Coinciding with the November 11 launch of the Vienna Ball Season, the 110 million Euro Le Meridien Vienna officially opened its doors on the city`s famous Ringstrasse, across from the Viennese State Opera and adjacent to the Hofburg Palace. Here, an historic apartment block of 19th-century imperial Viennese architecture has been transformed into a modern, 294-room luxury hotel featuring Le Meridien`s signature Art + Tech design and showcasing some of Vienna`s most promising contemporary artists.
Working closely with several of the city`s critically-acclaimed contemporary artists, renowned interior designer Yvonne Golds of London-based Real Studios has beautifully conveyed the successful Art + Tech design concept into all areas of the hotel while paying homage to Vienna`s vibrant modern art scene. Maple wood, stained chrome steel and glass in various settings create an ambience of understated elegance. Special illuminations and light effects help to showcase the work of local artisans in the hotel`s public areas, while guestroom glass headboard etchings pay tribute to Vienna`s romantic architecture, celebrated coffee house society and the nearby Spanish Riding School.
“Le Meridien Vienna is the hotel of the 21st century - quintessence of European life, style and culture, an illusive combination of innovative and dramatically different design, ultra attentive service and the latest in technology and comfort,” said General Manager Gabriela Benz. “The hotel`s Art + Tech design links perfectly with our location in the heart of Vienna`s art district, and through our growing relationships with some of Austria`s most notable artists and art institutions.”
Le Meridien Joint Chairman Juergen Bartels added, “Le Meridien Vienna has all of the components of a hotel destined for greatness: The top location and gorgeous façade in one of the world`s most glorious cities, a fresh and energetic new staff who are eager to serve, and innovative and distinctive design which provides a new element of excitement for travelers to Vienna.”
In addition to the hotel`s guest rooms and suites which feature the primary components of Art + Tech design—the luxurious Le Meridien Bed, multi-jet power showers with separate bathtubs, and 42-inch (106 cm) flat screen plasma televisions—Le Meridien Vienna`s facilities include eight meeting rooms totaling 3600 square feet /1100 square meters and a 1150 square foot/350 square metre junior ballroom, accommodating up to 280 guests. A Wellness Centre features indoor pool, steam, sauna, Jacuzzi and fitness areas.
Guest room standards also include: multi media TV system, high-speed internet access (many with fax and printer functions), in-room safe, complimentary minibar, trouser press, iron and ironing board and three telephones.
Le Meridien Vienna`s new restaurant Shambala features a dazzling, floorlit entrance from the Robert Stolz-Platz. Shambala`s striking architecture and lighting provide an ideal backdrop to its “Cuisine Mondiale”, created by Le Meridien`s culinary consultant, Michelin Two Star Chef Michel Rostang and the hotel`s Executive Chef, Christoph Brandstaetter. The adjoining Bar is a living stage-set for innovative drinks, up-beat music, conversation and people-watching.
The hotel`s Café Boulevard is a modern twist on the traditional Viennese café, featuring intimate indoor seating and, weather permitting, a sidewalk café on the Ringstrasse. With an adjacent library and Internet café, Café Boulevard`s casual menu includes French pastries, quiches and coffee, providing a quiet enclave in a hectic world.
According to Ms. Benz, Le Meridien Vienna`s objective of focusing on contemporary Austrian art is played out in several ways:
To Show Art: Several works of art have been chosen or commissioned under the guidance of Yvonne Golds for specific locations within the hotel`s public areas.
To Present Art: In an effort to engage hotel guests and local clientele into the Vienna art scene, Le Meridien Vienna has established ongoing cooperation with Austrian museums and cultural institutions to give them the opportunity to present original pieces from their collections or current exhibitions. Currently, Vienna`s acclaimed Seccession Pavilion has two pieces on long-term loan to the hotel, and another area in the hotel`s bar entrance is specifically reserved for a piece that will change with each exhibition. In mid-December, several pieces from the Vienna Theatre Museum will also be installed.
To Support Art: Le Meridien Vienna strives to play an active role in Vienna`s art by supporting art initiatives and associations that raise funds for artistic causes.
To Promote Art: Overall, Le Meridien Vienna`s goal is to become the place to go for the best information of what`s going on within the city`s contemporary art scene.
The new Le Meridien Vienna is offering a special introductory rate through January 31, 2004 of just €135, single or double occupancy, excluding breakfast (rate not available December 28 to January 2). For reservations, please call Le Meridien at + 44 870 400 8440, or book online at www.lemeridien.com.
Le Meridien Vienna is just a 30-minute drive from the Vienna International Airport and is adjacent to most attractions, shopping areas and the main public transportation of Vienna.
London-based Le Meridien is a global hotel group with a portfolio of over 135 luxury and upscale hotels (36,000 rooms) in 56 countries worldwide. The majority of its properties are located in the world`s top cities and resorts throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Africa and the Middle East. The company also enjoys a strategic alliance with JAL-owned Nikko Hotels, providing loyal guests access to an additional 44 properties around the world.