By James Wilkinson in Bangkok
Starwood’s revamped Le Méridien brand has been unveiled to the world’s travel media during a lavish opening of the chain’s newest hotel in Bangkok.
The ‘transitional portal’ at Le Méridien Bangkok
With a theme of the arts, Le Méridien has been gracefully revamped to have an entirely new look and feel with the new Bangkok hotel well and truly epitomising the direction the brand has taken.
Highlights of the new brand include a signature scent, new collateral, a signature breakfast menu and the introduction of a global cultural curator, Jérôme Sans.
Sans oversees the brand’s artistic committee, known as LM100, and works – from artists including Ralph Gibson, Hisham Bharoocha, Joan Fontcuberta, Youssef Nabil, Younès Rahmouna and An Xiaotong – can be seen at Le Méridien hotels across the world.
“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 minds,” said Le Méridien global brand leader, Eva Ziegler
“We are proud to unveil Le Méridien’s transformation through Le Méridien Bangkok. The curated approach of Le Méridien’s guest experience through Sans, Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator, and the LM100 family lead to very inspiring solutions that can be experienced at Le Méridien hotels in Thailand and across Asia Pacific,” she said.
A key element of curated approach has been the creation of transitional portals at each of the properties. Some entrances have been completely overtaken by art, including a portrait by Gibson at Le Méridien Bangkok, as part of the brand’s arrival experience initiative.
“Going through the hotel entrances with the artwork of six very different emerging artists, installed in diverse locations across the globe, is a unique experience,” said Sans.
“It is a project that takes permanent contemporary art pieces to various unexpected locations and makes art accessible to a wide audience.
“I am sure that Le Méridien guests will be stimulated by the discovery of these Transitional Portals around the globe,” he said.
Bangkok is the newest Le Méridien in the world and the ‘First Night Bangkok’ event to officially open the hotel was held in the city last Thursday night (Apr 2).
The international media contingent, which included over 50 journalists from around Asia-Pacific, also travelled to inspect the chain’s other two new-look properties in Thailand, Le Méridien Chiang Mai and Le Méridien Chiang Rai, both of which opened in late-2008.
The three hotels have extensive conferencing facilities and according to Starwood’s regional general manager – Thailand, Wayne Buckingham, all will be looking to the Australian MICE market in 2009 for significant group bookings.
Le Méridien currently has 105 properties open in 50 countries globally, including 26 hotels in the Asia Pacific Region – located in 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 on the new-look brand, visit www.lemeridien.com
British Airways flies daily from Sydney to Bangkok and onwards to London with four-class Boeing 747-400 aircraft. The author recommends flying in Club World, which recently underwent a major transformation, including the introduction of new flat bed seats with hundreds of hours of entertainment on demand. For bookings, visit www.ba.com