Le Meridien Plans Chicagoland Debut

The Chicago area's first Le Méridien hotel will open in 2014, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide announced last week.

Located adjacent to Oakbrook Center, an upscale shopping destination in west suburban Oak Brook, Ill., 18 miles west of Chicago, the hotel — Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center — will have 172 guest rooms and suites, including a presidential suite and two spa suites, as well as a fitness center, a rooftop terrace, a proprietary restaurant and bar, and an unspecified amount of meeting space.

"We are excited to bring Le Méridien to Chicago as part of our plan to accelerate the expansion of this dynamic, global brand across North America," said Allison Reid, senior vice president of North America development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. "Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will mirror the style and sophistication of metropolitan Chicago and attract both business and leisure travelers who appreciate the brand's creative flair and upscale comfort."

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will be located in a space that was previously occupied by a Renaissance hotel. Prior to opening, the 10-story building will undergo a $20 million renovation that will include a new outer façade, a new arrival experience and "completely reimagined" public spaces.

"Le Méridien has undergone a significant brand transformation in recent years, and the opening of Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will be another milestone in our accelerated global growth," said Brian Povinelli, global brand leader, Le Méridien & Westin. "With the strongest portfolio ever in the brand's 40-year history, we're thrilled to introduce Le Méridien to greater Chicago, offering a distinct and compelling experience for our guests."

Like all Le Méridien hotels, Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center will feature a collection of large-scale artwork, a signature scent and soundtrack, and artist-designed key cards.

"Our goal is to create memorable guest experiences by pairing exceptional product design and functionality with a service culture of excellence," said Paul Wischermann, president of Wischermann Partners, the hotel's management company. "Oakbrook Center is the perfect location for us, and we very much look forward to engaging with our local retail neighbors, extending the lifestyle experience to Starwood's strong upper-upscale and luxury customer base."

For a recap of last week's top stories, check out MeetingNews Minute: