Disclaimer: In exchange for this hotel review, I received a night’s-stay in a suite at the Le Meridién Charlotte, North Carolina. The woman who helped me arrange this was very proactive and accommodating; not only was this a last-minute request, but she also offered another night at the adjoining Sheraton hotel. Both the Le Meridien and the Sheraton are part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts group.
A friendly young woman checked me in to the room; I had a hunch that she was from Ethiopia, so we started chatting about kolo, buna (coffee), and Washington, D.C…which happens to be the nexus of Ethiopian expats in the US. Afterwards, she informed me that all charges would be comped, to which I asked if she’d like anything from the room service menu. The lobby appeared dark, modern and a bit subdued. I found it to be quite clean and with ample places to sit, though the immediate front desk area could get crowded easily.
That’s a lot of space (particularly for one person)! Though that’s no news for a suite, I couldn’t help but think how many NY – or Hong Kong – apartments could fit into it. Maybe even a Lower Manhattan city block? How cliché are these questions?
In any event, the room was immaculate, had plenty of light sources (though I don’t think it was possible to open a window), and was quite comfortable.
A couple of issues– unfortunately, I very clearly heard the neighbors conversing. Even playing the tv at a louder volume didn’t help.
A more minor complaint is that the Bluetooth function of the iHome alarm clock/speaker wasn’t functioning. It would’ve been nice to introduce to my temporary neighbors the
sweet truly bizarre sounds of Gazebo.
Nice…some appetizers were awaiting my arrival. Not literally, and don’t worry, they were covered before I took the photo. Not sure if that’s standard for suites, but they were much enjoyed. The brew, NoDa, was a local brand. Local is good.
The bathroom was clean, and the shower pressure was quite welcoming. A few different shower products were available, but a toothbrush/toothpaste were absent.
Though I’m not sure if it’s a Le Meridien-only concept, as long as you’re staying two or more nights – no surprises there – you can earn either an f&b (food and beverage) voucher or Starwood Preferred Guest points if you choose not to have housekeeping. Thumbs up for a rare bit of forward-thinking news, even if it traces its roots to ol’ fashioned bribery.
I ordered room service the following day, and although there was a bit of confusion with the operator while placing the order, the food came within fifteen minutes. Quite fast, though the salad was missing the advertised vinaigrette. That said, I didn’t need it, and the shrimp were delicious.
I was invited to have s’mores and hot chocolate at City Lights, Le Meridien’s rooftop lounge. Heck, they even cordoned off a whole section for me. I felt bad, so I had the manager open up the area to the public, and started to share my s’mores with other patrons. S’mores are always a nice touch.
The views were good, and the sound system did it well, too. However, I noticed an unpleasant odor either originating from the heat lamps or another source. Whatever it was, I felt like it was better suited to Greyhound than an otherwise enjoyable hotel lounge.
Throughout my stay, hotel staff were generally helpful, and responsive to my blunt questions: “Where should I go for barbecue?” “Barbecue?” “Do you eat barbecue?”
In all, I’d say Le Meridien Charlotte is worth a repeat visit- facilities were well-kept, staff were friendly, and it’s a good spot for those wanting to be quite close to but not in the center of the action.