Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts Re-Launches LeMeridien.com

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A re-designed website is the first in the hotel industry to introduce image based navigation; guests control their hotel experience through a new interactive platform.

Today, Le Méridien announced the launch of the re-designed LeMeridien.com, a website created for guests interested in and inspired by arts, music, fashion, design and cuisine. The re-designed website offers a unique image-based navigation system, allowing guests to discover new insights in those fields and create a personalized interactive experience of Le Méridien.

Since being purchased by Starwood Hotels and Resorts (NYSE:HOT) two years ago, Le Méridien has been committed to transforming the functional and transactional-driven hotel experience into a lifestyle one connecting with its guests emotionally. Designed as a global community for those that appreciate creativity, LeMeridien.com offers a discovery experience that starts with the guests.

Discovery Starts With You:
Based on Le Méridien's core values of Chic, Cultured, Discovery, the creative concept for the re-designed website is 'Discovery Starts with You'. The aim of the website is to let its guests take an interactive journey into the world of Le Méridien by placing them in control of their own hotel guest experience. Right from the beginning, the website's homepage is a three dimensional space which allows customers to navigate through the world of Le Méridien by selecting images associated with Le Méridien hotels, LM100 members, brand initiatives and special offers.

The site is not only visually engaging, but also offers a creative and original sound experience, crafted by French composer Henri Scars Struck, with more than 300 music and unique sounds samples, which will play as customers navigate through LeMeridien.com. The sound collage will be mixed with background music that will change, depending on the time of day wherever the customer is located: 6 a.m. - 12 p.m. Water / 12 p.m. - 6 p.m. Forest / 6 p.m. - 12 a.m. Market / 12 a.m. - 6 a.m. Nature. This will combine with the sounds associated with the images on the home page to create an interactive sound experience utterly unique to the online environment.

Destination Canvas:
One of the most unique aspects of the new LeMeridien.com is its 'Destination Canvas'. This innovative concept is unique not only in the hospitality industry, but in the online environment.

The 'Destination Canvas' offers a creative platform with a purpose that connects guests' personal interests with Le Méridien hotels and destinations. It matches the experiences guests are seeking and recommends destinations based on what they create.

For customers looking for a trip that could include cuisine, arts, fashion, beach, spa or golf, the 'Destination Canvas' allows guests to select visuals from an image library that depicts their desired experience and interests. Once guests make their selection, the mages depicting their passion points are placed on a white canvas. After selecting the images, guests can adapt the size and position to signify the importance of the experience, LeMeridien.com provides destination recommendations that reflect the guests' passions. Guests will be able to email their personal 'Destination Canvas' to friends and family.

LM100, a key pillar of Le Méridien brand, is a community of creative experts and cultural innovators that are recommended and selected by Jérôme Sans, Le Méridien's Cultural Curator, from the fields of art, architecture, cuisine, design and fashion -- Le Méridien's passion points. The LM100 programme involves creative individuals curating original experiences for Le Méridien that show the established and the known from a different point of view. LM100 members will develop experiences for Le Méridien hotels worldwide through offering their creativity for Le Méridien projects and interactive initiatives, or proposing other established or emerging talents that reflect the brand's core values.

With a creative navigation similar to the home page, LM100 section of the site offers guests an insight into the creative community behind the brand, and shines a light into their creative process of shaping Le Méridien hotel experience. Members of LM100, among them Andrea Illy and Jean-Georges Vongerichten, have been photographed by Ralph Gibson, a legendary American photographer and a member of LM100. Upon clicking on the LM100 member photograph, guests will be taken inside Le Méridien's creative community where they will gain access to LM100 members' videos, gallery, and podcasts providing insights into our members' perspectives into the creative process.

About Le Méridien:
Le Méridien brand, currently represented by approximately 120 properties in 52 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide in November 2005. With close to 90 percent of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provides a strong international complement to Starwood's primarily North American holdings. Plans call for dynamic expansion of Le Méridien-branded hotels and resorts within the next five years, concentrating in the U.S., Latin America, and Asia-Pacific, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. For more information, please visit http://www.lemeridien.com.

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Terry Goldman
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