NEW YORK - February 27, 2015 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT), today introduced Follow Me, a multi-faceted global art collaboration with photographer Gray Malin. As part of the brand's Video Art Programme, the captivating Follow Me video will debut in Le Méridien hotels around the world, and represents Malin's 24-hour visual journey to inspiring destinations from Palm Springs to Bhutan. Artfully synced with the day-to-night transition of the signature Le Me´ridien Hub™, this collaboration celebrates Le Méridien as the first global hotel brand to bring its guests an immersive experience of this scale, capturing the excitement of world travel through photography.
Malin began his Follow Me adventure with a helicopter photo shoot high above Le Méridien Ra Beach & Spa Resort in Spain. Throughout 2015, he will travel to Le Méridien hotels and resorts in some of the world's most illuminating destinations such as Bhutan, Dubai, Split, Seychelles and others to be announced. Follow Me will take center stage in Le Méridien Hubs, engaging guests with a compelling video art installation showcasing Malin's global series of photography and the ever-growing collection of stills shot at Le Méridien resort and leisure destinations, in addition to behind-the-scenes video footage of his shoots. Le Méridien also will feature Malin's Follow Me journey online, on hotel key cards and through an exclusive line of Le Méridien x Gray Malin merchandise to be launched later in 2015. Work from the Follow Me collection will also be available for purchase at GrayMalin.com.
"Le Méridien allows our guests to 'unlock' their destination via local filters such as culinary adventures and artistic endeavors," said Brian Povinelli, Senior Vice President, Global Brand Leader for Le Méridien and Westin. "Gray Malin's modern perspective on photography invites our creative and curious minded guests into his world, immersing them in high-touch moments and exotic locales. The 24-hour reel of breathtaking photographs and behind the scenes video clips, showcases some of the most visually stunning, iconic and aspirational destinations from Le Méridien properties around the world, and allows our guests to traverse the globe without ever leaving our Hub."
"I'm constantly visiting new destinations to bring inspired visions to life, and social media has enabled my audience to literally 'follow me' on my adventures," said Gray Malin, photographer and founder of the Gray Malin brand. "My work is more than just a photograph and Le Méridien is more than just a hotel; this one-of-a-kind collaboration invites our audiences to explore and experience the world through my lens."
To launch the campaign, Le Méridien and Gray Malin will host a contest on social media in order to engage their collective social media communities using the hashtag #FollowGray. To enter, guests must share an original image on Instagram inspired by their travels while following @LeMeridienHotels and @GrayMalin, and using the hashtag #FollowGrayContest. Open to US and UK residents, Malin will judge the entries on April 15, 2015 based upon creativity and composition. The Grand Prize Winner will receive 250,000 StarPoints, and the three runner-ups will receive signed prints from Malin.
In addition to the Follow Me campaign, Malin further immersed himself in the Le Méridien brand with a recent photo shoot at Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs. A personal favorite of the Los Angeles native, Malin often frequents Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs to seek inspiration and escape. Malin photographed exotic animals on the lush grounds of this property as part of a fine art series he created, titled Gray Malin at the Parker, that is expected to launch in May 2015. Images from this shoot will be showcased as an installation at Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs, incorporated into the Follow Me video art series, and sold through GrayMalin.com.
To learn more, please visit www.lemeridien.com/FollowMe.
Launched in 2011, the signature Le Méridien Hub™ reinterprets the traditional hotel lobby into a social gathering place, building on the brand's award-winning Arrival experience and coffee culture. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; sensory experience, illustrated through the LM01 signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the destination; and a 24-hour soundtrack, now curated by Nouvelle Vague. Each Hub also features a Master Barista, a recently launched initiative to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. 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.
Le Méridien , the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by nearly 100 properties in more than 35 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) in November 2005. With more than 75 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 partnerships with some of the world's most creative minds, 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 Columbus (Ohio, USA), Charlotte (North Carolina, USA), Indianapolis (Indiana, USA), New Orleans, Chicago, Tampa (Florida, USA), Cairo, Bahrain, Bali, Atlanta, Oran (Algeria), and Zhengzhou (China), and will open in the next 12 months in Bangkok, Gurgaon (India), Mahabaleshwar (India), Thimphu (Bhutan), Paro (Bhutan), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Qingdao (China), Leshan (China), and Putrajaya (Malaysia). For more information, please visit www.leméridien.com or www.facebook.com/leMéridien. Follow @LeMéridienHotels on Instagram and Twitter.
Combining the spirit of travel and adventure, photographer Gray Malin envisioned his eponymous lifestyle brand from a deep passion for photography and interior design. Gray Malin's bold photographic works forge the synergy between wanderlust and adventure, transporting the viewer to another place, and bringing people together to share in this explorative spirit. Malin's early notable work, Prada Marfa, put him on the radar of fashion and art enthusiasts and he became commercially recognized for inventive aerial beach scenes. While each body of work is exclusively his own vision, Malin has collaborated with global brands including Sperry Top-Sider, Orlebar Brown and now with Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. For more information, please visit www.graymalin.com.
Situated on 13 lush acres, the Parker Palm Springs is an estate where luxury is fun. Designed by Jonathan Adler, the property boasts 131 rooms, 12 villas and the 2 bedroom Gene Autry Residence. There are 3 restaurants - Norma's (of New York fame), mister parker's a dark and seductive French bistro and the Lemonade Stand, perfect for an afternoon bite or cocktail. The Palm Springs Yacht Club spa at over 18,000 square-feet is well-known as a place to indulge in a treatment, take a yoga class or even lounge at the Deck. Additionally the hotel has four red clay tennis courts, grounds consisting of games such as croquet and petanque, as well as outdoor firepits and fountains. The perfect desert escape! 4200 East Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, CA 92264. (760) 770-5000, www.theparkerpalmsprings.com.
SOURCE Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Day One Agency for Le Méridien
Global PR Manager
Le Méridien® (luxury and upscale full-service hotels, resorts and residences) is a European-inspired brand with a French accent.