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Le Meridien continues expansion in ASIA Pacific announcing the signing of two new hotels
"We are thrilled to announce what will be two stunning Le Méridien hotels in Qingdao and Chongqing, two of China's most exciting destinations!" said Miguel Ko, President of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Asia Pacific. "Chongqing is the biggest inland river port in western China and one of the most established industrial bases in China, while Qingdao attracts travelers with its rich cultural heritage and sound economic strength. Both cities are a great fit with Le Méridien brand, which is committed to providing guests with an interactive and culturally enriching experience."
Le Meridien is also set to open Le Meridien Shimei Bay Beach Resort & Spa in China this year, as well as three Le Meridien hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai by the end of the year.
Le Meridien Chongqing
Le Meridien Chongqing, Nan'an will be located between Nanping Avenue and Shanhu Road in Nan'an Nanping Business District of Chongqing. Le Meridien will feature 345 rooms, approximately 23,000 square feet of meeting space, five restaurants and bars, a health club, an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, penguin club and a retail shop.
Le Meridien Chongqing will be part of a mixed-use development complex called "Chongqing Wanda Plaza", which consists of the hotel (in one tower), 1.1 million square feet of offices in four towers, 1.1 million square feet of retail mall at the office podium, and 5.0 million square feet of un-branded private residential apartments in 17 towers.
Situated in the upper reaches of the Yangtze River in Southwest China, Chongqing is the biggest inland river port in Western China, with a population of around 30 million, making it the largest city globally. Well connected to various cities of China as well as Hong Kong, Japan, Korea and other countries globally, arrivals into Chongqing has been growing at an impressive rate of 15% annually.
Le Méridien Qingdao
Le Meridien Qingdao will be strategically located at the intersection of Xu Zhou Road and Yan Ji Road in Shi Bei District of Qingdao, Shandong Province, the new Central Business District of Qingdao. The hotel's facilities will consist of 330 rooms, approximately 29,000 square feet of meeting space, four restaurants and bars, business center, a health club, an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, penguin club and a retail shop. The hotel is planned to be part of a mixed-use development complex called "Qingdao Wanda Plaza", which consists of the hotel (in one tower), 1.2 million square feet of offices in two towers, 1.2 million square feet of retail mall at podium, and 660,000 square feet of unbranded private residential apartments in three towers.
Qingdao is the capital city of Shandong Province and a key economic center and coastal port city famous for its cultural heritage, beaches and beautiful scenery. It is voted as one of China's top ten economically dynamic cities and business cities. Due to its unique coastal location, manufacturing hub, heritage buildings and long beaches, Qingdao is a favorite destination for domestic, regional and international business and leisure travelers. One of the most popular attractions in Qingdao is the "Badaguan Scenic Area" located in the eastern part of the city. Badaguan is popular for its garden-like villas and European inspired buildings constructed by Europeans (mainly Germans) during the German's occupation period in 1897. Due to the iconic heritage buildings in Badaguan, Qingdao is popularly known as "little Germany" by local and foreign visitors.
Le Méridien in Asia Pacific
This latest Le Méridien announcement highlights the significant development of the brand in Asia Pacific. Last year, Le Méridien announced plans to further expand its presence in the region with the signing of five new properties in Thailand: Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort, Le Méridien Chiang Mai Resort, Le Méridien Bangkok (all three to open in 2008); Le Méridien Pattaya Resort and Le Méridien Suvarnabhumi Golf Resort & Spa (to open in 2009). Additionally, the brand signed Le Méridien Shimei Bay, China.
"It's no surprise that tourists and business travelers are flocking to Thailand and China in droves, drawn by these two countries' rich landscapes, exciting metropolises and luxurious resort enclaves," said Eva Ziegler, Brand Leader of Le Meridien.
Le Méridien currently operates 23 hotels in Asia Pacific, including Le Méridien She Shan, Le Royal Méridien Shanghai and Le Méridien Cyberport, Hong Kong.
Le Méridien brand, currently represented by 110 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With close to 80 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 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. Le Méridien plans to open new hotels in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Shimei Bay (China), Dallas, and Philadelphia in the coming months, and has recently signed new hotel deals in Taipei and Xiamen, China.
For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 900 properties in more than 100 countries and 155,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched AloftSM, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
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