Le Méridien Aims to Turn Lobbies Into Chic Coffee Houses

Hôtel Dieu in Lyon France, to be the new InterContinental hotel
Hôtel Dieu in Lyon, France // Photo by ventdusud/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

Le Meridien PiccadillyWith the new "Master Barista" program, the Paris-based Le Méridien hotel chain is tapping into the global trend for custom-crafted coffee. How it works: a dedicated coffee expert will take residence in each of Le Méridien's 100 hotel lobbies worldwide, serving as both a concierge and a coffee expert. Le Méridien is launching this initiative after it commissioned a survey on travel habits and global coffee trends. Not surprisingly, good coffee scored high on the list of traveler's must-have amenities. Forget instant coffee and a hotpot in room; today's travelers value their morning coffee higher than sex and social media.

The "Master Barista" initiative will require extensive training programs for its dedicated coffee specialists, who will also work to create a traditional coffeehouse atmosphere in each hotel lobby, encouraging social interaction and exchange. Le Méridien is onto something in prioritizing coffee as part of the guest experience. We predict that other hotel chains will follow suit.

Pictured: Le Méridien Piccadilly in London

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