Le Meridien Embarks on Second Year of Unprecedented Growth
French-born Brand Continues Rapid Global Expansion with 11 New Hotels Slated to Open in the Next 12 Months; Americas Portfolio Nearly Triples since Starwood Acquisition
NEW YORK - March 6, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts today announced another unprecedented year of growth with 11 new hotels expected to open within the next 12 months. With these new openings, Le Méridien is on track to more than triple its portfolio in the Americas since the French-born brand was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide (NYSE: HOT) in 2005. In 2014, Le Méridien is slated to open hotels in both established and emerging destinations around the world from Chicago to Dhaka, Tampa to Bangkok and New Orleans to Thimphu.
"Last year, we signed more new Le Méridien hotels and resorts than any year since we added Le Méridien to Starwood's portfolio of world-class brands," said Simon Turner, President of Global Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. "We are proud to announce another equally strong year of growth momentum for Le Méridien, fueled by tremendous owner and developer interest around the world. The pace of both conversion and adaptive re-use projects has been the key driver of the brand's growth, accounting for nearly all the openings this year in North America, and approximately half of those opening in other global markets."
Since 2005, both Starwood and its hotel ownership groups have transformed Le Méridien into a contemporary lifestyle brand that unlocks the destination through culture, the arts, and cuisine for both guests and locals alike. Over the past eight 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 training. With the strongest portfolio and performance levels in the brand's history, as well as a host of innovative brand-wide programming, Le Méridien has new strength and renewed interest under Starwood. Last year, Le Méridien also saw more new deal signings of any year since 2005, which will continue to fuel growth in both emerging and established markets for years to come.
"In 2014, Le Méridien will continue on a remarkable growth trajectory focused on global growth across the board," said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin. "With a reinvigorated brand positioning, built off our promise of unlocking the destination for guests, we are committed to offering a range of curated experiences around the arts, culture and cuisine in key destinations around the world."
Le Méridien will open 11 new hotels in the next 12 months, including:
Le Méridien Tampa (Florida, USA) – May 2014 – Recognized in the National Register of Historic Places, the century-old Historic Federal Courthouse has been transformed into Le Méridien Tampa. Located in the heart of the city's arts and entertainment district, Le Méridien Tampa will feature 130 guest rooms and suites. Wood window trim and doors evoke the rooms' past as judges' chambers, while the courtrooms have been repurposed as elegant meeting rooms and a business center.
Le Méridien Dhaka (Bangladesh) – July 2014 – 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 Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport (DAC). Each of the 304 guest rooms and suites offers luxurious amenities and is furnished in a palette of warm tones for an inviting ambience.
Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center (Chicago, USA) – July 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.
Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa (Bangkok, Thailand) – August 2014 – Situated outside of Bangkok, Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi Golf Resort & Spa is located along the Bagna-Trad Road, a short 30-minute drive from the city center. Among the world's most dynamic capitals, Bangkok is rich in cultural treasures, including the Grand Palace, the Emerald Buddha and The National Museum, South East Asia's largest museum.
Le Méridien Charlotte (North Carolina, USA) – August 2014 – Located in Charlotte's bustling uptown business district, Le Méridien Charlotte is part of a $20 million renovation, dual-hotel complex project, together with The Sheraton Charlotte Hotel. In addition to a 24-hour fitness center, spa, indoor and outdoor pools and pool bar, and 55,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, Le Méridien Charlotte will feature a spectacular rooftop bar that showcases beautiful views of the downtown Charlotte skyline.
Le Méridien Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad Road (Gujarat, India) – September 2014 – Located in the heart of India's emerging business city, Le Méridien Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad Road will feature 120 spacious guest rooms and suites, designed with a blend of traditional Indian elements and sleek modern touches. Ideal for business and leisure travelers alike, the hotel is a gateway to Ahmedabad's cultural attractions, including the Sabarmati Ashram, the Kite Museum, the Jain Hathi Singh Temple, and the 15th-century Bhadra Fort.
Le Méridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa (India) – October 2014 – 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 Indianapolis (Indiana, USA) – November 2014 – Le Méridien Indianapolis will debut in November 2014 following a $9.5 million renovation of The Historic Canterbury Hotel, a landmark property in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. The hotel will feature a chic design ethos that juxtaposes the property's historic architecture with a contemporary style. As part of the comprehensive renovation, Le Méridien Indianapolis will feature 99 modern guest rooms, local cuisine in a re-designed restaurant and lounge, an expanded fitness center and more than 2,500 square-feet of upgraded meeting and event space.
Le Méridien New Orleans (Louisiana, USA) – Winter 2014 – Ideally situated within walking distance from the city's world-famous French Quarter, Le Méridien New Orleans will open in Winter 2014 following a comprehensive $29 million renovation. The hotel will offer 410 fully renovated guestrooms and bathrooms as well as upgraded fitness center, rooftop pool and more than 10,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting facilities.
Le Méridien Thimphu (Thimphu, Bhutan) – January 2015 – Located on Chhoten Lam road, near to the main street in Thimpu, the largest and the capital city of this culturally rich and exotic high-end leisure destination, Le Meridien Thimpu will mark the entry of Starwood in Bhutan. Slated to open in January 2015, the 78 room hotel will feature the signature Le Meridien Hub experience, Latitude Bar and spacious spa, fitness centre and pool.
Le Méridien Jiaonan Resort (Qingdao, China) – January 2015 – 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).
All new hotels will feature the brand's signature Le Méridien Hub™, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place, and further builds 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; 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 Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack. The Hub features the signature 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.
In 2013, Le Meridien opened new hotels in Dallas, Atlanta, and Santa Monica (USA); Yixing and Zhengzhou (China); Bali, Indonesia; and Cairo, Egypt.
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 as well as redefining its 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 Bali (Indonesia), Atlanta (Georgia, USA), Dallas (Texas, USA), Santa Monica (California, USA), Yixing (China), Zhengzhou (China), Cairo (Egypt), and will open in the next 12 months in Bangkok (Thailand), Gujarat (India), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Chicago (Illinois, USA), Indianapolis (Indiana, USA), Tampa (Florida, USA) and Columbus (Ohio, USA). For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com or www.facebook.com/lemeridien. Follow @LeMeridienHotels on Instagram.
SOURCE Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Global Public Relations, Le Méridien
1 212 380 4015
Susan Magrino Agency
Susan Magrino Agency