Press Release

 

2009-05-26

Le Meridien Doubles Its Footprint In Thailand

BANGKOK - May 26, 2009 – In its continued international expansion into culturally rich cities as well as resort destinations across the globe, Le Méridien brand today unveils three new hotel and resort properties in Asia Pacific - Le Méridien Bangkok, Le Méridien Chiang Mai and Le Méridien Chiang Rai. Further expanding the brand’s growing portfolio in Thailand, all three properties offer an engaging environment combined with a high standard of service designed to inspire the creative guest. Le Méridien recently celebrated the official openings of these hotels and resorts with the brand’s signature event, FIRST NIGHTBANGKOK: Destination Asia, An Active Discovery. As part of the First Night event, Le Méridien also unveiled the signature Le Méridien arrival experience and new signature breakfast at Le Méridien hotels in Asia Pacific.

"We are thrilled with the opening of these three stunning Le Méridien hotels in Thailand,” said Miguel Ko, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific.  “Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are both well known for their beautiful landscape and rich cultural offerings while Bangkok is the cosmopolitan capital of Thailand and is an exciting, sophisticated and energetic destination for leisure, business and meetings.  These locations are a great fit with the Le Méridien brand, which is committed to providing guests with an interactive and culturally enriching experience.”

“Le Méridien is committed to transforming the functional and transactional driven hotel experience into an emotional connection with our guests, delivering a new perspective in a relevant way in order to attract a new, aspirational audience – the creative mind,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide. “We are proud to unveil these three new Le Méridien hotels as they mark a milestone in Le Meridien brand’s transformation into a lifestyle brand. The curated approach of Le Méridien’s guest experience through Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator, and the LM100™ family lead to very inspiring, creative solutions that can be experienced at Le Méridien hotels in Thailand and across Asia Pacific.”   

Proprietary customer research showed that the first 10 minutes define the guests’ entire experience and establish their mindset for the rest of their stay. Le Méridien arrival experience was designed to transform the experience from functional and transactional to one that one that emotionally connects with the guests and resets their minds, leaving the outside world behind for the world of Le Méridien.

“Going through the hotel entrances with the more than 40 different works of art provided by six very different emerging artists, installed in diverse locations across the globe, is a unique experience. It is a project that takes permanent contemporary art pieces to various unexpected locations and makes art accessible to a wide audience,” said Jérôme Sans, Cultural Curator for Le Méridien. “I am sure that Le Méridien guests will be stimulated by the discovery of these Transitional Portals around the globe.”

Examples of Transitional Portals can be found at most all Le Méridien hotels in Asia Pacific, created by six international LM100 artists, Ralph Gibson, Hisham Bharoocha, Joan Fontcuberta, Youssef Nabil, Younès Rahmouna and An Xiaotong. Guests who attended the First Night Bangkok event had the opportunity to discover the Transitional Portal artwork located at Le Méridien Hotels in Asia Pacific.

As part of the unique arrival experience, the brand has created UNLOCK ART™, providing guests with unique access to contemporary cultural centers through artist-designed key cards that offer complimentary admission to local cultural experiences. 

The exclusive keycards at Le Méridien Bangkok have been created by artist Michael Lin, and provide access to the Thailand Creative & Design Center (TCDC), one of Asia’s largest cultural and design institutions. Using his signature floral motifs, Lin designed the first set of UNLOCK ART™ keycards. As Le Méridien Bangkok guests use these cards to open doors and access experiences at TCDC, the keycards will become works of art in and of themselves.

The UNLOCK ART™ programme at Le Méridien Chiang Mai gives guests complimentary access to the Umbrella Making Centre, Borsang.   Borsang is a village in San Kamphaeng district and is known for its hand-painted parasols made from mulberry paper (Sa paper) and silk. Upon presentation of Unlock Art™ keycard to the Centre, guests are able to express themselves by painting their own designs for the umbrellas at the workshop.

For Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, the UNLOCK ART™ programme provides guests with access to the Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park. Mae Fah Luang Art and Cultural Park houses the royal collection of Lanna art, the finest collection of religious and secular art and artifacts in Thailand.

Le Méridien Bangkok
Located in the center of Silom’s pulsating commercial district and just steps away from the energetic Patpong Night market, Le Méridien Bangkok is a modern 24-story tower in the heart of Thailand’s capital and stands as an icon to the rising contemporary creative scene in the city. Bangkok is evolving into a contemporary regional cultural center with a very forward-thinking creative community, and to reflect this shifting paradigm, Le Méridien Bangkok is providing a new perspective in accommodations that embraces a guest’s passions for art, architecture, fashion and cuisine. 

All 282 guestrooms and suites are wrapped in floor to ceiling windows, presenting unparalleled views of Bangkok’s cityscape and vibrant street scene below. The hotel also offers four subtly secluded but easy to access Atelier meeting rooms with contemporary private foyer, offering more than 300 square meters of function space ideal for corporate meetings and events as well as intimate social affairs.  Le Méridien Bangkok also features two innovative Le Méridien signature restaurants and a bar – Latest Recipe, an all day dining concept, and Bamboo Chic, a contemporary Asian fusion concept, a spa by Le Méridien with seven circular treatment rooms, and a fully-equipped fitness center and outdoor pool.

Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort
Centered amongst two majestic 100-year-old rain trees, Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort is located in Thailand’s premier hillside resort community in the country’s northernmost province, a region known for its breathtaking mountain scenery, Buddhist shrines and ruins of ancient settlements. Owned by the Rain Tree Hotel Company, Limited, the brand-new resort is just ten minutes from the Chiang Rai International Airport, five minutes from the town center and a one-hour drive from the Golden Triangle, where Myanmar, Laos and Thailand converge.

Guests can explore this compelling region starting at the resort’s quay, where a longtail boat is moored, waiting to take travelers downriver to visit the region’s fascinating hill-tribe villages. Other excursions include elephant treks and hikes along Chiang Rai’s renowned jungle trails. After a day exploring the area’s diverse landscapes and unique attractions, guests can indulge in the chic, cosmopolitan ambience at Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort. In addition to its 159 spacious and contemporary guestrooms and suites, featuring expansive private balconies, the resort offers an extensive menu of massage, facial and body treatments at Pavarti Spa, three world-class restaurants, a state-of-the-art gym and a three-tiered, outdoor swimming pool. 

Le Méridien Chiang Mai
Le Méridien Chiang Mai offers travelers first-class accommodations on Chang Klan Road in the heart of downtown Chiang Mai, Thailand’s dynamic northern capital.  The hotel is well positioned for guests to explore the charms of this culturally-rich city including its ancient temples, the Chiang Mai Night Bazaar and numerous culinary options. Most of the hotel’s 384 guestrooms overlook the majestic Doi Suthep Mountain, and all are outfitted with the signature Le Méridien Bed, broadband Internet and high-definition LCD televisions. 

This newly constructed hotel features two world-class restaurants, a modern health club, a multi-sensory spa and an outdoor swimming pool with panoramic views of Chiang Mai. Le Méridien Chiang Mai also offers more than 1,900 square meters of flexible function space, equipped with sophisticated technologies that make it an ideal destination for meetings, seminars, banquets and conventions.

After Le Méridien was bought by Starwood in November 2005, the brand has since upgraded its portfolio significantly through a range of renovations and currently has 26 hotels in the Asia Pacific Region, including Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Caledonia, Thailand and Vanuatu.  Le Méridien will open six new hotels in the region by 2011, including three hotels in China, two hotels in India and one hotel in Taiwan.

For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.  For more information on Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc., please visit www.starwoodpressclub.com.

About Le Méridien
Le Méridien, the French-born hotel brand currently represented by 107 properties in 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 appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – and transforming numerous guest touch points, thus 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 brand provides a strong international complement to Starwood’s primarily North American holdings. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien hotels and resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China.  Le Méridien Hotels recently opened new hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Shimei Bay (China), Dallas and will open in Philadelphia in the coming months, and has recently signed new hotel deals in Taipei, Xiamen, Chongqing Nan’an, and Qingdao (China).  For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.