ISTANBUL (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced that it will open the first Le Méridien hotel in the sophisticated and vibrant European "Capital of Culture." Scheduled to open in the autumn of 2011, the new 260-room Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler marks the brand's debut in Turkey. Owned by Makyol Construction Industry Tourism and Trading Co. Inc., the hotel overlooks the crystal blue waters of the Bosphorus offering panoramic views over two continents and is anticipated to become a landmark in Turkey's rapidly developing cultural, economic and financial centre.
According to Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Europe, Africa & Middle East (EAME), the debut of Starwood's Le Méridien brand in Istanbul further underlines the company's European growth strategy: "Istanbul continues to evolve as a metropolitan centre of culture, sophistication, design and cuisine, making it an ideal match for our Le Méridien brand. We are delighted to partner with Makyol as we introduce the Le Méridien brand to Turkey. This flagship hotel will enable us to showcase Le Méridien's contemporary lifestyle and sophisticated origins."
Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide says: "Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will be the gathering place in Istanbul for creative and curious minds. From the hotel's design to its inspiring guest experience, Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will be a flagship for the brand, not only for Istanbul but also internationally, showcasing the new era for Le Méridien since it was acquired by Starwood five years ago."
Ideally located in the prestigious area of Etiler, just one kilometre from the Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge connecting Europe and Asia, Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will be tailored to both business and leisure travellers. The 32-story hotel will provide a fully integrated contemporary lifestyle experience featuring 206 guest rooms, 26 suites and 28 serviced apartments, a Creative Hub (Le Méridien's new lobby concept), destination bar, signature restaurant and rooftop lounge with stunning views of the city. Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler will also offer 1,700 square metres of hi-tech meeting and event space, a spacious wellness area including a gym, spa and both indoor and outdoor pools.
Adnan Çebi, Makyol's Chairman says: "We are extremely excited to be expanding Makyol's tourism portfolio with an internationally renowned hotel group such as Starwood Hotels & Resorts and to bring the iconic Le Méridien brand to Turkey. With the brand's artistic cosmopolitan touch, we believe Le Méridien Istanbul will bring a fresh flavour to the Istanbul lifestyle, perfectly suited to the already rich and sophisticated cultural blend of East and West."
Designed by award-winning Turkish architect Emre Arolat, the unique, modern structure rises high above the buildings in the local area. Arolat placed great importance on finding the right source of inspiration for the structure. In his design, he refers to the pre-existing neighbourhood buildings as building blocks arranged on top of one another to create a skyscraper that blends in harmoniously with its environment. Between these three blocks, patches of natural greenery were added to further enhance this balance between structure and surroundings. Each single block gradually becomes transparent as we move up the levels of the buildings so as to allow the guests to fully immerse themselves in the sky and atmosphere of the Bosphorus.
Interiors have been designed by Istanbul-based Metex in conjunction with Le Méridien brand design management. The hotel design will create a unique experience for international creative minds and locals alike.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts currently operates six hotels throughout Turkey, including three in Istanbul - W Istanbul, Sheraton Istanbul Maslak Hotel and Sheraton Istanbul Atakoy Hotel, Sheraton Ankara Hotel & Convention Centre, Sheraton Voyager Antalya Hotel and Sheraton Cesme Hotel Resort and Spa. In addition to Le Méridien Istanbul Etiler, Starwood will also open a Luxury Collection Hotel in Ankara next year. Starwood operates more than 1000 hotels and resorts in more than 100 countries around the world under its nine distinct and compelling brands.
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 105 properties in more than 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a major portfolio consolidation through renovating, opening and exiting off-brand hotels. As part of the newly defined brand direction, French arts provocateur Jérôme Sans was appointed as cultural curator to support in transforming numerous guest touch points and bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. With close to 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provides a strong international complement to Starwood's primarily North American holdings. Plans call for dynamic global expansion of Le Méridien hotels and resorts within the next five years. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Minneapolis and Philadelphia (U.S.), Panama City (Panama) and Qingdao, Xiamen and Chongqing (China) and will open new hotels in Oran, Algeria and Taipei (Taiwan) in the coming months. Le Méridien has recently signed hotel deals in Xian and Zhengzhou (China), Saigon (Vietnam), Doha (Qatar), Lagos (Nigeria), Cairo (Egypt), and Mahabaleshwar and Lonavala (India). For more information, please visit www.leméridien.com.
Listed among the world's leading construction companies, MAKYOL was founded in 1965. With heavy construction- infrastructure (highways, airports, metro projects, tunnels, bridges, dams, etc.), tourism investments, commercial and residential real estate developments to be found amongst its portfolio, MAKYOL successfully carries out large scale projects in 7 countries internationally. With both the much anticipated Le Méridien Istanbul and Kas Marina, situated on the Southern Mediterranean coast set to open in 2011, MAKYOL, intends to expand its portfolio with further hotel investments both domestically and internationally. MAKYOL is also the owner of Mövenpick Hotel Istanbul and Doria Hotel Bodrum. For further information please visit www.makyol.com.tr
SOURCE: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.