Le Méridien is an upscale, international hotel brand with a European perspective, formerly headquartered in France and in the United Kingdom.
The brand was acquired by US-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts in 2005. Following the acquisition of Starwood by Marriott in 2015, it is now owned by Marriott International and has a portfolio of over 110 hotels.
Le Méridien was established as a brand in 1972 by Air France under a joint venture agreement “to provide on a home away from home for its customers.” The first Le Méridien property was a 1,000-room hotel in Paris — Le Méridien Etoile. Within two years of operation, the group had 10 hotels in Europe and Africa. Within the first six years, the number of hotels had risen to 21 hotels in Europe, Africa, the French West Indies, Canada, South America, the Middle East and Mauritius. By 1991, the total number of Le Méridien properties had risen to 58.
Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts is owning the summer yet again with the second sun-drenched season of Au Soleil, a Summer Soirée, an evolved programme that brings the playful glamour of European summers to life at its more than 100 hotels around the world. Inspired by the brand’s French heritage and the allure of the Côte d’Azur, the global series of events invites guests to sip, sway and savour the journey of travel through all senses.
“Au Soleil is a state of mind that allows travellers to summer and savour the good life wherever they are and whenever they want,” said George Fleck, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing & Management, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. “This year our signature global programme includes fresh activations and new partners to inspire our urban and resort guests. From relaxing rosé and backgammon afternoons on urban terraces and romantic gardens in London or Los Angeles, to bronzing in the sun on the beaches of Croatia and Côte d’Azur; travellers will be able to unlock unlock Au Soleil destinations around the world.”
With a nostalgic nod to the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s, this revamped programme aims to inspire travellers to explore the world in style. Beginning in June, participating Le Méridien Hotels will feature the following summer offerings:
A How to Summer Guide, witty copy and clever illustrations become the ultimate guide on How to (Do Things) Au Soleil through the Le Méridien Lens, available in digital and printable format. The eternal step-by-step summer guide will capture the unspoken rules of a perfect day Au Soleil, whether on the beach or in the town.
Dedicated Petit Plates menu offering Mediterranean inspired mini baguettes and local light bites that sing of the season, from oysters to grilled fish, all with perfectly paired rosé spritzers and aperitifs, part of the brand’s signature Sparkling programme.
Guests will be able to see life through rosé coloured glasses with the return of the brand’s infamous Rosé Bar. Expanding the hit initiative, properties will also introduce pink lemonade as another signature element that is sans alcohol-friendly, utilizing its ingredients as decor notes integrated within the bar. Touches like French lavender, and Polynesian guava become exotic garnishes to a new suite of beverages.
A modern twist to classic games traditionally enjoyed outdoors during warm weather days such as the iconic seaside pastime of backgammon, as well as tic-tac-toe, poolside chess and chic modernist-style Jenga set both to-go and as an oversized option.
An exclusive summer soundtrack, curated by French Bossa Nova collective Nouvelle Vague, invites guests to lounge a little longer.
Taking the idea of the perfect day Au Soleil in the Côte d’Azur, guests can take summer with them to explore the city or spend a day by the beach, with the introduction of the Au Soleil-To-Go Kits which include the essentials for a perfect day under the sun. A suite of summer essentials ranging from a stylish tote, mid-century basket, yellow-and-white striped Turkish towels, French fashion magazines, chic tote, moisturizing face spritz, sunscreen, corksicle of rosé, etc. (varies by property).
Since espadrilles are the best shoe to move you through the world with style, Le Méridien has once again joined forces with Soludos – the ubiquitous footwear brand of summer – this time taking the collaboration to new heights via an exclusive limited-edition custom designed unisex espadrille. Guests who request the Au Soleil To-Go Kits will receive an exclusive discount to purchase the Le Méridien custom shoe design on the Soludos website. The custom shoe design retails for $75.
Embodying the idea that the sun never sets on the jet set, Le Méridien will chase the sun around the globe with chic activations nightly, weekly or monthly throughout the summer months in destinations including Atlanta, Chicago, Santa Monica and Montreal. Participating hotels across the pond in Barcelona, Istanbul, Paris, Rome, Munich and Nice will also have memorable moments to launch Au Soleil, a Summer Soirée.
Le Méridien Piccadilly in London is showcasing its unique outdoor space and hosting summer balcony celebrations at The Terrace on Piccadilly where guests can don customized straw hats and those that order a premium cocktail can take it home as the ultimate souvenir. The hotel will also serve up Mirabeau rosé, rosé ice cream and ice-lollies as a sweet treat. Since enjoying company around the table are pivotal to an authentic French experience, the hotel is launching a Go Slow Table where service will be adjusted to a slower pace and a series of go slow menu items will be served – from jeroboams of rosé, endless sharing plates and slow melting gelato. Launched on the longest day of the year, June 21st, this offering will be available throughout the entire summer.
Le Méridien Denver Downtown is curating a picnic lunch for two while you celebrate summer “under the sun.” Explore Denver’s beautiful city parks and scenic trails via bicycle with a customized, ready-to-go lunch prepared by the hotel’s executive chef. Choose from a selection of freshly prepared baguette sandwiches, salads, desserts and refreshments.
Le Méridien Etoile will pay homage to long summer evenings spent outdoors as the courtyard transforms into a laid-back urban oasis with regular stargazing sessions and jazz evenings.
Le Méridien Rome is debuting the first Au Soleil Book Club in collaboration with Fazi Editore, a Rome-based publishing house. Guests and locals will have the chance to exchange conversation with authors and book-lovers over cocktails and petit plates on the hotel’s stunning rooftop.
In addition, Le Méridien has once again tapped Garance Doré – celebrated writer, creative director and founder of media brand DORÉ – to continue evolving the brand’s summer programming by starring in the second edition of “The Art of Life” film series. Garance, who embodies an effortless French style and sensibility similar to Le Méridien brand, will guide how the sentiment of summer will come to life for Le Méridien guests around the globe. To visualize the intangible allure of summer, “The Art of Life 2.0” film series will highlight the quintessential Summer in the City experience through Garance’s day of flânerie. The film series will be complemented by a Summer Essentials Guide which will be featured in hotels, the brand’s website, DORÉ and social media channels.