March 21, 2012 Jeddah KSA GCC Middle East

Le Meridien Hotel, Jeddah

Non-smokers friendly

RATING:87/100

Welcoming: 5/5

Food Temperature: 9/10

Ambiance / Music: 9/10

Menu Choice: 5/5

Food Taste: 26/30

Architecture / Interior: 9/10

Food presentation: 9/10

Service: 9/10

Value for money: 6/10

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Le Meridien Hotel of Jeddah was my next stop after the Holiday Inn Riyadh. I didn't know what to expect. I was asking myself many questions like, are all international chains in the Arab world lower in quality than their respective branches in Europe? Would Le Meridien be as old as the Sands Hotel was...?
 
 
These questions and more went through my mind on my trip from Riyadh to Jeddah. The element of surprise is always waiting for me somewhere. I was happily surprised this time.
 
At the airport a person from the hotel was waiting for me to drive me to what would be home for the next three days. He was so gentle, so friendly and so welcoming that I really felt relaxed.
 
 
Le Meridien is an old hotel indeed but very well taken care off with a very happy, welcoming and professional staff.
Just 10 minutes drive from the sea side and Corniche, Le Méridien Jeddah is located in the center of Jeddah's commercial and business district. The hotel is 20 minutes drive away from King Abdul Aziz International Airport and within walking distance from the shopping centers. The most important hospitals, finance houses, banks and diplomatic consulates in Jeddah are just within minutes away.
 
What I liked during my stay:
- The cheerful professional and trained staff
- Quiet rooms with an adequate sound proof system
- Very relaxing pillows
- Smoking rooms with not a hint of smoke smell in the rooms.
- The TV choice of channels and the LCD size in the room
- Very nice breakfast, and delicious eggs prepared by their European chef
- Welcoming and professional reception staff
- The papers and notes distributed in the room for the improvement of the stay.
 
 
What can be improved:
-Nothing really marked me. Nothing that I can recall made my stay uncomfortable.
 
During breakfast some important and interesting information caught my attention. Le Meridien's chef every morning is the famous Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Innovative and forward thinking, a three star Michelin chef creating a signature vibrant cuisine for a constellation of three and four stars restaurants in the UK, USA, shanghai and Paris. They have partnered with him to create a signature and creative work every morning through eight Le Meridien eye openers and six signature dishes:
 
- Smoked salmon and silken tofu
- Espresso steamed eggs
- Spiced oatmeal souffle
- Croque madame reinvented
- Warm goat cheese custard
- Spinach and herb buckwheat crepe
 
Chef Jean-Georges has reinvented classic dishes allowing guests the opportunity to experience them from a new perspective.
 
 
On my last night I ordered room service for dinner and chose to have the Club Sandwich. That was the best club sandwich I have ever tasted to date. Soft and fresh bread enveloping a very tasty mixture of beef ham, eggs, tuna, tomato, lettuce and much more. Ingredients perfectly married all together to make the sensation in every bite last.
 
I finally had to leave the last day, asked for a late check-out, relaxed before going to the airport and to end a good experience the same driver accompanied back to the airport.
 
I would like to talk here about two things that marked me in Saudi Arabia:
1- Every time I would be in a car with someone I noticed a bizarre sound in the background, every time I was on the road. I asked: Isn't that the seat belt sound? The same answer was repeated several times: I don't know why do they put it in cars, can't they create a car without a seat belt warning?
NO WAY! They want a car without warning signs, just not to put the seat belt! Unbelievable.
2- They are worse than Lebanese in driving.
 
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been there? what was your impression? (8/10)

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