Ahead of the anticipated arrival of Virgin Hotels New Orleans this summer, Hotel Designs was given a sneak peak behind the scenes to understand the design narrative of the 238-key hotel that was designed by both the in-house team and local New Orleans’ based interior designers Logan Killen…
For any hotel that is owned by a pioneering boss who, in just a few days time, will attempt to make the history books by flying to the edge of space to reach a major milestone in his campaign to introduce a commercial spaceflight service, the expectation for an unmatched hospitality experience is huge.
Luckily, the Virgin Hotels New Orleans, which is about to make its bold debut onto the hospitality scene as soon as this summer has been designed with both Virgin’s in-house team and locally based interior designers Logan Killen in order to ensure its interiors hit all the right notes for tomorrow’s modern travellers – think texture and colour, lots of colour!
Located at 550 Baronne Street near the Central Business District, the new-build hotel will feature 238 chambers (guestrooms), including Grand Chamber Suites, plus multiple dining and drinking outlets including the brand’s centrepiece restaurant and bar, Commons Club, The Pool Club, a rooftop pool and lounge, Funny Library Coffee Shop, state-of-the-art gym and dedicated meeting and event spaces
Virgin Hotels will manage the hotel architecturally designed by Mathes Brierre Architects, Callison, RTKL Architects, Broadmoor Construction and developed by The Buccini/Pollin Group.
Through neighbourhood-centric influences, the hotel will open to tell the story of its locale. The entire concept was to bring an authentic New Orleans flair to the project. As a result, the property will incorporate a Southern residential feel while combining colourful, tropical architectural motifs with Virgin’s signature style of fun and smart design.
“We always take a localised approach to our design and we wanted Virgin Hotels New Orleans to embrace the local community and celebrate the city’s rich culture,” said Teddy Mayer, Vice President of Design at Virgin Hotels. “We’re thrilled to have collaborated with the talented team at Logan Killen Interiors to bring this vision to life. Specialising in residential and boutique commercial design, they brought a unique perspective to the project and created spaces that are welcoming and comfortable, with local and luxurious touches incorporated throughout.”
The hotel’s corridors, often a forgotten ‘in-between’ area of the hotel, will feature a bold and unique design including custom carpet inspired by artist Henri Matisse’s 1943 art book “Jazz” and Virgin Hotels’ signature red entry doors ready to welcome guests. The 238 chambers will be fresh and bright with local art, historical detailing and Art Deco-inspired elements woven throughout, evoking a sense of old world meets modern luxury. The Chambers will feature Virgin Hotels’ signature double chamber layout – The Dressing Room and The Lounge – designed to make the best use of space and promote privacy for guests. The spaces are separated by a pair of panelled doors, a nod to French doors as commonly seen in New Orleans design, which offer a more residential look and feel.
The first space, “The Dressing Room”, includes spacious closets built for two with a custom sleek wooden makeup vanity with a well-lit mirror and charming floral print vanity chair. Guests will enjoy an extra-large shower with a bench and industrial doors, tying in the exterior architecture. Deluxe chambers will offer grand soaking tubs, French wallpaper from Pierre Frey and Moroccan tile mixed with graphic Deco-inspired marble patterns. Through the panelled double doors, guests will enter “The Lounge”, which boasts a charming entry table and playful statement wall art created by local artist Jane Talton. The brand’s patented ergonomically designed lounge bed, complete with a bullion fringe trim, will anchor the room, allowing guests to rest, relax, work, dine and more from the comfort of their own bed. Other local influences include commissioned artwork from local artists such as a collage poster of Richard Branson and an abstract painting by Ansley Givhan, playful furniture details inspired by vintage items like rattan tables and rug covered ottomans, and modern lighting elements with deco shapes.
“When Teddy Mayer from Virgin Hotels reached out with the opportunity to design their New Orleans based hotel, Katie and I were equally excited and intimidated. It was a very large leap for us to take professionally, having mostly residential design experience,” said Jensen Killen Partner and Lead Designer at Logan Killen Interiors. “But, when opportunity knocks in the form of the Virgin brand, you just say yes! Their team is led by kind, smart and thoughtful people that made the experience extremely fun and fulfilling. The trust they instilled in us to meet the particular challenge of creating a hotel that felt like New Orleans but carried the voice of the Virgin brand was inspiring and ultimately led to a successful and vibrant space that we know New Orleanians and visitors alike will enjoy for years to come.”
All Chambers will incorporate the brand’s classic amenities including a red SMEG mini-fridge, High Definition TV, yoga mat, custom lighting on sensors that automatically illuminate when guests move and ample outlets for smartphones and other electronic devices.
With this opening, Virgin Hotels continues to lead with innovation, combining heartfelt service, straightforward value, and a seamless, personalised hotel experiences with the track record of smart disruption that Sir Richard Branson’s global Virgin Group has pioneered for 50 years.
Main image credit: Virgin Hotels