Hilton continues with renovations at downtown hotels

February 27 2012 | Latest News
As the Hilton continues its revovations the DoubleTree begins its...

February 24, 2012
Richard Webster, CityBusiness

Two Hilton hotels in downtown New Orleans are undergoing major renovations.

The Hilton Riverside is in the midst of a $15 million overhaul. The 576 guest rooms in its high-rise tower were renovated last year, and the remaining 590 rooms should be completed by year’s end, general manager Fred Sawyers said.

The DoubleTree, at 300 Canal St., is undergoing more than $1 million in renovations.

As part of the Riverside makeover, Hilton is removing mini-bars from guestrooms and replacing them with mini-refrigerators. Mini-bars typically don’t have everything the guest wants and the prices can be exorbitant, Sawyers said. Installing refrigerators allows visitors to purchase and store their own goods.

The Hilton Riverside also converted a second-floor gift shop into a marketplace where guests can purchase beer, wine, liquor, sandwiches, salads and locally-produced foods.

“People also wanted refrigerators for medical needs,” Sawyers said. “As the population gets older, more people travel with medicine that needs to be refrigerated and the mini-bars aren’t cold enough.”

Next year the Hilton Riverside plans to spend close to $4 million renovating its grand ballroom and building 9,000 square feet of new meeting space.

At the DoubleTree, Hilton is adding 37-inch flat screen televisions to its 367 guest rooms and renovating the corridors on all nine floors. King beds will be installed in 60 rooms, bringing the total to 138 king bed rooms.

The DoubleTree is also renovating its International and Crescent ballrooms.