by Matt Alderton | December 19, 2014
The American South feels a little more like Paris this week, according to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, which yesterday announced the opening of two Le Méridien hotels in New Orleans and Charlotte, NC.

Located in the Big Easy's downtown Arts District, Le Méridien New Orleans previously was the W New Orleans. Fresh from a $29 million renovation, it offers 410 guest rooms; three food and beverage outlets, including a new destination restaurant and a new breakfast restaurant; and 20,000 square feet of function space, including 1,600 square feet of brand-new meeting space.

"Le Méridien is experiencing strong growth momentum in North America, and New Orleans has long been on our short list," said Brian Povinelli, global grand leader, Le Méridien and Westin.

Located in Charlotte's Uptown Business District, Le Méridien Charlotte previously was the Blake Hotel. Part of a dual-branded complex that also includes the 305-room Sheraton Charlotte Hotel, as well as 55,000 square feet of meeting space, it offers 300 guest rooms, a new restaurant, a new bar, and a fitness center.

"Charlotte shares in our passions for culture, the arts, and cuisine, and we look forward to helping creative and curious minded travelers unlock the destination through our locally-inspired programming and culinary offerings," Povinelli said.

Starwood acquired Le Méridien -- established in Paris in 1972 -- in 2005 and subsequently re-launched the French-born hotel brand around the themes of art and food. Presently, the brand has nearly 100 properties in more than 40 countries.