Chi-Chi Meets Quirky
Le Méridien opened a 294-room luxury hotel in Vienna four years ago at a cost of $160 million. But when Le Méridien Senior Vice-President Eva Ziegler strides through the lobby on a recent visit, she is not impressed. "There is no emotional connection in this room," she says with a wave at the high-gloss white walls and sleek modern furniture. "We need an anchor point—a pool or something with water." Ziegler joined Méridien last year, following its acquisition by Starwood Hotels & Resorts (HOT), to spearhead a makeover of Méridien's 120 hotels. With touches such as art exhibits, a custom-blended cedar scent, and original music compositions piped into lobbies and hallways, "we aim to inspire our guests at every turn," she says.
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