NewcrestImage to Begin $10M Renovation of Historic New Orleans' Cotton Exchange Hotel


NEW ORLEANS, LA - DECEMBER 18, 2013: One of Europe's hottest hotel concepts is coming to the United States with the renovation and rebranding by NewcrestImage of the historic Cotton Exchange Hotel in New Orleans. The company is investing $10 million to make this property among the first in the country to operate under the AC Hotels by Marriott brand.

"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 the best in amenities -- all while respecting the location's unique 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, Vice President 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.

"The French Quarter is one of the country's oldest urban neighborhoods, known for its artistic ambience and its European-influenced architecture," added Patel. "The rebranding will capture this special local style and spirit to enhance and elevate a guest's stay."

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.