Five years after Le Méridien’s acquisition by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, Le Méridien has been redefined, now boasting the brand’s strongest portfolio in its 38-year history and its strongest performance indicators. In a total brand re-launch, from product consolidation to a new and highly innovative brand strategy and a major service culture transformation programme, Le Méridien has catapulted into a new era. Over the past five years, Starwood has applied its brand building prowess to Le Méridien, which has re-imagined the hotel experience to cater to the world’s creative class of more than 150 million people globally.
Now represented by 105 properties in 50 countries spanning five continents, Le Méridien has undergone a dramatic re-launch to become a highly sought-after contemporary lifestyle brand. With over 85% of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, Le Méridien provides an international complement to Starwood’s historically strong North American portfolio, contributing to Starwood’s leadership as the most global hospitality company.
“Thanks to Starwood’s industry-leading centralised services and expertise in building leading lifestyle brands, Le Méridien has a new life and a bright future,” said Eva Ziegler, Starwood’s Global Brand Leader for Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide. “The result has been unprecedented success and a complete brand transformation since the Starwood acquisition five years ago. With distinctive positioning and guest initiatives, Le Méridien now attracts a new audience of creative, world-travelling guests who embrace the brand as part of their lives.”
BEST PORTFOLIO IN 38-YEAR HISTORY
Today, Starwood operates 105 Le Méridien hotels globally.
Since the Starwood acquisition in 2005, the company has exited 45 Le Méridien hotels that did not meet the standards under Starwood.
85 Le Méridien hotels (nearly two-thirds) remain from the originally purchased portfolio.
50% of Le Méridien hotels have been renovated or will be renovated by end 2012.
Of the renovated hotels, 11 are in Europe, Africa and the Middle East; five are in North America and two are in Asia Pacific.
40 additional Le Méridien hotels will be renovated globally in the next two years. This includes 27 hotels in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, eight in Asia Pacific and five in North America.
Starwood has opened 20 new Le Méridien hotels in the past five years, including San Francisco (USA), Minneapolis (USA), Philadelphia (USA), Panama City (Panama), Shanghai (China), Bangkok (Thailand), Chongqing (China), Xiamen (China), and Taipei (Taiwan), among others.
Le Méridien will open ten new hotels in the next two years in key markets including: Istanbul (Turkey), Oran (Algeria), Cairo (Egypt), Lagos (Nigeria), Zhengzhou (China), Xian (China), Lonavala (India), Mahabaleshwar (India), Hô Chí Minh-Ville (Vietnam), and Doha (Qatar) by end 2011.
North America and Asia Pacific specifically offer strong growth opportunities for Le Méridien.
BEST PERFORMANCE IN BRAND HISTORY
Since the Starwood acquisition,
· Le Méridien has measured the highest levels of guest satisfaction in the history of the brand.
· Le Méridien’s global average daily rate (ADR) has been the highest in the history of the brand.
· Le Méridien’s RevPAR index is at the brand’s highest level ever at 105.4 points in 2010.
· Le Méridien’s European portfolio has reached its highest RevPAR index of 113% compared to its competitive set.
· Europe is Le Méridien’s strongest performing region in terms of RevPAR and RevPAR index – $129.60 and 112.2, respectively.
· Nearly 45% percent of Le Méridien guests are Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) members – further proof of Starwood’s powerful contribution to the brand’s performance.
· Le Méridien continues to see double digit growth year-over-year in room nights booked by SPG members.
· The amount of Le Méridien stays booked online has doubled in past four years.
A FORWARD LOOKING, DESIGN-LED LIFESTYLE BRAND
Under Starwood, Le Méridien has launched a new brand direction that aims to provide a new perspective through culture to “the creative class”, Le Méridien’s aspirational target guest. Since 2005, a series of brand initiatives have come to life inside the hotels through a bold, boundary-breaking “curatorial” cultural programme.
· In 2006, Le Méridien appointed Jérôme Sans, currently director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, as Global Cultural Curator for the brand.
· Sans and Le Méridien founded LM100™: a global family of cultural innovators who work together to create interactive cultural experiences in the hotels.
· With Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien introduced Unlock Art™ a programme that grants guests complimentary access to a local cultural contemporary centre through one-of-a-kind key cards created by a range of LM100.
· Le Méridien’s Arrival Experience was the first step to transform its lobbies into “hubs” around the world offering a creative environment consisting of contemporary curated art in high impact areas and a coffeehouse atmosphere.
· In 2010 Le Méridien introduced a signature event series called “A New Perspective” – culture talks with global and local creative spirits designed to inspire and stimulate guests as well as the local community.
Le Méridien will re-launch its lobby spaces as The Creative Hub beginning in 2011 as a key initiative for the brand. The Creative Hub concept is currently under development at some of the brand’s flagship hotels around the world.