Behind the design of Louisiana’s first Curio Collection hotel

The National WWII Museum has opened its landmark hotel property, The Higgins Hotel New Orleans, Curio Collection by Hilton. Located in the Arts and Warehouse District of New Orleans, the hotel has 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 an Art Deco design. 

The hotel is the first in the state of Louisiana to be part of Hilton's Curio Collection soft brand. 

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 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 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. 

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 US servicemembers. Guests’ eyes are then drawn to the grand chandelier and the lobby’s centerpiece — a mural by Art Deco Artist Michael Kungl depicting wartime factory workers set on the backdrop of the New Orleans skyline. Off the lobby, there is a bronze staircase, complemented by handmade glass recreations of 40 of the most commonly awarded medals and ribbons of World War II. Throughout the hotel, there are additional nods to the time period, including preserved letters from the war and rare, colorized photos displaying diverse servicemembers contributing to the wartime effort

There are 230 rooms and suites located from the third to eighth floors, and all has era-inspired artwork that showcases various scenes from both the American Home Front and the war overseas. 

The three Presidential Suites were 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 balconies showcasing views of New Orleans, while the Roosevelt Suite’s floor-to-ceiling windows frame The National WWII Museum. 

For dining, the property has Café Normandie, Kilroy’s lobby bar, and Up at Rosie’s on the Roof (the rooftop bar designed to pay tribute to the women who developed weaponry, transportation vehicles and supplies during the war).

For events, the property has 18,000 square feet of space and 14 function spaces.

Additional guest amenities include a fitness center and an executive lounge.

Photo credit: The Higgins Hotel New Orleans