Review: Le Meridien Xiamen

Introduction: Visiting Pandas In China
Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 787-9 Los Angeles To Xiamen
Review: Xiamen Air Domestic Lounge Xiamen Airport
Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 757 Xiamen To Chengdu
Review: St. Regis Chengdu
Booking A Panda Adventure In Chengdu, China
Our Amazing “Pandadventure” At The Dujiangyan Panda Base
Review: Chengdu Airport Domestic Lounge
Review: Xiamen Air Business Class 737 Chengdu To Xiamen
Review: Le Meridien Xiamen
Using Didi Chuxing: The Chinese Uber
Review: Xiamen Air International Lounge Xiamen Airport
Review: Xiamen Air 787-9 Business Class Xiamen To Los Angeles
My Experience Traveling With Ben To China


Our last night in China was in Xiamen, where we’d be for just over 24 hours — we were landing at around 6:30PM, and departing the following day around 8PM. Xiamen is a growing hotel market, and we were considering the Hyatt Regency, Le Meridien, Sheraton, and Westin. In the end we booked the Le Meridien, which cost ~$150 for the one night stay.

Redeeming points here would have been a much better value, as it’s only a Category 2 SPG property (meaning a free night costs 4,000 Starpoints), though unfortunately they were sold out of base rooms due to the Chinese national holiday. We took a taxi from the airport to the hotel, which took only about 15 minutes. While the other hotels were closer to the city, this one was about a 10 minute taxi ride from the center of town. Of course there are pros and cons to that — it’s nice to be a bit away from the hustle and bustle, though it also makes it a bit tougher to get into town.

The hotel has a resort-style exterior, and almost felt to me like it should have been in Bali.


Le Meridien Xiamen exterior


Le Meridien Xiamen entrance

The lobby felt a bit less “resorty” than the exterior, and had high ceilings.


Le Meridien Xiamen lobby


Le Meridien Xiamen lobby

Reception was located just inside the lobby and to the right.


Le Meridien Xiamen lobby

There was no wait at check-in, and within a few minutes we were checked in and escorted to our rooms. I was informed that I had been upgraded to a suite, that we’d get club lounge access, etc. The lady checking us in provided us with a paper outlining the benefits of being a club guest at the hotel.


Le Meridien Xiamen welcome letter

Both of our rooms were on the sixth floor, which is the same floor as the club level. I should mention that the hotel has almost a Vegas-style requirement for getting to guest rooms. There’s a security guard at each elevator bank, and not only do you have to enter your key to use the elevator, but you have to provide the guard with your room number, and they enter it into the computer. That was a first for me.

Once on the sixth floor, my room, #6219, was the first one on the right, just past the club lounge.


Le Meridien Xiamen hallway


Le Meridien Xiamen suite exterior


Le Meridien Xiamen floorplan

I had been upgraded to a pretty eccentric suite, and almost felt like I was in a W rather than a Le Meridien based on the decor. Inside the entrance was a desk with a rolling chair, as well as a daybed of sorts (I’ve never found those types of seats to be comfortable) on a circular carpet.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite living room


Le Meridien Xiamen suite living room

Past that was the living room, which had a couch and two leather chairs facing the TV.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite living room


Le Meridien Xiamen suite living room

On that circular table was a very generous welcome amenity — my incredible SPG Ambassador takes great care of me.


Le Meridien Xiamen welcome amenity


Le Meridien Xiamen welcome amenity

Then next to that was a dining table with seating for five, and behind that was a kettle, bottled water, etc.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite dining area


Le Meridien Xiamen suite bottled water & kettle

Just inside the entrance was a half bathroom.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite half bathroom


Le Meridien Xiamen suite half bathroom

There was a door separating the living area from the bedroom. The bedroom felt more traditional for the Le Meridien brand, and featured a comfortable king size bed, a chair by the window, and a glass partition separating it from the master bathroom.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite bedroom


Le Meridien Xiamen suite bedroom

There was also a desk and wall-mounted TV.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite bedroom

Since we were arriving in the evening, turndown service had been completed, and there was a Xiamen Pie on the nightstand. It was really good, though I’m not sure lard is the healthiest thing to eat right before bed. 😉


Le Meridien Xiamen pie

The bathroom had a single sink, bathtub, walk-in shower, and partitioned off toilet.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite bathtub


Le Meridien Xiamen suite shower


Le Meridien Xiamen suite toilet

Toiletries were from Malin+Goetz, which is among my favorite toiletry lines of any mid-range hotel brand.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite toiletries

The room also had two balconies — one was a wood deck and the other had stones — though neither had any seating.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite balcony


Le Meridien Xiamen suite balcony

The balconies overlooked the hillside and tennis court.


Le Meridien Xiamen suite view

The club lounge was just down the hall from my room.


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge entrance

The lounge was a nice space, and spread out over two levels. On the first level (which is on the sixth floor) are a couple dozen dining tables, as well as the buffet area.


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge seating


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge seating


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge buffet area


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge buffet area

Then there were stairs leading up to a second level, which had some couches and leather relaxation chairs. While the first floor was full during peak times, the upper level stayed mostly empty.


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge seating


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge seating

By the time we were settled into our rooms it was 7:20PM, and the club lounge evening happy hour was ending at 7:30PM, so we quickly checked that out. We didn’t eat anything, but below are pictures of the food selection.


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread

In addition to the food there was a selection of self serve wine, beer, liquor, soft drinks, and coffee.


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening spread


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge evening happy hour


Le Meridien Xiamen club lounge coffee machine

As club guests, breakfast was included either in the club lounge or restaurant, Latest Recipe. Given the choice, eating in the restaurant is always the better option.


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe restaurant


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe restaurant


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet

The breakfast selection was massive — I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet


Le Meridien Xiamen Latest Recipe breakfast buffet

Across from Latest Recipe was Latitude 24, which is the hotel’s lobby bar and coffeeshop. Le Meridien hotels all have a similar coffee concept (it’s part of their faux-French branding), so I always like grabbing a coffee at Latitude while working, as it’s usually better coffee than you’ll get anywhere else in the hotel.


Le Meridien Xiamen Latitude 24


Le Meridien Xiamen Latitude 24

Just behind the lobby area was some outdoor seating, as well as a cool garden area. I assume the hotel also had an outdoor pool, though I never did find it, oddly (in fairness, we didn’t have much time and wanted to explore the city, so that limited options).


Le Meridien Xiamen outdoor terrace


Le Meridien Xiamen outdoor area

The hotel also has a gym on the ground floor, which had pretty good equipment.


Le Meridien Xiamen gym


Le Meridien Xiamen gym


Le Meridien Xiamen gym

We also decided to get a massage at the hotel. No comment.


Le Meridien Xiamen spa

Le Meridien Xiamen bottom line

The Le Meridien is a nice hotel with friendly service and beautiful rooms. Their Platinum treatment was exceptionally good. However, if I returned to Xiamen, I think I’d try the Westin. That’s because I thought Xiamen was a really cool city, and it would be much more convenient to be in the heart of the city, rather than to always have to take a 10 minute taxi ride.

What made matters worse was that we were there over the national holiday, so taxis weren’t readily available. The hotel would call a taxi for us, but they’d say none were available. The hotel recommended that we offer to tip the taxis to pick us up, and then they became more readily available, though the whole thing was a bit inconvenient.

Still, if you’re looking for a nice hotel a bit outside the heart of Xiamen, this place is a good option. But given how cool I thought Xiamen was based on my limited exposure, I’d want to be right in the heart of the city next time.

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Comments

  1. Nice looking property. Are you really supposed to just walk on loose stones on a balcony? That doesn’t seem right.

  2. Hahahaha… “We also decided to get a massage at the hotel. No comment.” Talk about burying the lede 🙂

  3. @Lucky LOL I am assuming the “no comment” on massage is the same reason security is so tight at the elevators from restricting “outside strangers” looking for funny business with hotel guests?

  4. Ben you should do a post on how easy/hard it is to use Didi as a Westerner with Western credit cards? I hear service quality has declined since the great Uber war ended.

  5. Ben, did you request a late checkout? Saw they said it was subject to availability when it should be guaranteed for you.

  6. Well, now we know which property was the site of the “declined supplemental transaction” (which was an excellently hilarious piece of writing by Andrew, btw) and now that I know it was in Xiaman, I can’t say I am surprised, as it is known for it’s Internat’l manufacturing and trade, therefore also for it’s rather randy visitors.

  7. @Andrew — awesome! really loving all your contributions to the site. Excited to hear about all your future adventures.

  8. My wife is from Xiamen and I visit the city a lot. While the hotel itself is nice, the location is terrible as it is up on the hill with nothing within walking distance to eat or shop. While it is true that you can get to the main shopping and eating areas quickly with a taxi, the problem is getting that ride. It is very hard to find taxi at certain points of the day in Xiamen (for example when changing shift, which happens to be around rush hour or when it is raining). It is even harder at the hotel since it is not on the main routes. There is also no access to public transportation either. Westin is in a much better location, though traffic is kind of bad around it also. The Sheraton is in a good location, but the hotel is kind of rundown nowadays and next to a stinky creek (maybe it is fixed now). There are some interesting hotels near the coast if one just want to relax and visit the tourist sites.

  9. what the hell is this hotel’s decor?

    looks like a confused 50 year old french woman going through mid life crisis puked all over it

  10. Was just there – the hotel apparently knew you were coming and knew you were a popular blogger – definitely didn’t get the same kind of treatment as you when I stayed and I agree that guard by the elevators is really annoying.

  11. LeMeridien serves Illy coffee at their bars, that is why it is better. There is a voucher in the room to get one free coffee per day.

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