Hotel Business Magazine, hotelbusiness.com | The Newspaper For Lodging Decision Makers

NewcrestImage to Open AC Hotels by Marriott in New Orleans

Tuesday December 17th, 2013 - 11:02AM


NEW ORLEANS—Newcrest Image is rebranding the historic Cotton Exchange Hotel in New Orleans to AC Hotels by Marriott, which will be accompanied by a $10-million renovation.

“We are transforming a historic hotel into a new, hip and urban environment,” said Mehul Patel, chairman and CEO of NewcrestImage.  “Every detail, from the design to the service, will provide our guests with a memorable travel experience that is unique and authentic.”

According to Patel, the property will bring together a sleek, sophisticated, cosmopolitan look with the latest in technology and amenities—all while respecting the location’s heritage and character as a designated National Historic Landmark.   

“New Orleans is a vibrant destination that is ideal to help us establish the AC Hotels by Marriott experience on this side of the Atlantic,” said Callette Nielsen, VP, AC Hotels by Marriott. “The historic building will have a wow factor in its own right, and we are thrilled to help launch the next exciting chapter of this unique hotel.” 

NewcrestImage is scheduled to start renovation during the first quarter of 2014, with completion expected within six months.    

The enhanced hotel will feature 220 rooms, 3,000 sq. ft. of meeting space, a rooftop pool and a library that serves as a business center.  In the lobby, the AC Lounge will offer guests a full breakfast buffet, then later during the day it will serve small food plates and beverages, including cocktails, craft beers and fine wines.   

The AC Hotels by Marriott concept was launched in Europe in 2011 as a joint venture between Marriott International and Spain’s AC Hotels.  The brand has a portfolio of nearly 80 hotels in Spain, Italy, Portugal and France, which together have almost 8,500 rooms.

Earlier this year, Marriott International announced its plans to import AC Hotels by Marriott to the United States and the New Orleans property will be among the country’s first sites for the brand.

NewcrestImage acquired the Cotton Exchange Hotel in June of 2013 for $17.8 million, purchasing it out of foreclosure through a sealed bid process. 

Currently, Dallas-based NewcrestImage owns and operates 16 hotel properties, with five properties under construction and another two real estate properties in various stages of development.