New hotels open in New Orleans

The New Orleans hotel scene continues to regain its footing, with two new hotel openings and a rebranding.

The Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue, in the central business district on the site of the former Hotel Monaco, began accepting reservations last month after undergoing $11 million in renovations.

The rehab has resulted in "the Crescent City's newest, upscale, premier hotel experience," according to Andy Hearon, director of marketing. "This hotel is reminiscent of the luxury hotels of the past, the ones that made New Orleans famous."

The 250-room hotel is housed in a landmark 1926 high-rise building that originally served as a Masonic temple.

Woodwork and other design details dating from the 1920s -- including original chandeliers; marble floors and walls; and handcrafted, inlay tile ceilings -- have been preserved and restored.

Over on Lake Pontchartrain, just across the city line, the new, 16-story New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway has opened with 220 rooms.

Rooms are the first in the New Orleans area to feature Marriott's Room That Works concept for business travelers. Rooms come with 32-inch plasma TVs that interface with laptops. There are connectivity panels for PDAs, DVDs and iPods.

Rooms feature bedding with 300-thread-count sheets, extra pillows, duvets and mattress toppers. Dining-wise, the Marriott is home to a French bistro, Bistro 38 by Dominique, and Perks, a cafe serving Starbucks coffees and products.

Back in New Orleans proper, Interstate Hotels and Resorts announced it is reflagging the 15-month-old Riverfront Hotel as the Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans.

The 202-room hotel is part of the $43 million Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans project and sits between the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and Harrah's New Orleans Casino.

To contact Destinations editor Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].

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