Le Parker Meridien New York & Palm Springs Are Leaving Starwood

This was announced about a week ago, and I wasn’t going to write about it, but I find the communication on the hotels’ part interesting. It was announced that Le Parker Meridien New York and Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs will be leaving Starwood as of January 4, 2018.

As of then they’re dropping their “Le Meridien” branding, and will instead just be known as Parker New York and Parker Palm Springs. The hotels are interesting because they weren’t technically brand standard Le Meridien properties, but have always had a unique position in the SPG portfolio.

The Parker Meridien properties will be joining The Leading Hotels of The World, which has around 400 hotels around the world. Per an email the hotel has sent to guests, here’s what they say about their rebranding:

As you may have heard, we are launching into a brand new adventure in 2018.

Privately owned and managed, we have always prided ourselves in retaining our individuality. Through the years, Le Meridien was a wonderful partner, but now that it is part of a much larger organization, it no longer aligns with who we are and where we want to be.

These hotels have long had a rocky relationship with Starwood. Back in 2013 Starwood filed a lawsuit against the hotels, as they apparently got more than a million dollars in fraudulent reimbursements from Starwood. They got this by falsifying records to make their occupancy levels look higher than they were, which meant they got higher reimbursement from Starwood for award stays.

Personally I’m going to miss the Le Parker Meridien Palm Springs. It’s one of the best hotels in Palm Springs, and while they weren’t the most generous with elite recognition, it was still great to be able to earn and redeem points here.


Parker Palm Springs

Meanwhile I found the Le Parker Meridien New York to be significantly less impressive. It’s a bland hotel that lacks any sort of pizzaz. Actually, it makes me think less of Leading Hotels of the World for including it. Then again, most of these brands will take any hotel as long as they’re willing to pay the fees to be a member. Apparently that hotel will be undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation shortly, which is long overdue.


Parker New York

Bottom line

I can sort of see this from the hotels’ perspective. The Parker Meridien New York isn’t great, and with Marriott taking over Starwood, they have a lot of competition within their own portfolio. Meanwhile in the case of the Parker Palm Springs, I suspect that they think that they’re sufficiently established in the market so that they don’t need the support of SPG, as presumably Leading Hotels of the World has significantly lower fees for hotels.

We’ll see whether or not this gamble on the part of the Parker owners pays off. I’ve enjoyed the Parker Palm Springs in the past, though I doubt I’d return once it’s not part of SPG.

Are you sad to see the Parker properties in New York City and/or Palm Springs leave the SPG portfolio?

Comments

  1. I mean SPG have done a pretty good job with Palm Springs. With the addition of the Riviera and the Avalon, that’s bout good enough. Both Marriott and SPG have other resorts in the area, but I mainly go to PS to drink myself silly, so it’s nice to be in town. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  2. I’d love to know what the difference in the fee structure is. I also want to know what the difference in direct bookings is with SPG vs LHW

  3. Le Parker Meridien always reminds me of the Rosie O’Donnell Show. You know guests of the Rosie O’Donnell Show stay at Le Parker Meridien, the hotel with the funny name that has a “Le” in front of it. Then she named one of her children “Parker.” I wonder if she got paid for that.

  4. I’m not clear on what nice alternative SPG offers you in Palm Springs, Lucky. Parker is the only decent luxury hotel anywhere near downtown (and Arenas Road!!). 🙂

  5. Leading Hotels is primarily a marketing company, Marriott/SPG is a management company that includes marketing as one of many services. Leading Hotels has much less control over its members and serves mainly as a reservation portal and advertising outlet. Members must meet some criteria for membership, although the primary criteria is ability to pay Membership fees.

  6. Oh no! Where will I go in New York to get my Starwood platinum breakfast amenity reduced to nothing more than “free coffee”?

    Just kidding. Good riddance.

  7. Hahahaha what a joke Leading Hotels is the World has become; they have long since dropped any semblance of real standards, it’s ONLY about membership fees. They have a number of quite poor properties listed these days. At what point do they lose so much credibility that the real top end hotels stop paying membership fees?

    As for the Parker New York itself I hope there renovation is very comprehensive, because I can’t imagine why anyone would stay there by choice in its current form when it’s no longer SPG affiliated. Just a bland mediocre business hotel in an area with tons of competition.

  8. Parker NY has a great sun deck, pool and fitness area for the city location but as for SPG recognition it was awful with a croissant and coffee as breakfast. In Europe we are offered so much more and it was a shame the hotel was allowed to bring this disregard for elites to the brand but I’m sad it will leave the portfolio.

  9. Good riddance. Parker New York has needed a renovation for over 10 years.

    Interesting mixed reviews with Palm Springs. I live next door and I used to walk my dog on the property before they sealed up tight to visitors.

    Sounds like a rotten business decision unless they maintain high occupancy with foreign tourists.

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