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By Zahra Al-Kateb | July 16 2014
As part of the strategic conversion plan of the former W New Orleans, the property has now transitioned to the Hotel New Orleans Downtown for the remainder of its $29 million renovation. Managed by Starwood Hotels, the Hotel New Orleans Downtown will remain open and fully operational as well as a member of the Starwood Preferred Guest loyalty program until Le Méridien debuts this winter.
“Since acquiring Le Méridien in 2005, we have fully transformed the brand into a contemporary lifestyle experience dedicated to unlocking the destination through culture, cuisine and the arts,” said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels. “Simultaneously, we have focused on developing a consistent portfolio through new openings and full-scale renovations globally, and we look forward to Le Méridien returning to New Orleans with a chic, cultured product designed for the creative and curious minded traveler.”
Le Méridien New Orleans will feature 410 fully renovated guest rooms and corridors as well as a fully redesigned lobby experience, incorporating the signature Le Méridien Hub, a new destination restaurant and bar, and second floor flexible meeting space. The hotel will continue to feature premium amenities such as the modern fitness facility, rooftop pool, and more than 15,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and event space.
Designed by New York-based Meyer Davis, the inspiration for the hotel’s design incorporates the mid-century aesthetic of Le Méridien layered with contextual influences from the city of New Orleans. Design element and patterns within the hotel draw from the architectural features of the city, including the iconic wrought iron work seen throughout the Big Easy. Cultural references from the Mardi Gras parade route to quotes from one of the city’s most famous sons – Louis Armstrong – layer the design with a lens that is both uniquely Le Méridien and specific to New Orleans.
Wall coverings along the guest room corridors have been inspired by the cartography of New Orleans with hidden quotes about the city incorporated into the custom pattern. As one moves from the corridor into the guestroom, the entry is wrapped in a graphic design that represents crowd densities along the Mardi Gras route. This theme of subtle nuances continues throughout the design of the guestroom, creating a unique design for Le Méridien New Orleans. A drafting height desk anchors one side of the room- allowing guests to work as a creative designer works – while a soaring headboard draws from the profiles of moldings found throughout the city. The guestrooms’ cool neutral tones with subtle touches of accent colors create a calm reprieve from the bustling city beyond.
Le Méridien New Orleans will feature the signature Le Méridien Hub(tm), which reinterprets the traditional lobby into a social gathering place and further builds on the brand’s award-winning arrival experience and coffee culture. Le Méridien arrival consists of four elements: large-scale artwork in high impact areas; a sensory experience, illustrated through Le Méridien signature scent, sound and use of light; UNLOCK ART(tm) programme, featuring artist designed key card collections that offer access to Le Méridien affiliated contemporary cultural centers in the city; and a 24-hour curated soundtrack by French Bossa Nova band Nouvelle Vague. The Hub features the signature Master Barista, a recently launched initiative to meet the growing demands of coffee lovers at every Le Méridien hotel worldwide. Master Baristas lead coffee-related initiatives at each hotel, serve as a coffee cultural ambassador, and maintain knowledge of current coffee trends within the destination.
Located on Poydras Street, the hotel is adjacent to the Arts District and just a few blocks from the jazz clubs, restaurants and night clubs of the world-famous French Quarter. Nearby attractions include Harrah’s Casino, the Warehouse District, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans Museum of Art, Riverwalk Shopping and the French Market.
(Source: Le Méridien)