Le Méridien Lav has opened its doors in the Mediterranean port of Split. The resort, previously Hotel Lav, has undergone an 80 Euro-million renovation and is the first Le Méridien hotel in Croatia and is the latest addition to Le Méridien’s growing portfolio since Starwood acquired the brand in November 2005.
Global travellers will embrace Le Méridien Lav not only for its creative flair and cosmopolitan flavour, but also for its prime location in Split, the largest of all the cities in Dalmatia. One of the busiest ports and most popular leisure destinations of the Mediterranean, Split is the main artery for those exploring Croatia’s breathtaking coastline and picturesque islands in the Adriatic Sea. The only internationally-affiliated hotel within the area of Split, Le Méridien Lav is located in Podstrana, five miles south of downtown Split and approximately 15 miles from Split International Airport (SPU).
“As Le Méridien grows its global footprint, we continue to focus on international destinations that bring to life the brand’s passions for art, architecture, design, cuisine and fashion,” said Eva Ziegler, Senior Vice President of Le Méridien brand. “With Split’s rich history, cultural offerings, spectacular art and architecture, it is an ideal location for Le Méridien.”
Split’s most awe-inspiring attraction is Diocletian’s Palace, the summer residence of the Roman Emperor Diocletian. Known for its diversity of architectural forms, the palace combines both classical Roman elements with foreign influences. The nine-acre edifice originally served as a fortified camp, but later was converted into a town and today serves as Split’s bustling residential and commercial centre, packed with quaint boutiques, squares, markets and a cathedral. After exploring Split’s historical centre, visitors will marvel at Split’s other spectacular sites such as Jupiter’s Temple, Diocletian’s underground vaults and Mausoleum, and the city’s promenade along the waterfront, home to many charming restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
“We are truly excited to be opening this magnificent Le Méridien resort in the spectacular city of Split, the cultural hub of Croatia known for its rich blend of art and architecture,” said Roeland Vos, President, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe Africa and Middle East. “The debut of Le Méridien in Split is a further sign of Starwood’s commitment to developing its brands in fabulous destinations that appeal to the ‘creative guest.”
After exploring the city, visitors can spend a day visiting Split’s romantic beach, venture 30 minutes outside the city to Trogir, a village showcasing cultural treasures from medieval times or take a ferry to one of Croatia’s many beautiful islands on the Dalmatian Coast, including Hvar and Korcula.
“Croatia is fast building a reputation as an international tourism hot-spot, with its natural beauty, pristine waters and unique cultural heritage,” said resort co-owner Ivica Kurtovic.
Le Méridien’s 364 spacious guest rooms offer stylish and comfortable design, decorated with fabrics and colours inspired by the hotel’s natural surroundings. Additionally, the resort’s 17 suites and 394 square-foot Presidential suite all offer breathtaking views of Split and its neighbouring islands.
“With its array of resort attractions, prestigious accommodations and stunning vistas, Le Méridien Lav, Split is the perfect locale for visitors from across the world to come and experience Croatia,” said the other resort co-owner, Jim Bosnjak. “As an Australian of Croatian heritage, I am proud to have helped play a role in the revitalisation of Split’s local economy with the rebuilding of this iconic hotel.”
The fully integrated, beach-front resort features a selection of seven bars and dining outlets including a fine-dining restaurant, a brassiere serving meals throughout the day, a casual pub, a Champagne lounge, a coffee room and an outdoor grill. Guests will relish the opportunity to pamper themselves in the three-story, Roman-inspired, Diocletian Spa and fitness centre. There is no shortage of entertainment available for visitors - diversions include the hotel’s night club, casino, shopping arcade, tennis academy, outdoor and indoor pools and bars, private yacht marina and full range of water sports.
“With the opening of this resort, Le Méridien is poised to take its place as Croatia’s leading leisure outpost, said John G C Wood, General Manager of Le Méridien Lav, Split. “Le Méridien’s emphasis on chic, cultured discovery will resonate with the resort’s savvy, international guests.”
Synonymous worldwide with style, originality, and a passion for art, architecture, food, fashion, music and film since its founding in Paris in 1972, Le Méridien has come to represent the “art” of hospitality throughout the world, known as much for its elegance, finesse and panache, as for its well-trained staff and commitment to providing guests with a new way of seeing the individuality of each of its locales.
Le Méridien brand, currently represented by more than 120 properties in 52 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in November 2005. With close to 70 percent of its properties located in Europe, Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East, Le Méridien provides a strong international complement to Starwood’s primarily North American holdings. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien-branded hotels within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China.