Even before the famed Roosevelt New Orleans officially opens in June this year, its luxurious rooms already are attracting lots of attention in one of the most unlikely locations: the main lobby of New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong International Airport.
The downtown New Orleans hotel, which is undergoing a $145-million historic restoration as a Waldorf Astoria Collection property, has faithfully recreated one of its well-appointed guest rooms in a former retail location in the airport’s 1950s-era main terminal. Complete with everything a Roosevelt New Orleans guest will experience when the hotel opens this summer – minus the bathroom, of course – the model room is seen by thousands of travelers and visitors every day, thanks to its location at the intersection of concourses C and D and adjacent to the bustling ticket and check-in terminal.
“This is the first time an actual hotel guest room has been set up in the New Orleans airport. One of the most exciting aspects about this campaign is the partnership between the airport and The Roosevelt to promote New Orleans tourism from a different perspective,” said Mark Wilson, director of sales and marketing for the hotel. “The era of grandeur and elegance is being reborn in New Orleans with the return of The Roosevelt New Orleans, so we wanted to give visitors and the general public a preview of the luxury they’ll experience when they visit us.”
Marked with a red carpet and signage bearing The Roosevelt’s distinctive “R” logo, the room, visible through a clear wall, features a king-size bed, a desk, tables, chairs, a dresser and other items straight from the hotel’s collection of furniture destined for actual guest rooms. Approximately 80 percent of the hotel’s 504 rooms will feature king-size beds, and 135 will be luxury suites, some named for celebrities who once visited the hotel.
“To create the space, we brought in the same carpenters, electricians and other craftsmen who are restoring the hotel,” Wilson said. “We told them, ‘Build a Roosevelt New Orleans guest room right on this spot,’ and they did in two days. It’s so authentic that every time I see it I want to ‘check in’ and enjoy the luxury myself.”
The room will remain at the airport through June.
The hotel, shuttered since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, originally opened in 1893 as the Grunewald. In 1923, it was rebranded as The Roosevelt in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt and retained its distinctive moniker until the hotel changed hands in 1965 and was renamed The Fairmont.
Returning to The Roosevelt New Orleans are the Blue Room, legendary with locals, visitors and celebrities, offering Sunday brunch and regular entertainment and available for receptions; and the Sazerac Bar, again serving its signature Sazerac and Ramos Gin Fizz cocktails. The hotel will feature nearly 60,000 square feet of event and meeting space, including three spectacular ballrooms and 23 distinctive meeting and event rooms that span two floors; a 12,000-square-foot Guerlain Spa; John Besh’s new Domenica Restaurant; and more.