01 May The Higgins Hotel New Orleans on Premier Hospitality
The landmark property of The National WWII Museum, The Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton has opened, featuring atmospheric 1940s-inspired design and amenities.
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 Curia Collection by Hilton, and all proceeds generated will support the ongoing educational mission of the museum.
As an extension of the museum, the hotel sits directly on the campus of the city’s tap 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 artefacts from the institution’s extensive collection to incorporate into the property’s aesthetic.
Among these artefacts 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 wham the hotel is named.
Kay Lang of Kay Lang+ Associates said: “The hotel is a nine-storey classic Art Deco style building with stone base cladding and stepped facades. The client gave us freedom to come up with our own ideas, but they liked the idea of an Art Deco inspired building, so we developed the interiors to compliment the exteriors in keeping with the WWII period theme.”
The hotel is a nine-storey classic Art Deco style building with stone base cladding and stepped facades. The client gave us freedom to come up with our own ideas, but they liked the idea of an Art Deco inspired building, so we developed the interiors to compliment the exteriors in keeping with the WWII period theme.
The Lobby Grande Mural was custom created by the celebrated art deco style artist M. Kungl. The large focal mural features factory wartime industry workers in a patriotic and celebratory fashion with a nod to New Orleans in the skyline.
She added that design highlights include a bespoke Art Deco 14m high chandelier in the entrance lobby, together with 6m high sconces with glass beads and warm amber coloured glass.
“Flanking the entry on either side below a re notable images of New Orleans life during the 40s and at the end of the war, as well as soldiers from various branches. The Lobby Grande Mural was custom created by celebrated art deco style Artist M. Kungl. The large focal mural features factory wartime industry workers in a patriotic and celebratory fashion with a nod to New Orleans in the skyline.”
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.
The hotel’s signature restaurant. Cafe Normandie, offers a menu of rustic French cuisine influenced by New Orleans’ rich culinary style and history. Kay Lang commented: “This space features custom-designed chairs with fleur de lis embroidery on the back. The banquette dining tables are also custom designed, featuring a digital print of the world on the table tops. The focal point of this space is the large mural on the back wall of the beaches of Normandy – hand finished vinyl in a watercolour style by DAC Art.”
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. Kay Lang said: “Kilroy’s Bar & Lounge is an homage to the graffiti art ‘Kilroy was here’ made famous by soldiers doodles during the war. ft features ‘fun’ elements such as table lamps made to resemble USAF M3 FLAK helmets,B-25 Mitchell Bomber chandeliers, and even a vintage ‘Willys MB’ Jeep Hood with the infamous doodle painted onto it by a local New Orleans Artist.”
Up at Rosie’s on the Roof – the rooftop bar designed to pay tribute to the hardworking 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.
Kay Lang concluded: “We have been receiving wonderful feedback from clients and everyone who visited the hotel. They say they love it.
“It has been an amazing experience for us and we feel very lucky and honoured to have had an opportunity to work on this project.”