Introduction: Journey To Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, And Kuwait
Review: Air France Lounge San Francisco Airport
Review: Korean Air Business Class 747-8 San Francisco To Seoul
Review: Korean Air Business Class 777 Seoul To Kathmandu
Review: Hyatt Regency Kathmandu
Review: Kathmandu Airport Lounge
Review: Drukair Business Class A319 Kathmandu To Paro
Review: Le Meridien Thimphu
Review: Le Meridien Paro
Hiking To The Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
How We Spent Our Time In Bhutan
Review: Drukair Economy ATR42 Paro To Dhaka
Review: Presidential Suite At The Le Meridien Dhaka
Review: Dhaka Airport Lounge
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class A330 Dhaka To Kuwait
Review: Sheraton Kuwait
Review: Kuwait Airways Lounge Kuwait Airport
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Kuwait To Shannon
Review: Kuwait Airways Business Class 777 Shannon To New York
We had just under 24 hours in Dhaka — our flight from Paro arrived at 9:05AM, and our flight to Kuwait City the next day departed at 8:55AM. As a Hyatt and Starwood loyalist I had a few hotel options. Hyatt doesn’t have any properties in Dhaka, though Starwood has a Le Meridien, Westin, and Four Points.
We decided to book the Le Meridien, given it seemed to be the property closest to the airport, and also looked the most modern. At the time I booked I didn’t realize that the Le Meridien is actually widely considered to be Dhaka’s best hotel.
The paid rate at the Le Meridien was about $220 for our night, while a free night redemption would have cost 10,000 Starpoints, as this is a Category 4 property. That’s roughly a breakeven redemption (I value Starpoints at ~2.2 cents each), though when you factor in the points you’re forgoing by redeeming points, paying cash seemed like the better value.
We arranged a car from the airport to the hotel, which I typically find to be worthwhile, especially when visiting a place for the first time. The transfer cost $20, and included being met at immigration, and a comfortable car with wifi. The hotel is close to the airport, though traffic in Dhaka is insane, so apparently the drive can take anywhere from 15-30 minutes.
Our ride was pretty quick, so we were at the hotel within 20 minutes.
Security in Dhaka seems to be tight, especially at the Le Meridien. First there was a car check to enter the premises, then we had to go through a metal detector, and our bags had to go through an x-ray. That’s pretty common nowadays in many parts of the world, though security here seemed to be even higher. There were several armed guards with machine guns, both outside the hotel and in the lobby.
The hotel’s lobby is huge and gorgeous. This must be the most beautifully designed Le Meridien city hotel I’ve ever stayed at.
Reception is inside the lobby and to the right, and consists of sit-down check-in, rather than a counter. That’s very impressive, and it’s something I usually only see at St. Regis, etc.
Then to the left was the hotel’s cafe, which had tons of seating.
There was also a business center just off the lobby.
Since I’m an SPG Platinum member, we were escorted up to the club lounge for check-in, which is located on the 12th floor. The elevators were at the far end of the lobby and to the right.
The hotel had big hallways, and the club was just a short walk from the elevator.
After our check-in was processed, we had a very special surprise — we got upgraded to the presidential suite. I’ve spent well over a thousand nights in hotels, and this was my second ever presidential suite upgrade. This always seems to happen on short stays where you don’t actually plan on spending much time in the hotel, but I guess that’s just life. 😉
The presidential suite is room 1266, and it’s just a short walk from the club lounge.
The presidential suite was ~4,300 square feet, and was simply insane. There was a huge foyer just inside the double doors.
Then to the left was another big hallway of sorts.
To the right of that was the living room, which was beautifully appointed. Aside from the sheer amount of space the presidential suite afforded, I thought it was beautifully appointed in a way that’s still “true” to the Le Meridien brand.
There was a massive couch and several seats.
In the far corner was a bar area, which even had an espresso machine, in addition to the typical kettle and bottled water.
On the living room table was a welcome amenity with nuts, sparkling water, and candy.
The suite has two bedrooms, though I’ll talk more about them in a bit. Back near the entrance and to the left was a kitchen, which we didn’t use.
Then to the right of the main entrance was the dining room, or I suppose board room, depending on how you look at it. I was almost tempted to order room service so that we could have the least romantic meal in history, sitting at the opposite ends of the table. 😉
Past the dining room was an office. I spent a bit of time working from there. This is a good time to mention that the wifi throughout the hotel was fast.
There was a second entrance behind the office area, and next to that was a half bath.
On that side of the room was the second bedroom. The bedroom was huge, probably almost double the size of most standard hotel rooms.
The room had a comfortable Le Meridien signature king size bed, a sitting area with two chairs near the door, and a desk on the opposite side of the room.
Behind the bedroom was a huge closet, that’s probably as big as most hotel rooms in Japan. 😉
Then there was a bathroom with double sinks, a walk-in shower, soaking tub, toilet, and vanity.
On the exact opposite end of the room (which required walking through the office, dining room, foyer, and then living room) was the other bedroom. It was a similar size as the other one, and had a desk and a sitting area.
This bedroom also had a big closet.
Next to that was a cardio area, with a treadmill and exercise bike. You know you’re in a fancy suite when it has its own exercise equipment.
Then the bathroom also featured double sinks, a soaking tub, a walk-in shower, a toilet, and a vanity.
All rooms had views of the city. Dhaka doesn’t have the most inspiring skyline, but the views were good, and the sound insulation excellent.
Okay, ready for the coolest part of the room? ALL THE TOWELS AND BATHROBES SAID “PRESIDENTIAL” on them. Do you have any clue how much restraint it took not to have a few of those make their way into my carry-on, or to show up to breakfast in a bathrobe, as I sometimes see people do? Just kidding, of course…
This room was truly stunning, though I realize we got really lucky with our upgrade. But even if our room had just been one of those individual bedrooms, I’d say this is a very nice hotel. Dhaka isn’t a very luxurious hotel market (though there are quite a few new hotels being built), and based on what I’ve gathered, the Le Meridien is the nicest hotel there, and also has the advantage of still being new.
Due to my SPG Platinum status we had access to the hotel’s club lounge, located a short walk from our room. The lounge was a beautiful space, with plenty of seating, consisting of both dining tables as well as couches. I rarely saw any other guests in the lounge.
In terms of the food and drink selection, in the afternoon there were some finger sandwiches and sweets, as well as champagne (that’s impressive).
Then in the evening there were cocktails and more substantial food offerings, including several hot options.
There were also nuts, salad, and dessert.
The breakfast buffet in the lounge was good as well, with cereal, yogurt, fresh fruit, cold cuts, and several hot options.
There was also a chef on hand to prepare omelets.
The lounge had a legitimate espresso machine as well, where the attendant could make drinks whenever the lounge was open.
The food quality in the lounge was phenomenal. While I’ve seen club lounges with more extensive food spreads, the quality of everything set this place apart. Also, everyone we interacted with in the lounge was attentive and gracious. That’s true of the staff at the hotel in general.
In terms of other features, the hotel has a rooftop infinity pool on the 16th floor, which is pretty snazzy.
There’s a big rooftop deck, where you can grab a drink or snack.
The gym is also located on the 16th floor, and is a good size.
We spent most of our day taking a city tour, which the hotel’s concierge graciously gave us. I wrote about that experience in a previous post. Traffic in Dhaka is crazy, and it took nearly two hours to get from one side of the city to the other.
After that we got a good night of sleep, and early the next morning we were off to the airport.
Le Meridien Dhaka bottom line
Of course we were caught off guard with this upgrade. After well over a thousand nights in hotels, this was my second such upgrade. So while the upgrade was beyond amazing, I think this is an all around solid hotel, and I’d recommend staying here if visiting Dhaka. The room design was beautiful, service great, club lounge impressive, and food quality top notch. I was sad we only had such a short stay.