Unpretentious Parisian Flair in St. Louis

Le Méridien Hotel in downtown Clayton, MO seamlessly blends today’s St. Louis vibe with its Parisian brand ethos to create a modern pied-à-terre.

Silverwest Hotels chose HOK for the major renovation and brand conversion of the former Sheraton Clayton Hotel into Le Méridien St. Louis Clayton and the result is a luxurious upgrade with an unpretentious Parisian flair. Dina Lamanna, senior project interior designer explains HOK’s design honors both the brand’s origin and St. Louis’ strong connection to France. “Since St. Louis was founded by a Frenchman and named after a sainted French King, the color palette was derived from the city dubbed as the ‘Paris of the West,” Lamanna said. “It is grounded by true American Midwest ‘denim blue’ and pops of bold ‘Hermes’ orange.”

“Paris and St. Louis shared similar city planning visions: carving out pedestrian parks, social plazas and maintaining home fronts that face city parks and squares. Therefore, for the guestrooms, HOK’s design evokes a modern pied-a-terre, a home away from home with a residential ambiance,” Lamanna said.

Upon entering the third-floor lobby, check-in desks echo French writing desks, accented by subtly arching standing lamps of blackened steel and polished brass. Art in the foyer uses organic shapes to create a map of the city of Clayton. The lobby also includes the Salon, a living room and informal business center for guests to gather, filled with mid-century modern furnishings along with dramatic and playful artwork. “The design of the third-floor lobby connects guests to both the locale and the brand’s French inspiration,” Lamanna said. “The colonnade is clad in stone slabs and wrapped with chandelier ‘bracelets’ to bring layers of conversational glow.”

“In the English-speaking world of the 18th and 19th century, having an inner parlor was evidence of social status and the Walsh Family of St. Louis is credited for hosting America’s first cocktail party in their parlor in 1917,” Lamanna said. “As a homage, we dubbed the restaurant design as the “Inner Parlour,” where guests can feel as if they are dining in a living room setting with tufted banquettes and Parisian café tables all wrapped in cobalt drapery and unique art pieces.”

Steps from the lobby, guests pass the restaurant and the ballroom, the Grand Salle, which features a fleur de lys motif as another nod to St. Louis’ French influences. The restaurant features a private dining room for events, a buffet, a grab and go area and a bar that transitions from breakfast to liquor via sliding panels covered with abstract art. The ballroom includes a pre-function area as well as small meeting rooms on the second floor with all new finishes. Denim blue colors and walnut wood accent the restaurant and ballroom for a Midwestern feel


HOK’s contemporary design creates a dramatic, intimate and curated retreat for guests—both inside and out. To refresh the 17-story building’s exterior, HOK provided all new glazing work, facade updates, a new window system increasing natural light by 30% and a new porte cochere, giving the building a sleek, modern feel.

Bray Whaler was pleased to be part of the Le Méridien Hotel’s stunning and strategic transformation. Portions of this were reprinted from INSPIRE DESIGN, January 15th, 2021 issue.



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