The jazz-inspired rooms have bright yellow accent walls, murals depicting close-ups of a French horn, and bow-tie-shaped throw pillows, while the voodoo rooms have a blue palette and tarot card-based artwork. Those who know where to look will notice tons of similar references throughout the property—pin-shaped lights in the landings inspired by voodoo stick pins, hallway walls emblazoned with tarot figures, famous voodoo mistress Marie Laveau's eyes set above the room numbers—but it's all done with style in mind, not theme parks.
(And with all the W-branded items in the rooms, from the mini-bar on up, you'll never forget where you are.) Rooms have also been upgraded with 40-inch plasma TVs, and a new SWEAT gym has been added to the facilities.
Design-wise, one of the most striking spaces in the new place is the ground-level SoBou restaurant, recently named one of the best new eateries in America by Esquire magazine. The theme here plays on another New Orleans pastime—drinking—with various interpretations of mixology: the front area references old French Quarter apothecaries, display cases hold vintage bar tools and shakers, and the main dining room has a gorgeous wall of back-lit glass bottles.
Even better, tables near the curved brass bar have built-in beer taps, and are flanked by self-service wine dispensing machines. Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez has designed the eats to pair with the creative cocktail menu, which is overseen by "Bar Chefs" Lu Brow and Abigail Gullo. The latter was imported from Brooklyn but, with her vintage dresses and sassy banter, she—like the hotel—feels thoroughly NO.
Rates start at around $249/night.
We stayed here as a guest of the hotel while on assignment for another publication, but all opinions are entirely our own.
[Photos: W Hotels]