New Orleans, LA (November 8, 2013) - HRI Lodging, as Operator, and Carey Watermark Investors Incorporated (CWI), as Owner,  have completed a $3.5 million renovation of the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD, announced Gary Gutierrez, president of HRI Lodging.

"It is encouraging that we have a great partner in CWI who continues to show confidence in the New Orleans market," said Gutierrez. "The renovation positions the hotel to take advantage of the high demand generated by the multitude of annual special events in the city."

CWI completed a joint venture investment of approximately $22.8 million in the hotel in June, 2012. The Hilton Garden Inn French Quarter/CBD was the second investment CWI made with HRI Properties, the original developer. In 2011, CWI closed on a joint venture investment of approximately $45.7 million to acquire, renovate, and rebrand the Chateau Bourbon Hotel.  HRI had originally converted the hotel from the historic D.H. Holmes building into the Chateau Bourbon Hotel in 1995.  In May of 2012, the completely renovated property opened as the Hyatt French Quarter.

Updates to the Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD include new furniture, carpet, bathrooms and halls for each guest room and a total freshening of the lobby as part of the Hilton Garden Inn brand's Project Grow program.

Project Grow is an innovative refresh initiative across Hilton Garden Inn's portfolio of hotels. The initiative seeks to make the lobby a destination of interaction for guests to both work and relax.  Project Grow features a nature-inspired design in all guest rooms and public areas.

The hotel's new lobby design showcases the panoramic 11th-floor view of the Central Business District. New features that tie in to the Project Grow initiative include open flow for guest interaction, signature pendant lighting and lanterns, planters with live interior plants, signature garden carts and garden tables showcasing the hotel's food and beverage offerings, communal breakfast and bar tables, and focal pieces above the fireplace featuring signature artwork exclusive to Hilton Garden Inn.

Kristi Taglauer, a graduate of the University of New Orleans' Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism program, was appointed general manager of the property two years ago and led the hotel's renovation project along with HRIL's team of project managers.

"The goal of Project Grow is to make our lobby a place where people can work and relax together in the same common area," Taglauer said. "The open design and new amenities encourage interaction between guests, and the garden décor reflects the Hilton Garden Inn's identity as a brand," she added.

CWI's Hilton Garden Inn New Orleans French Quarter/CBD offers 155 rooms and about 2,000 square feet of meeting space. The property was developed in 2004 by HRI as a conversion from an empty office building originally constructed in 1956 in the International Style. The hotel is located on Gravier Street in the Central Business District just two blocks from the historic French Quarter and half a block away from the St. Charles streetcar line. Guests can enjoy a heated rooftop pool and fitness center with panoramic views of downtown as well as complimentary WiFi throughout the hotel and a 24-hour Business Center. 

About HRI Lodging

HRI Lodging, Inc. (HRIL) is one of the 50 largest hotel management companies in the U.S. with a current portfolio of 16 hotels and resorts spanning the continental U.S. By building alliances with major domestic and international investment firms, the organization pursues a dual mode growth strategy of managing independent, boutique properties as well as partnering with industry leading brands, including Marriott, Hilton, Hyatt and Starwood. HRI Lodging is the hotel management division of New Orleans-based HRI Properties, a full-service real estate development company and a national leader in the adaptive reuse of historic structures. HRI's mission is:  Revitalizing Cities by Creating Diverse, Vibrant and Sustainable Communities.

Contact: Brett Forshag - VP, Sales & Marketing

bforshag@hriproperties.com / 504-585-1902

About Carey Watermark Investors

Carey Watermark Investors Incorporated (CWI) is a publicly registered non-traded real estate investment trust (REIT) that was formed to make investments primarily in the lodging and lodging-related sectors. Affiliates of W. P. Carey Inc. (NYSE: WPC) and Watermark Capital Partners advise CWI and manage its overall portfolio. www.careywatermark.com

Contact: Tom Long - Thomas Long Corporate Communications

tom@thomaslong.net / 504-283-8522 or 504-669-3030 (cell)

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