Lifestyle Travel & Hotel

Gray Malin and Le Meridien hotels – a perfect global match.

Gray-Malin-photo-by-Geraldine-Tan-Little-Big-BellI’ve been feeling fully inspired since my return from Barcelona.

I was invited by Le Meridien Barcelona and Le Meridien Ra resort and spa hotels to meet and find out about their partnership with Gray Malin, the super cool and talented photographer from America.

Le Meridien have commissioned Gray for a global photography art collaboration called Follow Me.

The photos produced will adorn the hotels’ Hubs, a reinterpretation of hotel lobbies, that are visually uplifting social spaces, greeting guests on arrival.

Gray’s Follow Me video, a 24 hour visual journey of his photography and behind the scenes footage will also be shown around the world at these Hubs. Scenes will be added as he explores new Le Meridien destinations, from Bhutan (where he has just finished shooting) to Dubai, Seychelles and many more.

I really love how Le Meridien have embraced the Arts, paying attention to detail, such as with their Unlock Art program that partners local cultural centres.

Guests are offered complimentary entry to an affiliated attraction when they present their artist designed hotel key card.

My hotel key card had Gray’s beautiful photography from his Mediterranean poolside series and I got free access to Barcelona’s museum of Contemporary art.

Gray-Malin-1-party-pineapples-and-cocktails-Le-Meridien-Barcelona-photo-by-Little-Big-BellAfter an enjoyable guided tour of the museum, I  returned to the hotel to attend a cocktail party co-hosted by Le Meridien Barcelona and Gray, on the rooftop terrace.

It was a gorgeous evening with a light breeze and the views were simply stunning. I was as transfixed by the views as I was those pastel pineapple lights.

As we chatted, we sipped delicious cocktails from glasses with rims coated with colourful sprinkles. I thought to myself, pastel pineapples and colourful sprinkles, I was so in Little Big Bell heaven.

Dinner was at the colourful Bananas restaurant and then we were back again at midnight for yet more cocktails to celebrate Gray’s work.

yellow-camper-van-1-photo-by-Little-Big-BellThe next morning, we were greeted with colourful Camper vans fully equipped with bottled beers in ice buckets and dress up kits to get us into the Hippie vibe.

There were also two Cadillacs, ready to take us to our planned event with Gray, at Le Meridien Ra Beach hotel and spa.

Cadillacs-Le-Meridien-photo-1-by-Little-Big-BellImagine, an open top Cadillac whizzing past the scenic coast of Barcelona, the sun was shining, the music was playing, so much fun and laughter.

Chatting to Gray, I found out that he had been interested in photography from a young age. He took a photography course at high school, and spent many a happy hours developing his creative shots. I wondered what his earlier pieces were like, I would have loved to have seen the evolution of his work.

He told us that it was a hobby, until he won the Dallas Museum of Art Young Masters showcase, it was then that he decided to pursue his talent.

Gray-Malin-decorates-Le-Meridien-Ra-BarcelonaLe Meridien Ra was as expected, a beautiful and modern hotel of impressive proportions, sitting alongside an idyllic, white sandy beach.

Gray’s work can be seen throughout the hotel’s hub area. Above, his poolside series photography can be seen printed on a glass arch.

Gray-Malin-poolside-series-prints-with-Le-Meridien-hotel-photo-by-Little-Big-BellHere is a sitting space full of his colourful Poolside Mediterranean series photos, alongside design classics such as Eames.

We were discussing how uniformly spaced the swimming rings were in the photos. I was told that it required quite a lot of time and people in the water, to arrange the rings and keep them in place.

Gray took the aerial photo from the top of the hotel building, all harnessed for safety, and also with tall ladders and helicopter. This type of photography is certainly not for the faint hearted and those afraid of heights.

Gray is known for his aerial photography but he also takes beautifully styled head on shots.

I remembered seeing, liking and enquiring to buy the aerial photos of Central Park peppered with picnic goers and sunbathers, on the walls of the J. Crew shop counter in London. Now I know it was the brilliant work of Gray Malin.

Le-Meridien-Ra-2-photo-by-Little-Big-BellSo, it wasn’t all work. We were treated to Moet Ice imperial champagne, with fruits and ice cubes in golden goblets and Tapas.

Can you spot that yummy plate of Calamari? I so need to return to Barcelona just to eat that.

We also cooked our own Paella under the guidance of the hotel’s chef. I am please to report that our yellow team won the cooking competition, even though I was pretty much a spectator, cheering my team members on.

Dessert-1-inspired-by-Gray-Malin-poolside-series-photo-by-Little-Big-BellThis was just one of many desserts that we had. How cute are they? Donuts with icing like the swimming rings in Gray’s photography.

Yellow-espadrilles-in-Barcelona-photo-by-Little-Big-BellYellow is clearly my lucky colour. We were all given espadrilles to wear for our adventure. Love how the Canary yellow stands out against the bleached white wooden floors and accentuating the yellow of my J. Crew Morag Myerscough tote.

So, our adventure was to get a micro experience of Gray’s photography by following a trail around the hotel.Gray-Malin-poolside-series-rubber-tubes-photo-by-Little-Big-BellThis was my favourite experience. So, it was expected that we would be seeing colourful rings, just like in his photos.

We were happily taking pictures until……

Poolside-series-Gray-Malin-photo-by-Little-Big-Bellthese beautiful synchronise swimmers appeared with a dance to music. Then there was the most amazing acrobatic display in the water, with hardly any splash.

Gray has previously done a photographic series on synchronise swimmers.

Gray-Malin-destinations-unlocked-Le-MeridienHere’s Gray with the swimmers after their amazing performance.

Gray-Malin-flamingos-1-photo-by-Little-Big-BellAs with Gray’s other photographic work, we were treated to the sight of Flamingo balloons, dancing in the air.

colourful-sheep-Gray-Malin-photo-by-Littlle-Big-Belland colourful sheep.

colourful-sheep-Gray-MalinIt took me quite a while to capture this shot of them all together.

Discovery-balloonsHelium balloons spelling out words are a trademark of Gray’s photography,

Journey-balloons-Gray-Malin.all positioned throughout the hotel as we toured the site.

Unlock-balloons-Gray-Malin-photo-by-Little-Big-BellSo, the espadrilles clearly had a purpose, as we walked along the beautiful sandy beach of Le Meridien Ra.



Le-Meridien-Ra-photo-by-Little-Big-BellBeautiful greenery surrounded the hotel’s beach club.

Beach-club-Le-Meridien-Ra-hotel-photo-by-Little-Big-BellLove the polka dots

Le-Meridien-Ra-beach-club-photo-by-Little-Big-Belland the the contrasting Teal inner of the Beach club’s bar.

Le-Meridien-Ra-hotel-beach-photo-by-Little-Big-BellMore seaside views. I clearly need to return to this hotel with my family.

Beach-scene-styled-by-Gray-Malin-photo-by-Little-Big-BellHere’s another classic set up by Gray Malin. I am pretty sure the last time I browsed his website, the striped umbrella, maybe a different colour, was perched on an iceberg in Antarctica. Photographing that iceberg must be in itself an exciting story.

Gray-Malin-photo-by-Little-Big-BellContemplating here as we snap our photos.

Gray-Malin-poolside-series-sailing-boat-photo-by-Little-Big-BellThe Poolside series created for the Barcelona Le Meridien hotels now adorn not only the key card and hotel coasters but here, hiding behind the palm trees, is a sail with the photographic print.

Back in the Le Meridien Barcelona hotel, there is also a grand piano covered with the same yellow image.

Gray-Malin-for-Meridien-hotel-Barcelona-sail-boat-photo-by-Little-Big-BellHere is a better view.

Gray-Malin-poolside-photography-seriesI am pleased to say that I too have my own yellow poolside series photographic print, waiting to be framed.

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this extra long post. I’m sure you will all agree with me that Gray is destined, if not already, for stardom. I can’t wait to buy more of his photographic prints. Watch this space!

Wishing you all a wonderful week ahead.


  1. wow, this is just so gorgeous!

  2. What an incredibly colourful adventure. Gorgeous photography as always and I’m with you a big fan of the colour yellow. I now desperately want a flamingo and the journey sign but also I want to give those sheep a good dip.

    • littlebigbell

      Thank you Mary. We’re off for some exciting adventure to NYC soon right? Can’t wait!

  3. Wow, what an amazing trip! I loved the photos by the pool. I bet the dancers were fantastic. I have never visited Barcelona but after reading this, it will definitely make it on my bucket list!

    • littlebigbell

      Hi Dominique, lovely to have you visit the blog. You must go to Barcelona, it is such a gorgeous city. The sun, the sea, the culture and the shopping! I can’t wait to return with the family soon.

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