Communiqué de presse

 

2008-12-18

Le Méridien Expands Presence In Asia Pacific With The Opening Of Two New Properties In Northern Thailand And A Resort & Spa In China

Singapore - December 18, 2008 - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) today announced the opening of three Le Méridien properties in Asia Pacific, continuing its expansion in dynamic markets across the globe. The debut of Le Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa marks the brand’s second resort in China, while Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort and Le Méridien Chiang Mai further expand the brand’s growing portfolio in northern Thailand. All three properties offer a culturally rich environment combined with superior service designed to inspire the creative guest.

“Le Méridien is proud to broaden its reach in Asia Pacific with the addition of these three stunning properties, where guests can enjoy a unique experience that combines contemporary European refinement with distinct Asian influences curated by Le Meridien’s Cultural Curator and a range of established and emerging innovators, part of LM100,” said Eva Ziegler, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts and W Hotels Worldwide. “A favorite among progressive, curious, open minded and forward-thinking international travelers, Le Méridien facilitates guest discovery of a new perspective of the arts, architecture, design, and cuisine at each of its destinations around the world. Hainan Island in China and Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in northern Thailand will certainly provide fertile ground for this voyage of discovery.”

"We are thrilled to announce the opening of these three stunning Le Méridien hotels in Thailand and China, two of world’s most exhilarating destinations,” said Miguel Ko, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific.  “Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are both well known for their stunning landscape and rich cultural offerings while Shimei Bay is an unspoilt getaway for travelers to Hainan Island, with spectacular views of the South China Sea, and surrounded by lush forest and rustic Li minority village.  These locations are a great fit with Le Méridien brand, which is committed to providing guests with an interactive and culturally enriching experience.”

All three new Le Meridien hotels will feature Le Meridien’s newly introduced Arrival Experience for guests. This curated experience will commence from the moment the guest arrives at the hotel until they have opened the door to their guest room.  The arrival experience includes the Transitional Portal, which is a visual and audio “wall” of sound and art that will engulf each guest; Sensory Experience illustrated through Le Meridien’s signature scent, sound and use of light; Unlock Art program that includes an artist designed key card that offers access to the guest room and to Le Meridien’s affiliated art organizations; and lastly the Elevated Experience, which transforms the event of riding an elevator into an “elevating experience” through video and sound.

The opening of these three new Le Méridien properties highlights the significant development of the brand in Asia Pacific. Le Méridien currently operates 23 hotels in the region, including, Le Royal Méridien Shanghai and Le Méridien Cyberport, Hong Kong.

Le Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa
Le Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa is the first five-star resort to open in Wanning City on China’s Hainan Island. Owned by China Resources (Holdings) Co., Ltd., this magnificent property boasts an idyllic setting on more than three miles of pristine, white sandy beach with majestic views of the South China Sea. Surrounded by lush forest, the resort features 275 luxurious guest rooms, including 25 villas, all with private balconies overlooking either the sea or the mountains.

Le Méridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa offers an experience that is enriched by its European coffee culture and close ties with contemporary art institutions. In this sophisticated setting, guests will enjoy a choice of three stylish restaurants and three lounges. The signature breakfast menu with a selected number of dishes created by Jean-Georges Vongerichten is available at Breakers, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, as well as an enticing selection of western, continental and Asian dishes. Ai Mei Chinese restaurant offers popular dishes from mainland China, Hainan specialties and Cantonese cuisine, while Horizon Bar + Grill serves signature cocktails and a diverse menu in a poolside setting. The hotel’s three lounges – Latitude 18, Lagoon Bar and Sensations – offer a range of exotic cocktails, freshly squeezed tropical juices, Illy Coffee and live musical entertainment.

Inspired by the rich traditions of European and Asia, the hotel’s 3,700 square-foot Spa features six spa villas with individual dipping pools, steam rooms and spa cabanas, as well as luxury suites, massage rooms, a hair salon, Spa boutique and Spa bistro. State-of-the-art meeting facilities include a nearly 6,000 square foot ballroom and five meeting rooms, perfect for high-end conferences, meetings and events. Guests will enjoy deluxe recreation facilities including three pools, a fitness center and access to four nearby golf courses.

Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort
Centered around 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 Co., Ltd., 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 guest rooms 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 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 guest rooms 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 nearly 6,000 square feet of flexible function space, equipped with sophisticated technologies that make it an ideal destination for meetings, seminars, banquets and conventions.

For more information about Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, visit: www.lemeridien.com

About Le Méridien
Le Méridien brand, currently represented by approximately 110 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. in November 2005. With close to 80 percent 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 expansion of Le Méridien-branded 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 Meridien is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, Sheraton®, Westin®, Four Points® by Sheraton, W®, Le Méridien®, and the recently launched aloftSM, and elementSM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com and www.starwoodpressclub.com.