W New Orleans - French Quarter has also expanded its offerings, adding SWEAT, state-of-the-art fitness center, as well asSoBou, a contemporary Creole cuisine restaurant, recently named one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America.
"When W New Orleans – French Quarter opened more than 12 years ago, it created a new scene in our vibrant city," said James Wroblewski, general manager for W New Orleans - French Quarter. "The renovation is critical to enhancing the overall guest experience while also drawing in locals with a very personalized touch."
New York City based interior design and architecture firm Nemaworkshop redesigned the guest rooms of W to reflect the artistic energy and the intrigue of jazz and tarot in the Crescent City. Each room boasts a palate of clean lines and modern blacks and whites mixed with vibrant gold tones and rich primary colors relevant to the room design motif. Inspired by the liveliness of Big Easy music, the jazz design features vibrant golden yellow walls and an oversized floor-to-ceiling brass image modeled after the bell of a horn. The property's tarot designed rooms channel the mystic spirit of the city with décor inspired by New Orleans' voodoo queen Marie Laveau. The walls feature a deep blue color as well as an oversized mural representing a woman reading tarot cards.
"The new design definitely has a little fun with the city's spiritual side," states Anurag Nema, principal at nemaworkshop. "You may see Marie's eyes following you on the guest room number placard, or you may recognize her headdress on a directional sign. If you look up while you're standing in the lift landing, you'll notice tiny, pin-like lights, playing off voodoo pins."
In addition to the décor, in-room technology has also been enhanced with new 40" Plasma TVs and the addition of a "jackpack," offering the ability to stream movies, photos, presentations, etc. from portable devices directly onto the TVs. The brand new, state-of-the-art SWEAT fitness facility offers cardiovascular fitness and personal training programs using free and machine weights from Technogym.
As part of the $9 million renovation, W New Orleans - French Quarter welcomes SoBou (also designed by nemaworkshop), a Louisiana street food-inspired restaurant and lounge from the Commander's Family of Restaurants. SoBou—the name of which is the contraction, "South of Bourbon Street"— offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The regionally sourced menu, created by Executive Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez, features inspired small plates to pair with drinks of any stripe—from classic cocktails to local craft brews. Celebrated Bar ChefLu Brow of The Swizzle Stick Bar heads the state-of-the-art cocktail program, along with in-house Bar Chef Abigail Gullo.
Each of the spaces in SoBou has a distinctive interpretation of the concept of mixology: the entry and front dining space recall an apothecary where floor-to-ceiling walls are clad in bottles; illuminated display cases house a collection of vintage tools, shakers, and glasses; and in the main dining space, a one-way glass installation showcases glowing bottles that multiply into infinity. Adjacent to the curving brass bar is a modern beer garden housing self-service wine machines and beer taps built directly into the tables.
The transformation of W New Orleans – French Quarter is part of a comprehensive renovation strategy to update the W brand's North American portfolio. W Hotels recently announced plans to reinvigorate more than 11 of its hotel properties, tapping into the industry's brightest rising visionaries to collaborate with the W brand's award-winning design team on redesigns. As W expands its global footprint abroad – opening new hotels from Bangkok to Singapore, Milan to Verbier – the W brand is committed to providing a consistent, cutting-edge experience for guests. The ambitious renovation schedule is focused on many of the W brand's early hotels in key markets such asNew York City, Seattle, Chicago, New Orleans, and Los Angeles, among others.
"As the W brand continues to evolve, opening new hotels from Paris to Milan, Bangkok to Singapore, the brand's portfolio of existing hotels remains just as vitally important," said Carlos Becil, vice president of brand management, Starwood's Luxury and Design Brands, North America. "We invest in design, a core pillar of the W brand's DNA and something guests have come to expect, and refreshing that excites both guests and locals, ideally driving more business."
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