NEW ORLEANS, La. – Sir Richard Branson himself was on hand to celebrate the official opening of Virgin Hotels New Orleans.
Branson arrived on property, baton in hand, accompanied by the Marching 100, St. Augustine High School’s internationally acclaimed band, from nearby Lafayette Square.
Hotel owners Buccini/Pollin Group and Virgin Hotels New Orleans presented the school with a donation to help and support with damages sustained from Hurricane Ida, while Virgin Hotels CEO James Bermingham and Branson, Virgin Group founder, addressed the students.
“We’re glad to be part of this community and embrace the incredible spirit of New Orleans,” said Branson. “How wonderful it is to celebrate this beautiful new property and becoming part of the continued growth of one of the world’s most magical cities.”
After the marching parade arrived at Virgin Hotels New Orleans, Branson, Bermingham and Dave Pollin of Buccini/Pollin Group presided over a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Students and attendees received a native magnolia tree to plant from Common Ground Relief, whose Plant a Million Trees campaign aims to help the city and Gulf Coast communities build healthy, robust coastal wetlands.
With guest rooms ranging from 294 to 1,097 square feet in size, the hotel offers 238 chambers, grand chamber suites, a penthouse suite, and Richard’s Penthouse Flat, a 1,097-square-foot offering with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the eclectic downtown New Orleans.
Musical guests and performers including Ivan Neville and DJs Boyfriend, Logic, and Jodeci Juice showcased the hotel’s dining and entertainment spaces. Performances took place throughout the property—from the ground level Shag Room and Commons Club to the 13th floor Pool Club and Dreamboat.
The hotel also features a state-of-the-art fitness center on the third floor, open 24 hours a day, and 5,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space.
“Our excitement in opening Virgin Hotels New Orleans grows stronger each day that we get to witness the passion and pride New Orleanians feel for their hometown. The city’s welcoming spirit, lively entertainment, and incredible culinary experiences are all things we’re excited to bring to life at our hotel,” said Bermingham.