'LUXURY' AND 'BANGLADESH' ARE SELDOM FOUND IN THE SAME SENTENCE. SAD BUT TRUE AS BANGLA DESH IS ONE OF THE WORLD'S POOREST COUNTRIES MADE WORSE BY THE PERCEIVED LACK OF TOURIST ATTRACTIONS.
FEW JETSETTERS AND WEALTHY TOURISTS MAKE A BEELINE FOR BANGLADESH AS IT SUFFERS FROM BAD PRESS AND PEOPLE FEAR THEIR MIGHT CATCH SOME DISEASE, SUFFER DIARRHEA OR GET MUGGED WHILE HAILING A RICKSHAW.
Well, things are changing in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh which is remembered as the basket case recipient in the international 'Concert for Bangladesh' concerts held in Madison Square Garden in New York in 1971 that drew so much global attention to this impoverished nation.
Now Dhaka is enjoying good growth and next July 2013 will see the opening of Meridien Dhaka so things are looking up and LV may be heading that direction soon.
LE MERIDIEN TO DEBUT IN BANGLADESH
WITH THE SIGNING OF LE MERIDIEN DHAKA
Continuing strong Le Méridien expansion in South Asia,
Le Méridien Dhaka to Open in 2013
DHAKA, BANGLADESH – July 30, 2012 – Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) today announced the signing of Le Méridien Dhaka, slated to open in July 2013. Owned by Best Holdings Limited, the 304 room hotel will be located close to Dhaka International Airport with easy access to the city’s central business district offering breathtaking views of the city. Le Méridien Dhaka will mark the second Starwood managed hotel in Bangladesh.
“We continue to look for opportunities to grow Starwood’s brands in South Asia and are delighted to announce the signing of Le Méridien Dhaka, strengthening Starwood’s footprint in Bangladesh,” said Matthew Fry, Senior Vice President, Acquisitions and Development, Starwood Asia Pacific. “As one of the fastest growing cities in the world, we saw a real opportunity to introduce a new, global upscale hotel in Dhaka.”
Known as the “City of Mosques” and described as the “Rickshaw capital of the World”, Dhaka, with its rich cultural heritage, provides endless opportunities for discovery. Le Méridien Dhaka will offer the perfect combination of comfort and extravagance bringing to life the fusion of modern and traditional evocative of this Southeast Asia destination.
“We are thrilled to partner with Starwood Hotels to bring Le Méridien to Dhaka—a very promising city with a growing need for a 5-star hotel with world-class offerings,” said Mr. Amin Ahmad, Chairman and Managing Director Best Holdings Limited. “We aim to create a chic and stylish property that will deliver the true experience of Le Méridien, while adding new life into this bustling city.”
Le Méridien Dhaka will span between the eighth and fifteenth floors of a new mixed use development and offer guests breathtaking views of Dhaka from the building’s rooftop. Four food and beverage venues, including an all-day dining restaurant and specialty restaurant and bar, will offer distinctive culinary experiences for both guests and locals alike. The hotel will also house a 2,800 square-foot fitness center fitted with state-of-the-art equipment and a 2,400 square-foot spa.
“Le Méridien has experienced significant growth momentum in Southeast Asia in recent years, and the opening of Le Méridien Dhaka will be another key milestone in our transformation,” said Vincent Gillet, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and W Hotels Worldwide. “Since being acquired by Starwood more than six years ago, Le Méridien has undergone a comprehensive brand re-launch, and we look forward to serving as a creative hub in the city of Dhaka.”
Le Méridien Dhaka , designed with a spectacular 125 foot outer façade, will showcase the signature ‘Le Méridien Hub,’ an innovative concept that re-interprets the traditional hotel lobby into a social gathering place for creative minds to converse, debate and exchange. Located on the ground floor near the main hotel entrance, the Hub at Le Méridien Dhaka will further build on the brand’s award-winning Arrival experience and coffee culture, curated by Le Méridien’s Cultural Curator Jérôme Sans. Le Méridien Arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas to reset the mind and stimulate dialogue and curiosity; the sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light, creating a unique and distinctive atmosphere; UNLOCK ART™ programme, featuring an artist designed keycard collection that not only offers access to the guestroom but also to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour soundtrack curated by Sans.
About Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts
Le Méridien, the Paris-born hotel brand currently represented by 99 properties in 50 countries, was acquired by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) in November 2005. With over 80 of its properties located in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, Le Méridien provided a strong international complement to Starwood’s then primarily North American holdings at the time of purchase. Since then, Le Méridien has gone through a brand re-launch, which included a large scale hotels product consolidation as well as redefining its brand strategy. By appointing a full-time Cultural Curator – French arts-provocateur Jérôme Sans – Le Méridien transformed numerous guest touch points, thus bringing unique and interactive experiences to its guests. 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 markets, including destinations such as India, Thailand and China. Le Méridien recently opened new hotels in Istanbul, Oran (Algeria), Arlington (Virginia, USA), Coimbatore (India), Koh Samui (Thailand), and Taipei, and will open in the next 12 months in Bali, Zhengzhou (China), Qingdao (China), Mahabaleshwar (India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Cairo (Egypt), Tianjin (China), and Suvarnabhumi (Thailand). For more information, please visit www.lemeridien.com.
About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,112 properties in nearly 100 countries and 154,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood 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, Aloft®, and ElementSM. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.
# # #