Virgin Hotels New Orleans opens its doors

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T1018BRANSONNEWORLEANS_C_HR [Credit: Linka Odom/Virgin Hotels New Orleans]
Presiding over the hotel's ribbon-cutting were, from left, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson, Virgin Hotels CEO James Bermingham and Buccini/Pollin Group founder Dave Pollin. Photo Credit: Linka Odom/Virgin Hotels New Orleans

The Virgin Hotels New Orleans has opened, marking its debut with a celebration attended by Virgin Group founder Richard Branson.  

Branson donned a St. Augustine High School marching band uniform for the occasion and led the band as an honorary drum major.

"We're glad to be part of this community and embrace the incredible spirit of New Orleans," Branson said in a statement. "How wonderful it is to celebrate this beautiful new property and becoming part of the continued growth of one of the world's most magical cities." 

The hotel features 238 guestrooms, ranging from 294 square-foot "chambers" to the 1,097 square-foot Richard's Penthouse Flat with floor-to-ceiling windows. 

The property also has a 13th-floor bar, a coffee shop, a rooftop pool and the Commons Club, the brand's flagship restaurant. 

Buccini/Pollin Group and Virgin Hotels New Orleans presented St. Augustine High School with a donation to help with damages to the building sustained from Hurricane Ida, while the students and other attendees received a native magnolia tree to plant from Common Ground Relief, whose Plant a Million Trees campaign aims to help the city and Gulf Coast communities restore coastal wetlands.

Branson along with Virgin Hotels CEO James Bermingham and Dave Pollin, co-founder and president of Buccini/Pollin Group, the hotel's owners, presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Oct. 8.

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