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Le Méridien Minneapolis, First Fully Integrated Art + Tech Hotel in the U.S.;
255 Rooms Feature 42-inch Plasma TV Screens,
General Manager is Robert Bormes

November 26, 2002 (Minneapolis, MN):  As the Midwestern weather turns cold, anticipation is heating up for the March 2003 opening of Le Méridien Minneapolis.  The first Le Méridien hotel to fully feature the luxury hotel company’s Art + Tech design product, the 21-story property will be adjacent to Minneapolis’ new high-energy Block E Development. 

“Given Le Méridien Minneapolis’s proximity to the city’s high-end shopping and vibrant entertainment districts, we couldn’t have landed a better or more visible spot to showcase Le Méridien’s new cutting-edge Art + Tech product,” said Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts CEO Juergen Bartels. Added Jim Graves, CEO of Graves Hospitality Corporation, the developers, owners and operators of the property: “Just as our hotel is located in the place to visit in Minneapolis, the Le Méridien Minneapolis will certainly be the place to stay.”

Le Méridien Minneapolis’s General Manager is Robert Bormes, a hotel industry veteran with more than two dozen years of experience at Westin Hotels & Resorts.  The Director of Sales and Marketing is Scott Fischburg, an industry leader in the hotel sales and marketing business, most recently with Radisson Hotels & Resorts. 

The Art + Tech concept was conceived by Juergen Bartels and is based upon his philosophy that today’s upscale traveller not only demands substance and comfort in a hotel, but has become tired of similar looking, interchangeable room products offered by competitor upscale hotel chains. 

Le Méridien Minneapolis is a quick stroll through the city’s famous climate-controlled Skywalks to neighbouring Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Marshall Field’s and other high-end shopping at nearby Gaviidae Common and the Nicollet Mall.  The hotel is prominently positioned on 1st Avenue, just across from the Target Center, which hosts the Minnesota Timberwolves N.B.A. team and most headlining bands.  It’s quite an address, snug in the confluence of the city’s business, entertainment, shopping districts, including the trendy gallery-filled “Warehouse” district and the booming Hennepin Theatre District. 

The Twin Cities’ equivalent of New York’s Times Square, the new Block E Development is a vibrant entertainment and shopping Mecca.  Within one square block of downtown Minneapolis are one-half million square feet of high-end restaurant, retail and entertainment space

Innovative Guest Rooms

With the latest in high-tech room amenities and innovative interior designs, the striking 255-room Le Méridien Minneapolis is the perfect accommodation for this dynamic area.  The hotel has four room types, with distinctive color schemes to match:  King-bedded rooms (appx. 150) are in olive; Double rooms (appx. 45), have a pinkish oatmeal hue; Corner Kings (appx. 50), which offer two views through distinct wrap-around windows, are in red; Georgian rooms (approx. 20), which include separate tub rooms with vigorous whirlpool baths, are green and blue.

The stylish contemporary design is accented by paldao, an exotic Philippine hardwood with intense grains which can be found throughout the hotel.  There are four suites, including a Presidential suite, on the hotel’s Penthouse level.  Guests on the Executive Level, which spans seven floors, get upgraded amenities such as special key entry, free in-room high-speed internet access, televisions in the bathrooms, and 24-hour access to the business center.

Art + Tech rooms have been designed by some of the world’s most talented designers and bring together the best modern furniture, equipment and manufacturing techniques to deliver “Le Méridien experiences.” The exclusive Le Méridien bed, featuring a specially engineered, top-of-the-line Sealy mattress ensures correct support and proper alignment for guests while responding to their contours and movements providing the ultimate Le Méridien sleep experience. Modern French inspired wooden bed frames have been specially designed to add more structure and support to the mattresses, producing a light, airy, floating effect.  Etched glass headboards, 100% Egyptian linens and a choice of feather or anti-allergic pillows will complete a new combination of beauty and comfort. 

Guestrooms will offer guests a distinctive Le Méridien communications experience. The centerpiece will be the KoolConnect, a cutting-edge multimedia entertainment system developed by Sprint that provides thousands video and music selections on demand with features such as stop, pause, rewind and more.  Rooms also feature state-of-the-art 42-inch plasma TV screens, and high-speed internet access through ISDN lines and on TV via wireless keyboards.

As part of the “tech” in Art + Tech, guestrooms will feature shower rooms with rain showers, freestanding shower towers incorporating four body jets with glass screens, or whirlpool tubs and freestanding showers, all offering guests an ultimate Le Méridien power shower experience. 

Each room also displays regionally themed art and photographs and sports two light switches: one for traditional lighting, the other for dreamy edge- and back-lighting around headboards, wall-mounted photographs, mirrors, and even in the closet on illuminated acrylic hangers.  Other Art + Tech touches include climate controlled air-conditioning, fully-stocked mini-bar fridges, in-room safes, a trouser press, ironing board and hairdryer tucked behind a full-length mirror, and 100 gm bars of Hermes soap and specially commissioned toiletries in the bathrooms.

All guests at the Le Méridien Minneapolis will have a wealth of guest amenities to choose from, including rapid check-in at the fourth floor reception area, 24-hour concierge, round-the-clock room service, safe-deposit boxes, laundry service and more.

“Cosmos” Restaurant and “Infinity Room” Bar

Le Méridien Minneapolis will feature Cosmos, 125-seat restaurant and lounge with contemporary cuisine.  Designed by Yabu Pushelberg, a white-hot and award-winning New York- and Toronto-based design firm, the fourth-floor restaurant is an eyeful with a striking contemporary interior design, sleek acrylic walls with integrated architectural artwork, comfortable leather seating, and aforementioned paldao wood throughout.  There will also be a private dining room on the same floor.  And mere passers-by will be able to indulge themselves conveniently at the Infinity Room, the hotel’s street-level bar and lounge. 

The hotel’s fifth floor houses 12,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and event space, including a 5,600 square foot ballroom, 3,500 square feet of pre-function space and seven meeting rooms of various shapes and sizes – two with permanent board tables, and all with wireless high-speed internet access, video-conferencing and other sophisticated telecommunications equipment. The third floor auditoriums offer theatre-style stadium seating for up to 500, with state-of-the-art audio visual equipment.  And a comprehensive business center is available on the fourth floor, with computers, printers, fax machines, copier and printing services. 

Today, Art + Tech rooms are being partially incorporated into such traditional landmark properties as Le Méridien’s Grosvenor House in London.  Several other hotels, such as Le Méridien Minneapolis will be entirely comprised of Art + Tech, including public and meeting space as well as guest rooms. Of Le Méridien’s 38,000-plus rooms worldwide, 3,000 will be transformed into Art + Tech by the end of 2003, and 5,000 rooms by the end of 2005.

Contact:
Amy Newcomb
amy@hawkpr.com
http://www.lemeridien.com
Also See: The 680-room Le Meridien Frankfurt Airport Will be Designed Entirely in Art + Tech Style / April 2002
 The Art + Tech Hotel by Le Meridien at Minneapolis will Introduce the United States to a Dramatically Different Style of Hotel Product / March 2002


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