Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, opens the doors to Virgin Hotels New Orleans on August 18, 2021.
Located in the city’s artsy Warehouse District, the new hotel delivers thoughtful yet playful references to the city. The hotel features multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the 13th-floor bar, Dreamboat, a cocktail lounge; The Pool Club, a rooftop pool, restaurant, and bar; Commons Club, the brand’s flagship restaurant, bar and lounge, and Funny Library Coffee Shop—plus various meeting and event spaces.
“We’re excited to officially open our doors in New Orleans,” said James Bermingham, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Hotels.
“This beautiful, new hotel will offer the distinctive ‘Virgin’ experience travelers know and love, from our inviting Chambers to our dynamic food and beverage offerings. But we also have a real made-in-New Orleans ethos at play here, from the art and design throughout the hotel to the personalized experience we provide our guests through The Know loyalty program and our LUCY mobile app. Virgin Hotels New Orleans will surely offer a window into a city waiting to be explored.”
“Each of our hotels embrace the local flavor of the cities they are in, and Virgin Hotels New Orleans is certainly a fun one. The city’s welcoming spirit, exciting entertainment, and incredible culinary scene are all things we are excited to bring to life through our hotel. We look forward to becoming a gathering place for the entire community and a destination for both locals and visitors alike,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group.
Ranging from 294 to 1,097-square feet in size, the hotel has 238 Chambers, Grand Chamber Suites, a Penthouse Suite, and Richard’s Penthouse Flat, a 1,097 square foot stunner with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the eclectic downtown New Orleans’s. Local art, historical detailing, and Art Deco-inspired elements woven throughout evoke a sense of old-world meets modern luxury. The Chambers feature Virgin Hotels’ signature layout with two distinct spaces. The Dressing Room includes a full vanity, makeup desk with a well-lit mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench completed with Red Flower toiletries, and a closet for two. The Lounge features the brand’s patented ergonomically designed lounge bed, complete with a bullion fringe trim, a red SMEG® mini-fridge stocked with street-priced comforts, a High-Definition TV, yoga mat, and a cafe worktable with rattan base and tempered glass placed in front of a cozy built-in window seating offering city views. Designed to make the best use of space and promote privacy for guests, each chamber is separated by a pair of paneled doors, a nod to French doors as commonly seen in New Orleans design and offering a more residential look and feel.
Ample outlets for smartphones, laptops, or other electronic devices are found in various areas of the Chambers. All feature custom lighting on sensors that automatically illuminate when guests move. Additional amenities for pets will be available in the Chambers. In addition, the Chambers have integrated tech capabilities, including controlling lighting, thermostats, TVs, and ordering room services directly via the mobile app, LUCY.
Executive Chef Alex Harrell, who has become a star fixture on New Orleans’ culinary scene since first arriving more than twenty years ago, brings his modernist approach to classic Southern cuisine to Virgin Hotels New Orleans’ food and beverage venues. Commons Club, the social epicenter of the hotel, located on the ground floor, is designed to feel like a members-only social club but open to all. Commons Club consists of three areas – The Bar – the true heartbeat of the hotel, The Kitchen, featuring an indoor porch for dining, and The Shag Room, an intimate private space with a playful vibe suitable for small groups. The restaurant, bar, and lounge experiences beckon with locally influenced food and drink showcasing contemporary Southern cuisine with Mediterranean influences. In addition, a full slate of curated music and entertainment experiences will launch an ongoing and robust entertainment schedule consisting of local to national musical acts and performances, game day programming, themed brunches, and more.
Harrell also oversees The Pool Club, a tropical and lush intimate space, and Dreamboat, a cocktail lounge situated on the 13th floor featuring sophisticated design elements, including a double-sided fireplace evoking a moody and comfortable experience. The rooftop pool and lounge will offer a haven overlooking the New Orleans skyline where guests and locals can dine, drink, dance or lounge.
In addition, Virgin Hotels New Orleans is home to Funny Library Coffee Shop located on the hotel’s first level. The coffee shop is a communal workspace with an assortment of games and whimsical and funny books curated from local book shops. The comfortable space features dark wood and feels like a classic library while mixing eclectic furnishings and playful elements like mixed patterns and bright colors. In addition, the Funny Library Coffee Shop will pour coffee by La Colombe, which will provide classic signature blends.
The hotel also features a light and airy state-of-the-art fitness center on the 3rd floor, open 24 hours a day, and 5,000-square feet of flexible meeting and event space.
Guests can sign up for the brand-wide guest preferences and loyalty program The Know to unlock a personalized stay, exclusive use of the LUCY app, member rate discounts, room upgrades, unique dining and event experiences, and a complimentary cocktail hour dubbed “The Spirit Hour.”
New Orleans design firm Logan Killen Interiors was tapped to curate the hotel interiors in accordance with Virgin Hotels’ localized approach to design. The firm’s experience in residential and boutique commercial projects made them the perfect choice to create welcoming, comfortable environments, with local touches, historical details, and a nod to New Orleans Art Deco history interspersed throughout. Incorporating a Southern residential feel while combining colorful, tropical architectural motifs, the team also leaned into Virgin’s signature fun and smart design style. Local influences are found throughout, with work commissioned from local artists, including playful wall art in every Chamber from New Orleans artist Jen Talton, local art students in The Shag Room, works from photographer Augusta Sagnelli and an abstract painting from talented Ansley Givhan. The artwork helps to create the “at home in New Orleans” feel that permeates the hotel.
The hotel is developed by Buccini/Pollin Group, which selected Mathes Brierre Architects, CallisonRTKL Architects, and Broadmoor Construction to complete the hotel.