NEW ORLEANS—Virgin Hotels, the lifestyle hotel brand by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, opens the doors to Virgin Hotels New Orleans. Located in the city’s Warehouse District, the new hotel delivers playful references to the city. The hotel features multiple dining and drinking outlets, including the bar Dreamboat; The Pool Club, a rooftop pool, restaurant, and bar; Commons Club, the brand’s flagship restaurant, bar, and lounge; Funny Library Coffee Shop; and various meeting and event spaces.
“We’re excited to officially open our doors in New Orleans,” said James Bermingham, CEO 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 suite with floor-to-ceiling windows. Local art, historical detailing, and Art Deco-inspired elements evoke a sense of old-world meets modernity. The chambers feature Virgin Hotels’ layout with two distinct spaces. The dressing room includes a full vanity, a makeup desk with a well-lit mirror, an extra-large shower with a bench, and a closet for two. The lounge features the brand’s patented ergonomically designed lounge bed, a red SMEG mini-fridge, a TV, a yoga mat, and a cafe worktable. Designed to make use of space and promote privacy for guests, each chamber is separated by a pair of paneled doors offering a more residential look and feel.
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 brings his modernist approach to classic Southern cuisine to Virgin Hotels New Orleans’ food and beverage venues. Commons Club, the social hub of the hotel located on the ground floor, is designed to feel like a social club open to all. Commons Club consists of three areas—The Bar, The Kitchen, and The Shag Room. The restaurant, bar, and lounge experiences beckon with locally influenced food and drink. In addition, curated music and entertainment experiences will create an ongoing entertainment schedule consisting of local to national musical acts and performances, game day programming, themed brunches, and more.
Harrell also oversees The Pool Club and Dreamboat. The rooftop pool and lounge will overlook 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. The coffee shop is a communal workspace with an assortment of games and books curated from local book shops. The space features dark wood and feels like a classic library while mixing furnishings and playful elements like mixed patterns and bright colors. In addition, the Funny Library Coffee Shop will pour coffee by La Colombe.
The hotel also features a fitness center and 5,000-square feet of flexible meeting and event space. New Orleans design firm Logan Killen Interiors curated the hotel interiors in accordance with Virgin Hotels’ localized approach to design. The firm’s experience in residential and boutique commercial projects allowed them to create a comfortable environment with local touches, historical details, and a nod to New Orleans Art Deco history. Incorporating a Southern residential feel while combining colorful motifs, the team also leaned into Virgin’s design style. Local influences are found throughout, with work commissioned from local artists, including 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 Ansley Givhan.
The hotel is developed by Buccini/Pollin Group, which selected Mathes Brierre Architects, CallisonRTKL Architects, and Broadmoor Construction.