Le Meridien KL celebrates “The Art of Connection” : The Unveiling of the Le Meridien HUB
Today was the first day I set foot in the “new” Le Meridien KL, since its renovations started in the middle of this year. The Le Meridien HUB, is a unique lobby concept inspired by Le Meridien’s Global Cultural Curator Jerome Sans. The newly launched Le Meridien HUB now provides guests and locals with a space to mingle, that’s way more comfortable, creative and aesthetically pleasing than ever before.
Launched in Barcelona in 2011, the Le Meridien HUB concept builds on the brands ‘Arrival Experience’ and coffee culture. Beyond the physical concept, the HUB also offers a space for Le Meridien’s range of signature events, ‘A New Perspective’ events, which bring together guests, local opinion leaders and media to interact.
“Today, we are thrilled to transform Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur into a creative platform for talents from many fields such as contemporary arts, literary, cuisine and wines,” said Arnaud Champenois, Asia Pacific Brand Director, Le Meridien and W Hotels Worldwide. “This HUB will be a new place in Kuala Lumpur for creative minds, where art installations shall trigger curiosity, inspire, encourage dialogue and provide a New Perspective through very innovative programming.”
“A hotel’s role is not just to give people what they are expecting but to perpetually create surprises in unexpected places,” said Jerome Sans, Global Cultural Curator for Le Meridien. “It is based on this vision that Le Meridien aims to render the hotel experience completely unique in the world of hospitality.”
‘The Art of Connection’ at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur is a journey of discovery inspired by the cosmopolitan modernity of the capital city and the meeting point of global origins and cultures. Says Harvey Thompson, General Manager of Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, “the Hub offers opportunities for our guests and locals to immerse and interact with the local creative community. Through our curated art activities, coffee and chocolate culture experience at the HUB, we hope that the arrival experience at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur will provide an eye-opening experience and spark new perspectives for our guests.”
in the background, Sam Samore on the left, Linda Grabe on the right
We got to meet writer and photographer Sam Samore who presented his thoughts and views on his creative process and approach to work, particularly on his recent story entitled “Journey of the Space Between”. Samore developed an interest in fairy tales when he was small. “My mom and dad told me lots of stories,” Samore says. His work as a photographer and as a writer requires him to mine both conscious and subconscious experience, experiences as Samore puts it, that “might relate to love, or death, or beauty.” Using a technique called “cinemascope,” Samore tells fractured, poetic narratives that often defy and change one’s expectations of a fairy tale. Samore’s role is to help identify and chronicle the narratives inherent in the guest experience, from his contributions to the stories included in Le Méridien’s 50 Beans story collection to his role as an artist behind a series of keys in the UNLOCK ARTSM collection.
We also got the chat with sommelier Linda Grabe. It all started back when Grabe shared a bottle of Mouton Rothschild with her uncle in her father’s wine cellar. “It is always in my mind, this memory—the aromas, the tastes of that first glass of wine.” That first sip led to a career as a sommelier. “To become a sommelier, you have to taste almost every day to train, like a sportsman, to get used to smell a lot of aromas to put a name on what you are smelling,” Grabe says. These tastings have never stopped. Grabe’s role involves sharing her expertise on wine with Le Méridien guests. “I want to find an almost intimate way to talk about wine with people so that they can find their own personal interest,” Grabe says. To start this conversation, Grabe is designing a series of wine tastings to take place regularly in Le Méridien hotels worldwide.
Beginning with the hotel entryway, high impact arrival art, ‘Pomacanthus Imperator One’ by Jonathan Maccabe immerses guests into the world of Le Méridien. This transition and discovery experience is enhanced by Le Méridien’s signature scent and projection of Souvenirs from Earth, a unique video art installation – both created by Le Méridien LM100™ members. The journey of discovery starts the moment the guest arrives at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur, steps out of the car and inside the hotel to explore deeper into the HUB.
For the foodies, the newly launched HUB features Gastro Sentral, a gastro dining experience that offers a fresh and innovative approach to cuisine. Orchestrated by Bordeaux-born Executive Chef, Antoine Rodriquez, Gastro Sentral is really all about thrilling the stomach. This beautifully designed restaurant offers an informal venue for well travelled individuals to enjoy a modern interpretation of classic pub and local comfort food.
We also had a most exciting food and wine pairing session with Linda Grabe, a wine expert, who highlighted the “French Origins” of the Le Méridien brand at Prime. She conducted a 3 course pairing session with equally robust wines. I felt Linda did well to select the right wines that matched our personalities as well as food.
Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur HUB also offers a distinctive set of ballroom and function rooms. Designed around the concept of Metropolis, the hotel’s meetings facilities span over a total of 1300 square meters – the ballroom and function rooms are graced with stately street names from the city’s colonial past such as Clarke, Parry, Davidson, Campbell and Broadrick, each designed to invoke a rediscovery of an old world charm.
The rooms are installed with interactive high-tech gadgetry such as “Architecture Lightings” with 180 degrees rotation, Moving Heads with 360 degrees rotation for special lightings as well as One Touch Ipad2 which controls air-condition temperature, microphone volume, brightness of lightings – all at the tip of your fingers.
Le Méridien HUB also extends its connections and creative discovery outside the hotel walls. Through the Unlock Art™ programme, Le Méridien has created unique partnerships to provide guests with access to contemporary cultural centers around the world. These partners have been carefully selected by Global Cultural Curator, Jérôme Sans. Guests at Le Méridien Kuala Lumpur will have access to a wide range of creative pieces at its local Unlock Art™ art partner, TAKSU Gallery. Established in 1989, TAKSU is one of Southeast Asia’s leading contemporary art galleries and specialists. Representing a refined selection of fine art, TAKSU is at the helm of the contemporary art industry in Kuala Lumpur.
For more information visit www.lemeridien.com/kualalumpur
For more information on the Le Méridien HUB visit www.lemeridien.com/lmhub
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2 Jalan Stesen Sentral
Kuala Lumpur Sentral
50470 Kuala Lumpur Tel: +603-2263-7765