New Orleans briefs: Astor Crowne Plaza renovation is under way September 08, 2008 Share 1 -- The Astor Crowne Plaza, built in 2002, launched a multimillion-dollar renovation program. The 707-unit, 28-suite property on Canal Street is part of the InterContinental Hotels Group portfolio but managed by Prism Hotels & Resorts of Dallas.Under the theme "We're Polishing the Crowne of New Orleans," the refurb continues through November. Public space will be given a new look, with furnishings reupholstered in green, citron and earth tones.Guestrooms will retain Sleep Advantage standard bedding with pillow-top mattresses, luxurious linens and duvets. All guestrooms and suites will receive new furnishings, wall coverings, drapes and furniture. Custom lighting will be added to desks and nightstands, and enhanced wireless Internet access will be installed. The Executive Lounge on the hotel's club level floor will double in size while still providing views of Bourbon Street as well as breakfast service, all-day snacks, beverages and evening cocktails.The fitness center will also be expanded to twice its current size, with new flooring, wall coverings, three flat-screen TVs and new equipment.The Astor Crowne Plaza will also add three, 700-square-foot meetings rooms on the second-floor mezzanine level.The hotel is home to Dickie Brennan's Bourbon House restaurant.For more, call (800) 972-2791 or visit www.astorneworleans.com.Putting on the RitzThe Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is offering a series of "staycation" package rates aimed at the drive-in market as well as a package targeted at air passengers flying in from one of the 12 cities served nonstop from the Big Easy by Southwest Airlines.The Road Warrior Room Package, at $199 a night, includes deluxe accommodations, American breakfast for two, half-price parking and free high-speed Internet.The Nonstop Luxury Room Package offers Club Level accommodations to customers at $239 per night.The 489-guestroom, 38-suite property is also offering "voluntourism" and ecotourism-themed packages.For more, call (504) 524-1331 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com.