As we reported back in 2013, the Cotton Exchange will be rebranded as an AC Hotels by Marriott hotel in October, marking the European brand’s entry into the U.S. hotel market. New Orleans was a natural choice for the brand. According to Melisa Kennedy, general manager of The Cotton Exchange, Marriott was searching for a city with strong European influences, “New Orleans has that strong European presence already here.”
Marriott has a $12 million renovation planned for The Cotton Exchange, though a few historical elements from the hotel will be preserved including its tiled lobby, marble archway, and original glass windows.
The renovated hotel will have an urban feel and be marketed to millennials while still holding true to its European roots. The design is inspired by fashion center Milan, Italy, and dough for croissants served at the hotel will be shipped from France. Visitors to the hotel lounge will be treated to European style small-plates, draft wine, local beers, and craft cocktails.
Founded by Antonia Catalan, AC Hotels joined Marriot in 2011 and operates hotels in more than 72 locations in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. The company plans to increase its U.S presence with hotels in Kansas City and Miami arriving this year and early next year. Over the next three years, the U.S. and Latin America can expect 30 new AC Hotels.