bar, guests are also served freshly made, handcrafted cocktails and light tapas style appetizers.

"Our associates are very excited and proud to be a part of this opening," said Paul Wischermann, President and CEO of Wischermann Partners. "We will build memorable experiences and guest loyalty one customer at a time, positioning Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center for future success and offering Starwood's most loyal guests another great choice when visiting Chicago's Oak Brook market."

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center also features two modern Spa Suites, featuring custom stone and marble décor, a stone-tiled rain shower steam room with a 32" heated mosaic tile bed amidst ten body sprayers, a luxurious soaking tub and a large relaxation lounge. The lounge is designed with seamless flexibility to allow guests to revitalize their mind, body, and spirit, as they relax in the plush comfort of an oversized sofa, or engage in an array of curated spa treatment services in partnership with ESPA.

For more information or to book, please visit www.lemeridien.com/chicagooakbrookcenter.

About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts

Le Méridien , the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With more than 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 and redefined brand strategy. Through creation of the LM100 artist community, Le Méridien has transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique, interactive and curated 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 Chicago, Tampa (Florida, USA), Cairo, Bali, Atlanta, Dallas, Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Zhengzhou (China), Arlington (Virginia, USA) and Santa Monica, (California, USA), and will open in the next 12 months in Bangkok, New Orleans, Mahabaleshwar (India), Gandhinagar (India), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) and Indianapolis (Indiana, USA). For more information, please visit www.leMéridien .com or www.facebook.com/leMéridien. Follow @LeMéridien Hotels on Instagram and Twitter.

About Rockbridge

Rockbridge is a private equity firm that invests in hotels. Since 1992, Rockbridge's team has formed and managed ten institutional private equity funds and executed on more than 325 hotel investments in 45 states in transactions worth more than $5 billion. An integrated hospitality firm and the market leader in hotel investment for more than 20 years, Rockbridge's cycle-tested investment strategy has enabled the company to successfully manage risk while creating solutions that deliver current cash flow and create long-term value. For additional information about Rockbridge, visit www.rockbridgecapital.com.

About Wischermann Partners, Inc.

Wischermann Partners, Inc. is a national hospitality firm, focused on the operations of upper upscale and luxury hotels. Recognized by clients, peers and industry experts, Wischermann Partners brings a unique mix of knowledge, experience and insight to hospitality management, development and acquisitions. Currently, Wischermann Partners operates a hotel portfolio of more than 3,400 rooms. For more information about Wischermann Partners, please visit www.wischermannpartners.com.

(Note: This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities regulations. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance or events and involve risks and uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated at the time the forward-looking statements are made. These risks and uncertainties are presented in detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although we believe the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are based upon reasonable assumptions, we can give no assurance that our expectations will be attained or that results and events will not materially differ. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.)

SOURCE Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.


Lianne Wiker
Media Relations
Noreen Heron & Associates
1 773-969-5200

Ellen Molina
Media Relations
Noreen Heron & Associates
1 773-969-5200

Trey Sarten
Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Director, Global Communications



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Le Méridien® (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences) is a European-inspired brand with a French accent.


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