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Hyatt Regency New Orleans to Debut Two 25,000-Square-Foot
Ballrooms, The Empire Ballroom and The Celestin Ballroom,
as Part of its $275 Million Transformation

NEW ORLEANS, LA (August 23, 2011) – The iconic Hyatt Regency New Orleans furthers its extraordinary transformation with the debut of two, exquisite 25,000-square-foot ballrooms, The Empire Ballroom and The Celestin Ballroom, when the hotel opens on October 19, 2011. Both spaces combine lavish design with unprecented service and attention to detail. In the iconic hotel’s comprehensive $275 million redesign, award-winning interior design firm Looney & Associates in collaboration with HC Architecture bring their sophisticated vision to life in revitalizing the Downtown New Orleans hotel for local residents, as well as leisure and business travelers.

Principal designer Jim Looney says the city’s dynamic culture and rich history influenced many of the team’s decisions. “The interior design references the unique elements of the city’s architecture and redefines them,” adds Looney.  “Our goal was to create an overall design effect inspired by New Orleans jazz itself; an unmistakable cool, modern vibe.”

“We have achieved a truly spectacular transformation at Hyatt Regency New Orleans, and at the center of it all is our amazing Empire Ballroom, which is unlike anything you will find in city or likely the region,” says Michael Smith, General Manager. “With our sleek, contemporary design, incredible culinary offerings and unmatched level of service, we will set a new standard as the leading events destination in New Orleans.”

Positioned to be the new social center of New Orleans, the 25,000-square-foot Empire Ballroom is named for the  city’s own historic Empire Theater and fuses the city’s classic design heritage and culture with modern archictecture and sleek interiors. The room’s signature design elements include six glistening chandeliers made of Italian hand-blown glass teardrops, and five delicate candelabra fixtures lining the ballroom’s grand entryway that complement the traditional filigree motifs throughout. Offering an impressive sense of arrival unlike anywhere else in New Orleans, guests will marvel at the dramatic floating staircase leading to the 10,000-square-foot pre-function space adjacent to the ballroom. Upon entering the ballroom, rich shades of raspberry, mink and champagne truly bring the space to life. With its striking floor-to-ceiling glass windows and access to a private, outdoor terrace, The Empire Ballroom provides a distinguished atmosphere for social events year-round.

Named after famed American jazz musician Oscar “Papa” Celestin, The Celestin Ballroom  features a slightly different color palette with shades of sapphire, cerulean and silver. The architectural details include interlocking, bracelet-style custom woodwork with beveled mirrors that embellish both the walls and ceiling to showcase the ballroom’s twelve crystal chandeliers. Inspired by the elegance of French damask and New Orlean’s entwined streetways, the ballroom’s overall design truly captures the city’s design history. Both The Celestin and Empire Ballrooms can host events up to 3,000 guests.

Executive Chef Eric Damidot, who was most recently at Caesar’s Palace Las Vegas, will lead the culinary team in creating bespoke menus that feature custom dishes highlighting ingredients sourced from local purveyors alongside house baked breads and pastries. Chef Damidot brings incredible experience, fresh ideas, and gastronomic creativity to the New Orleans culinary scene. The hotel’s special events team brings 30 years of experience in the local market and across the country. With this pedigree, they will fully anticipate guests’ needs and work with them every step of the way to ensure each event is flawless and memorable.

As part of its $275 million transformation, the legendary hotel has doubled its meeting and event space to 200,000 square feet, the most of any hotel in the city, as well as the unique ability to self-contain group events of all sizes. The 32-story hotel’s 1,193 guestrooms and suites have also been completely revitalized, utilizing a color palette of warm gold and ivory envelope with berry accents and sapphire blue highlights. New modern lighting and plush carpeting showcase amenities such as ergonomic work stations, flat-screen televisions, wireless internet access, in-room refrigerators and pillow-top mattresses fitted with sumptuous linens. Guest baths feature new natural stone floors, backlit mirrors and plush towels. Local artwork adds bursts of color, but the best views remain those of downtown New Orleans.

The landmark hotel is now accepting event bookings for The Empire Ballroom and The Celestin Ballroom. For a personal tour or additional information, please call 504.587.4131.

About Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Hyatt Regency New Orleans will re-open on October 19, 2011 following a $275 million redesign and revitalization and feature 1,193 guest rooms and suites, 200,000 square feet of meeting and event space, expansive food and beverage offerings, and unprecedented service. Located downtown on Loyola Avenue, the hotel is adjacent to the Louisiana Superdome and anchors the vibrant Sports and Entertainment District. Hyatt Regency New Orleans borders the new Medical District, the Arts & Entertainment District and is just blocks from the French Quarter, Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the Mississippi Riverfront. For reservations and additional information, please call 888.591.1234 or visit

Emily Hottensen
Susan Magrino Agency
352 Park Avenue South, 13th Floor
New York, NY  10010
p: 212.957.3005 

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Also See: Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Shuttered Since Hurricane Katrina, Set to Open in October 2011 Following a $275 Million Redesign / May 2011

AREA Property Partners, formerly Apollo Real Estate Advisors, and Hyatt Undertaking a Multimillion Redevelopment of the 1,193-room Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Shuttered Since Hurricane Katrina / July 2010

Michael O. Smith, GM of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Stood Tall in the Chaos All Around Him / December 2005

Strategic Hotels & Resorts Completes Sell of the 1,184-room Hyatt Regency New Orleans to Poydras Properties Hotel Holdings Co. for $32 million / January 2008

Strategic Hotel Capital Estimates Hyatt Regency New Orleans Losses Due to Storm Damage and Lost Business Could Exceed $100 million; Discussing Public/private Partnership for the Renovation of the Hotel and its Immediate Neighborhood / October 2005

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