W Hotels Celebrates the Reopening of Its Two New Orleans Hotels, W New Orleans and W French Quarter

NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 23 /PRNewswire/ — W Hotels Worldwide, the fastest growing luxury hotel brand, celebrates today the re-opening of its two New Orleans hotels — the W New Orleans and the W French Quarter — just in time for the Mardi Gras festivities.

As a result of Hurricane Katrina, the hotels suffered wind and water damage to guest rooms, public space and corridors. Over the past six months, General Managers Marcus Reinders (W New Orleans) and Leon Young (W French Quarter) worked with W’s design team to get the properties back to their original state, including replacing fixtures, repainting and repairing new elevators damaged by water.

Throughout the recovery experience, both hotels upheld the brand’s Whatever/Whenever philosophy by providing housing for approximately 650 guests, associates and family members as well as working news media. When all electricity was lost, a generator at W New Orleans powered up emergency lighting. Marcus Reinders’ staff managed to rig some of the power so they could provide warm meals and cool the Great Room (ballroom that housed everyone) with large fans. The staff also secured large tanks of water until late October when the city water was safe to drink again.

“When devastating events like Katrina hit, we discover a new level of leadership and determination,” said Ross Klein, President of W Hotels. “We are extremely proud of Marcus and Leon, and the entire W team in New Orleans for their strength and spirit.”

Starwood Hotels & Resorts, parent company of W Hotels, manages other properties in the area including the Four Points by Sheraton New Orleans Airport and the 1,100 room Sheraton New Orleans, which is providing housing for several hundred police officers and 400 fire department officials, FBI agents, Homeland Security, Red Cross, Salvation Army, emergency medical personnel and other local officials.

The 423-room W New Orleans, located at 333 Poydras Street, features an award-winning restaurant Zoe and Rande Gerber’s Whiskey Blue bar. The 98-room W French Quarter at 316 Chartres Street, is home to Bacco, indulging guests and locals in Italian cuisine with a distinctive New Orleans flair. Both hotels offer travelers from all around the world a hotel experience that lives up to the city’s electrifying reputation.

About W Hotels

W Hotels is a global lifestyle brand with 20 properties in vibrant cities around the world. Each hotel offers a unique mix of innovative design, unparalleled comfort and its own cultural influences from fashion to music to art and everything in between. Recent openings include W’s first property in Asia, W Seoul – Walkerhill, and its first property in Canada, W Montreal. Residence properties, offering the W lifestyle at home, have been announced for Las Vegas, Dallas, Fort Lauderdale, Scottsdale, Phoenix, South Beach, Hollywood and Hoboken. Internationally, the brand has announced plans for properties in Barcelona, Hong Kong Shanghai, Vieques and the Maldives. For more information, please visit http://www.whotels.com/.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with approximately 850 properties in more than 95 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood(R) Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels and resorts with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis(R), The Luxury Collection(R), Sheraton(R), Westin(R), Four Points(R) by Sheraton, W(R), Le Meridien and the recently announced Aloft(SM). Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

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