Le Meridien to Debut in New Orleans Following Strategic Conversion

Le Méridien New Orleans to Open in 2014 following Extensive $29 Million Renovation to Reposition the Hotel, Currently Operated under Starwood’s W Brand

New Orleans, USA – 31 May 2013 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced plans to debut Le Méridien in New Orleans amidst rising demand for the Paris-born brand in markets across North America. Le Méridien New Orleans, ideally situated within walking distance from the city’s world-famous French Quarter, is set to open in Fall 2014. The hotel, which currently operates under Starwood’s W brand, was recently sold by the company to Chesapeake Lodging Trust (NYSE: CHSP) for $65 million this past April. Chesapeake will begin the comprehensive $29 million renovation and conversion in April 2014 and complete the project by the end of the fourth quarter.

W New Orleans - Living Room

W New Orleans – Living Room

“We are proud to debut the Le Méridien brand in the culturally rich city of New Orleans,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels. “With a bullish pipeline and re-developed brand strategy, Le Méridien continues on a remarkable growth trajectory, connecting with guests through the arts, culture, and cuisine in key cities around the world.”

Le Méridien New Orleans 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, ideal for weddings and business functions. The hotel’s restaurant and lounge, along with all other public areas, will also be transformed to implement Le Méridien brand elements and signature offerings.

“With strong brand appeal among cosmopolitan travelers worldwide, Le Méridien continues its aggressive deal signing momentum with Le Méridien New Orleans,” said Allison Reid, Senior Vice President of North America Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “We have a great partner in Chesapeake Lodging, and look forward to working together to bring Le Méridien to the Crescent City.”

Le Méridien New Orleans will also feature the Le Méridien Hub™ experience, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative people to converse, debate, and exchange. Le Méridien Hub offers both guests and locals a creative atmosphere where contemporary, curated artwork sets the environment. Le Méridien Hub further builds on the brand’s award-winning curated arrival experience and coffee culture. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring LM100™ artist designed key card collections that not only offer access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack.

Located at 333 Poydras Street, Le Méridien New Orleans will be conveniently located near the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and just a few blocks from the boutiques, art galleries and jazz clubs in the French Quarter as well as the Riverwalk Marketplace, Harrah’s Casino and the Warehouse District. The hotel is Chesapeake Lodging Trust’s fifth Starwood property, joining W New Orleans – French Quarter, W Chicago – City Center, W Chicago – Lakeshore and Le Méridien San Francisco.

Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 100 properties in more than 40 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With over 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. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive 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 Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Atlanta, Chicago, Zhengzhou (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Qingdao (China), and Dhaka (Bangladesh).

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