Recommend May 2014 - (Page 12)

hoteldesk Accommodations at Le Meridien Tampa, opening next month. LE MERIDIEN'S GLOBAL EXPANSION paloma villaverde de rico t too its rst a ste s in it a -room ote in Paris, and now Le Meridien is one of the world's most recognized ote rands. n fact it s een con erin t e o e one fa o s French-accented hotel at a time, and since Starwood's ac isition of e Meridien in t e rand s mericas ortfo io alone has nearly tripled. Adding to its luster, it will open almost a dozen new hotels in the next few months everywhere from Florida to North Carolina and Bangladesh to Bhutan. The Le Meridien brand was founded by Air France, says Brian Povinelli, global brand leader, Le Meridien and Westin, as a way to "provide a 'home outside of home for Air France passengers,' which led to a presence of Le Meridien in the world's primary and internationa cities. nce it as ac ired tar ood it as "envisioned," Povinelli continues, "to transform into a contemporary, design-led lifestyle brand by mixing contemporary culture with its European heritage." Today, "we have the strongest global portfolio ever in Le Meridien brand's history and with more than 100 properties in over 50 countries worldwide, the brand is in incredible demand. From Paris to Philadelphia, Shanghai to Dubai, and Seychelles to Bora Bora, Le Meridien is represented in some of the world's most dynamic urban and resort destinations," Povinelli points out. w elcom e to th e f am ily will open in October. Early 2015 will see the openings of Le Meridien Thimphu in Bhutan, and Le Meridien Jiaonan Resort in China. Additionally, the brand will be investing more than $200 million in the renovations of 13 hotels and resorts in the Middle East and Africa regions in the next three years. cultural rend ez vous And what type of experience will Le Meridien be bringing to these destinations? "Le Meridien seeks to expose the contemporary, creative-minded traveler to the most unexpected and engaging experiences their destinations have to offer, allowing guests to ea e fee in f ed a in made a ni e disco er t e can share at their next stop," Povinelli says. So it's no wonder that a key thing that sets the Le Meridien brand apart from other Starwood brands-and other hotels in general-is the cultural experience it aims to provide its guests. e rand ro ides a ni e ers ecti e on t e oca c isine arts and culture. "No other brand of our scale delivers on this promise like Le Meridien does and two key activation points are: 'The Arrival Experience' at our hotels that starts with transitional art installations; and our 'Hub' experience, which re-interprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place for creative people to converse, debate, and exchange in a cafe-like environment," he says. The Hub, he stresses, is "at the heart of everything that we do. It's an integral part of the brand because it embraces the concept of 'unlocking a destination' by presenting a creative space for guests as well as the local community." To bolster that cultural experience, Le Meridien has created a global partnership with French bossa nova band, Nouvelle Vague, who curated a 24-hour soundtrack that has been playing in every Le Meridien hotel around the world since May 1. That partnership coincides with the launch of Le Meridien brand's global beverage program, Le Meridien Sparkling, inspired by the European aperitif culture. Ideal partnerships for Le Meridien guests, who Povinelli sa s is a fast- ro in er e -ed cated i affl ent and demanding group. They value creativity, innovation, individuality and diversity, and they cluster in creative communities." ‚óŹ According to Povinelli, Le Meridien's growth in the Americas is unstoppable. The brand is "on track to more than triple its portfolio in t e mericas. e roster of ne ote s reflects t at it Le Meridien Tampa opening next month; Le Meridien Chicago opening in July; Le Meridien Charlotte opening in August; Le Meridien Indianapolis opening in November; and Le Meridien New Orleans opening this upcoming winter season. n t e ot er side of t e o e t ere is a so si ni cant ro t . In fact, Povinelli points out that, "while the brand remains focused on global growth across the board, we recently announced a s stantia in estment in t e Midd e ast sia aci c and frica. In July, the Le Meridien Dhaka in an ades i e come its rst guests, while in Thailand, Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok Golf Resort & Spa will open its doors in August. In India, meanwhile, Le Meridien Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad Road will contact information open in Gujarat, and Le Meridien Mahabaleshwar Resort & Spa Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts: or 12 may 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Recommend May 2014

Editor's Notes
Hotel Desk: Le Meridien
Tour Talk: Contiki Vacations
Tee Off in Spain
Tee Off in Scotland
Jerusalem & Tel Aviv: A (Short) Tale of Two Cities
AmaWaterways Sails into Myanmar
American Cruise Lines is on a Roll
Venturing Through Bordeaux With Viking
Martinique Travel Planner
Ecuador Goes Luxe
Mexico Destination Weddings & Honeymoons
Saint Lucia
Salamander Resort & Spa, Virginia
PGA National Resort & Spa, Florida

Recommend May 2014