WHY IT RATES: An extension of the National WWII Museum itself, The Higgins Hotel New Orleans tastefully transports guests back to another era, with Art Deco and period-inspired architecture, aesthetics, artifacts and artwork. Luxurious accommodations and events spaces come equipped with all modern amenities, and fine dining options are fit to rival any of the city’s celebrated eateries. — Laurie Baratti, TravelPulse Associate Writer
The National WWII Museum today announced the official opening of its landmark hotel property The Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton. Located in the blossoming Arts and Warehouse District in New Orleans, the hotel features 230 rooms, four dining outlets—including the city’s newest rooftop bar—and 18,000 square feet of meeting and event space, all set with a tasteful Art Deco design.
The Hotel is the first in the state of Louisiana to be part of the exclusive Curio Collection by Hilton, and all proceeds generated will support the ongoing educational mission of the Museum.
“We are thrilled to open the doors of The Higgins Hotel,” said Stephen J. Watson, President & CEO of The National WWII Museum. “With its amazing restaurants and one-of-a-kind historical experiences for guests, we truly believe the Hotel will become a notable destination within the Arts and Warehouse District.”
As an extension of the Museum, the Hotel sits directly on the campus of the city’s top attraction and tells the story of World War II through the unique lens of design, decor, era-inspired menus and entertainment. Architectural firm Nichols Brosch Wurst Wolfe & Associates gave the Hotel its 1940s-themed details, drawing inspiration not only from the time period but also from Art Deco buildings found in New Orleans.
Kay Lang + Associates led the interior design of the hotel while working alongside Museum curators to hand-select artifacts from the institution’s extensive collection to incorporate into the property’s aesthetic. Among these artifacts are General George S. Patton’s piano; the Higgins Boat Trophy, which was presented to General Arthur Trudeau for his service in the Amphibian Command; and a 1943 portrait of Andrew Jackson Higgins, for whom the Hotel is named.
“Today marks an exciting moment, as Curio Collection opens in one of America’s most famed cities, recognized for its unique cuisine, lively music scene and diverse communities,” said Jenna Hackett, Global Head, Curio Collection by Hilton. “The Higgins Hotel provides guests with outstanding amenities that Curio Collection properties are known for with its thoughtful design, decadent food and beverage offerings, and powerful mission, providing guests easy access to a fantastic, historic museum attached to the Hotel.”
Breathtaking Entry and Refined Accommodations
Upon entry, guests are transported back in time with photos depicting life in New Orleans during the war, and custom acrylic prints of the Medal of Honor, the highest award given to U.S. servicemembers. Guests’ eyes are then drawn to the grand chandelier and the lobby’s centerpiece—a mural by celebrated Art Deco Artist Michael Kungl depicting wartime factory workers set on the backdrop of the New Orleans skyline.
Just off the lobby lies an impressive bronze staircase, complemented by handmade glass recreations of 40 of the most commonly awarded medals and ribbons of World War II. Throughout the hotel, guests enjoy a truly immersive experience by discovering additional nods to the time period, including preserved letters from the war and rare, colorized photos displaying diverse servicemembers contributing to the wartime effort.
The hotel’s 230 rooms and suites are located from the third to eighth floors and feature era-inspired artwork that showcases various scenes from both the American Home Front and the war overseas. For a more elevated experience, guests can opt for one of three Presidential Suites, each named and themed after WWII-era presidents Truman, Eisenhower and Roosevelt.
The Suites are located on the eighth floor and offer upwards of 1,000 square feet of residential-style living space featuring a master bedroom, en suite bathroom with a soaking tub and walk-in shower, kitchenette and dining area. The Eisenhower and Truman Suites both have large balconies showcasing picturesque views of New Orleans, while the stately Roosevelt Suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows beautifully frame The National WWII Museum.
The hotel also features an electronic guest directory, which incorporates a tablet and CRAVE technology to show up-to-date information about on-property events, dining and other amenities offered by both the Museum and the hotel. The bedside tablet even allows for in-room dining and other guest services to be ordered at the touch of a button.
Under the supervision of Executive Chef Virgile Brandel, dining at The Higgins Hotel rivals the best of New Orleans, which is renowned for its enchanting cuisine. The signature restaurant, Café Normandie, offers a menu of rustic French cuisine influenced by New Orleans’ rich culinary style and history. The worldly charm of the restaurant is anchored by a large hand-finished vinyl mural showcasing the beaches of Normandy.
For a more intimate dining experience, Café Normandie offers Sainte-Mère-Église Private Dining Room steeped in French glamour, from its polished nickel and brass to provincial style furnishings, all beautifully lit by an exquisite chandelier. During the holidays, guests can experience a classic New Orleans Reveillon menu with standouts like boudin stuffed turkey breast served with skillet collard greens and tasso ham.
Kilroy’s is the Hotel’s lobby bar, where WWII history enthusiasts enjoy a tribute to the iconic American wartime cartoon character, Kilroy, who brought levity and joy during difficult times and is depicted throughout the bar’s decor. Guests can relax in an aviator-style chair with entree options like a “Kilroy Was Here” Hamburger, which features an eight-ounce special meat blend patty topped with smoked bacon, Tomme cheese, a specialty comeback sauce and pickles all sandwiched between a fresh-baked Brioche bun.
Also located in the lobby is Provisions, where guests can stop in for fresh, grab-and-go homemade baked goods, coffee and other snacks.
Up at Rosie’s on the Roof—the rooftop bar designed to pay tribute to the hard-working women who developed weaponry, transportation vehicles and supplies from the Home Front—guests can take in panoramic views of the Museum and the New Orleans skyline while sipping craft cocktails. A must-try is “The Riveter,” a rum cocktail created for two people and served in a vintage canteen, similar to the one Rosie and other riveters would bring to work every day.
Meeting and Event Spaces
With 18,000 square feet of event space, the hotel’s second floor is ideal for meetings, corporate gatherings and social events. From sophisticated boardrooms to versatile meeting areas and an elegant ballroom, the hotel offers 14 spaces ideal for any function. Experienced onsite meetings and event planners are available to create a truly one-of-a-kind experience, inclusive of customized catering menus, decor and the latest audio-visual equipment.
The conference center will also become a home for many of the Museum’s educational programs, including The International Conference on World War II and various symposia, which will live-stream directly to guest rooms and public spaces. Kilroy’s, as well as Rosie’s on the Roof, are also available for private events, receptions or parties.
As the official hotel of The National WWII Museum, The Higgins Hotel also provides meeting planners with seamless, coordinated access to the Museum’s own venue spaces, offering even more unique options to make any event unforgettable.
Additional premier guest amenities include a fully-equipped third-floor fitness center outfitted with state-of-the-art cardiovascular machines, free weights and CrossFit equipment. The Patriots Circle is an executive lounge exclusive to Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members, as well as the Museum’s Patriots Circle Members who are staying at the hotel. The lounge will offer daily breakfast and snacks, and experiences such as interactive sessions led by famed historians and curators.
With the hotel located in the Arts and Warehouse District, guests will have many attractions to explore nearby. The neighborhood is home to more than 25 art galleries and a variety of museums, including the Contemporary Arts Center, Ogden Museum of Southern Art and Louisiana Civil War Museum. A ride on the historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar line provides guests with access to some of the city’s most beautiful homes, the Central Business District, Audubon Park and the French Quarter.
The Higgins Hotel is now accepting reservations. Travelers can be among the first to experience this fine hotel with a special opening offer that includes accommodations and daily breakfast, plus a two-day Museum pass for each adult registered to the room. To learn more about The Higgins Hotel, or to make a reservation, visit higginshotelnola.com or call 504-528-1941. Follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
For more information, visit higginshotelnola.com.
SOURCE: Higgins Hotel New Orleans press release.
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