Le Méridien New York, Central Park Reopens Following Conversion of Former Viceroy Hotel

USA, Bethesda, Maryland. August 29, 2019

Paris-born Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, along with Arden Group, is excited to announce the opening of Le Méridien New York, Central Park, a 240-room hotel that offers breathtaking views of Central Park and Manhattan skyline. The former Viceroy hotel was converted to showcase Le Méridien's heritage and mid-century design. With a nostalgic nod to the glamour of the French Riviera in the 1960s, Le Méridien inspires travellers to explore the world in style, savour the good life and enjoy experiences that offer something more than meets the eye.

This marks the brand's entrance into New York City, bringing its French heritage and the allure of the Côte d'Azur to the Big Apple. Ideally located at 120 West 57thStreet, travellers are immersed in Manhattan's most iconic 5th Avenue location next to high-end storefronts such as Tiffany's, Harry Winston, and more, further speaking to the crossroad where the New York jet set meets nostalgic 1960s high fashion and glamour. Additionally, travellers are just steps away from must-see attractions such as Carnegie Hall, Museum of Modern Art, Radio City Music Hall, Broadway, Central Park and much more. Marriott Bonvoy members will be able to redeem and earn points at this new Le Méridien location.

"Le Méridien connects creative-minded travellers with inventive and sophisticated experiences that touch on the French style and sensibility of the brand," said George Fleck, Vice President of Global Brand Marketing & Management, Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts. "At Le Méridien New York, Central Park we're combining our signature style with the undeniable energy of New York City. From rosé-filled evenings to relaxing on the expansive rooftop, each moment throughout a guest's journey at the hotel will fulfill the brand's promise of inspiring guests to savour the good life."

Designed by renowned firm Roman and Williams, the hotel's façade cleverly blends traditional elements with a modern flair, while the interior features a combination of custom designed and vintage details. Welcoming accommodations and suites on 28 floors offer stunning views of Central Park and are adorned with gold finishes and marble surfaces. The guestrooms are outfitted with Le Méridien's signature bed, HD Samsung SmartTVs, illy espresso machines, Mondaine work spaces and superior Wi-Fi. Guests will also be able to enjoy a revamped state-of-the-art fitness center and take advantage of the hotel's sprawling scenic views of Central Park on its outdoor rooftop terrace.

"We're beyond excited to bring Le Méridien to New York City," said Shahram Khan, General Manager of Le Méridien New York, Central Park. "Every Le Méridien property is one-of-a-kind, but this one represents something special being the sole property in NYC. Our new hotel will merge the brand's boutique, European elements with the vibrancy and hustle of the greatest city in the world - bringing to life a truly unique experience that we hope will make a lasting impression on each and every one of our guests."

For guests' dining pleasures, Petit Plates offerings include unique bites inspired by European classics which are infused with a distinctly local flavor for a chic twist. The Sparkling programme is the perfect complement to these light bites. Adding a modern twist to the traditional aperitif hour, Le Méridien Hub transitions into sparkling evening ambiance providing a sophisticated array of spirited libations.

To meet the needs of business travellers and small groups, the property also offers over 1,000 square feet of meeting room space. The Empire meeting room accommodates up to 30 guests within 700 square feet of space, and America's Boardroom is the richly appointed 306-square-foot executive boardroom with adjacent pre-function space which accommodates smaller groups of up to 12 guests. Creative Meetings by Le Méridien are designed to unlock inspiration and foster innovation. Attendees can discover local cultural experiences to immerse themselves in all that New York City has to offer.

Le Méridien Hotels also offers guests a sensorial environment - this unique atmosphere is created including the brand's signature scent, which was developed with NYC-born brand MALIN+GOETZ. Aptly named LM002 for airplane tail numbers, the alluring scent is featured in the public spaces of all properties globally. Paying homage to its French roots, the brand also has a signature soundtrack that fills the Hub and public spaces, curated by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague.

Members of Marriott Bonvoy, the new name of the travel program replacing Marriott Rewards, Starwood Preferred Guest and The Ritz-Carlton Rewards, will be able to earn and redeem points for every Le Méridien New York, Central Park stay. Today, Marriott Bonvoy members can earn points at Marriott's 29 hotel brands including The St. Regis, The Ritz-Carlton, W Hotels, JW Marriott, Westin Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Courtyard by Marriott, Moxy Hotels, Tribute Portfolio, Edition, Element, AC Hotels and others.

While the initial conversion is now completed, additional renovations including guestroom upgrades are slated to be completed in 2020. HEI Hotels & Resorts, an independent owner and third-party management company, operates the hotel and oversee the renovation process.

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Hotel Law: A Labor Crisis and Cyber Security

According to a recent study, the hospitality industry accounted for 2.9 trillion dollars in sales and in the U.S. alone, was responsible for 1 in 9 jobs. In an industry of that scope and dimension, legal issues touch every aspect of a hotel's operation, and legal services are required in order to conform to all prevailing laws and regulations. Though not all hotels face the same issues, there are some industry-wide subjects that are of concern more broadly. One of those matters is the issue of immigration and how it affects the ability of hotels to recruit qualified employees. The hotel industry is currently facing a labor crisis; the U.S. Labor Department estimates that there are 600,000 unfilled jobs in the industry. Part of the problem contributing to this labor shortage is the lack of H2B visas for low-skilled workers, combined with the difficulty in obtaining J-1 visas for temporary workers. Because comprehensive immigration reform is not being addressed politically, hotel managers expect things are going to get worse before they get better. Corporate cyber security is another major legal issue the industry must address. Hotels are under enormous pressure in this area given the large volume of customer financial transactions they handle daily. Recently, a federal court ruled that the Federal Trade Commission had the power to regulate corporate cyber security, so it is incumbent on hotels to establish data security programs in order to prevent data breaches. The lack of such programs could cause hotels to face legal threats from government agencies, class action lawsuits, and damage to their brand image if a data breach should occur. These are just two of the critical issues that the December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine in the area of hotel law.