Starwood Hotels and Resorts has officially unveiled the new Le Meridien
branding at a event at the recently renovated Le Méridien Etoile, Paris.
The hotel group, which acquired Le Meridien in late 2005 with a
portfolio of over 100 hotels in over 50 countries, has been hard at work
turning what was a “distressed” high-end brand into a top-class cultural and
creative experience for its guests.
One of the brand ideals involves guests staying at Le Meridien
properties having access to local art exhibitions and events. Room keys can be
used to gain access to designated creative spaces in the city where you are
staying (in this case the intriguing Palais De Tokyo).
Eva Ziegler, senior vice
president, Le Méridien brand for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide said at the event: “When Starwood
bought the brand in November 2005 Le Meridien was a little bit of a high-end ‘distressed’
brand. We looked at everything from the experience of arriving at the hotel, to
staying and departing. By the end of 2008 it [the new brand ideals] will be at
Le Meridien properties across the globe. By the end of 2011 we will have around
115 hotels and we will have had 60 hotels renovated as well.”
The 1,025-room Le Méridien Etoile, Paris has views over an interior
courtyard and the Palais du Congress. The hotel hosted the “One night in Paris” evening to showcase the new branding, and in line
with Le Meridien’s “African footprint” the hotel had installations inspired by Africa.
The event also marked the launch of the brand’s new Check out for
Children’s ‘Art is Life’ HIV prevention programme, in partnership with UNICEF.
Check out for Children was launched by Starwood with UNICEF and involves
guests donating one dollar (or local currency equivalent) on check out. The scheme has raised USD$21 million since its launch in 1995, but
this is the first time it has been extended to the Le Meridien brand.
Report by Felicity Cousins