Earlier this summer, Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson took to The Big Easy to celebrate the groundbreaking of Virgin Hotels New Orleans. The occasion signified the brand’s 7th property in addition to the existing Chicago and San Francisco locations, the soon-to-open Virgin Hotels Dallas, and under construction Virgin Hotels New York, Las Vegas, Edinburgh, and Nashville (which CRE has the pleasure of working on as well).
Local New Orleans interior design firm Logan Killen Interiors are designing the hotel to incorporate a Southern residential feel while combining colorful, tropical architectural motifs with Virgin’s signature style of fun and smart. The hotel will feel more like one’s home away from home than another city hotel. Common spaces like the lush rooftop pool deck and the Jazz Age-inspired Commons Club inspire curiosity and exploration around every turn.
As the season comes to an end, we caught up with CRE project manager David Summerfield to get a progress update on the procurement process for Virgin Hotels New Orleans.
What is the inspiration behind the design of the hotel in your opinion?
The overall design celebrates the spirit, music, art and cuisine of New Orleans all while having a personalized touch by Virgin to create that unique and welcoming experience for guests.
Were there any brand standards that were followed during this project?
Like all of the other locations, Virgin Hotels New Orleans features the brand’s charismatic and contemporary style alongside ample communal space and a signature restaurant. Similar to Nashville, the new-build hotel will feature over 200 chambers, the brand’s take on guestrooms, the Commons Club, the brand’s flagship space, a rooftop pool and lounge, gym, and dedicated meeting and event spaces.
Can you breakdown the FF&E installation process?
The model room installation is in currently in progress. All model room FF&E is being delivered directly to the project site and stored until the construction is complete and ready to install the FF&E. All FF&E has gone through an approval process to ensure each piece is made to its specification. There is a team on site to handle all deliveries and review the condition of the items once they’ve been received. When the site is complete, all FF&E will be installed, and there will be a review of all FF&E to ensure each piece meets the brands standards.
What is the biggest challenge you’re facing during this project?
The biggest challenge right now is the coordination of all the different FF&E pieces. Because the design has so many exceptional spaces, there are a great deal of unique items that need to be procured.
How are you working to overcome this challenge?
It is crucial to stay in constant communication with the entire project team to ensure everybody is on the same page and expectations are clear.
Is there anything else unique about the project that you’d like to mention?
There are many unique aspects of the project. I especially like that there are so many different spaces and areas to enjoy throughout the hotel. The roof deck is awesome in that it will allow guests to sit back and relax while overlooking the entire city of New Orleans. I’m really looking forward to the completion of this incredible hotel.