Renovation Report: Pool highlights $3M upgrade to The Windsor Court
Jaime Guillet, Contributing Writer//August 9, 2023
Photos courtesy Ryan Gootee General Contractors
Project description: Fourth floor renovations including pool
Address: 300 Gravier St., New Orleans, LA 70130
Owner: Windsor Court Hotel Partners LLC
Contractor: Ryan Gootee General Contractors LLC
Space: 12,932 square feet
Cost: $3 million
Start date: January 2023
Completion date: May 2023
The renovated pool has been cooling guests and locals alike at The Windsor Court this summer as the crown jewel of the hotel’s most recent renovation wrapped up.
Airy and open — guest rooms now with a splendid pool panorama — these updated qualities are the result of The Windsor Court’s most recent, $3-million fourth-floor renovations, says Isabella Marciante, marketing and communications manager for the hotel. The fourth-floor renovation, begun in January 2023, includes the pool and pool deck, revamped meeting rooms, and an expanded fitness center.
“I feel like the pool has been taking a lot of our attention because it’s been summer so that has sort of been our focus, but I think just everything done at once and just having this brand new space — it’s a big part of the public space for the hotel — it’s really nice,” Marciante said. “Half of the hotel overlooks part of the pool so it’s obviously looking down and giving people something pretty to look at. I really like the way that the pool and the umbrellas look … from like a guest’s perspective from a room. I think it adds like a nice element of luxury.”
Consideration for the pool included not just aesthetics but also details that would make the deck more efficient, she said.
“We purposefully made the ground tiles brighter so that it would be a stone that would dry faster so that way, when it rains, it dries quickly (and) people aren’t reminded unfortunately of our weather and sometimes the way that it is. Things like that,” Marciante said.
EskewDumezRipple designed the 12,932-square-foot renovation; Ryan Gootee General Contractors LLC conducted the build out. The pool area renovation accommodates an attendant’s station, new landscaping, new pool bathrooms, new paver tile, four private cabanas, and added air-conditioned storage for hotel operations. The pool has new bluestone coping, slate waterline tile, new plaster, a seating ledge, and all new equipment to accommodate repairs to the hotel’s saltwater pool.
The fitness center and meeting rooms renovation is about giving the guests a “very brand new” space, said Marciante. The upgraded meeting rooms received new millwork, new operable partitions, new architectural lighting and accent lighting, which help to make the space feel “a lot more airy and open,” she said.
“The ceilings in there used to be really low and … they raised ceilings so the space feels a lot bigger,” Marciante said. “They even took the doors and made them eye level so now you can see out and into the pool. It’s an inside space, which is important being in Louisiana it’s so hot, but it gives you the feeling of not being stuffed inside. They also picked colors that are a bit brighter, so again, it just makes it feel a little more open.”
The fitness center was expanded to accommodate a movement and stretching area, custom millwork ceilings and accents, new equipment, and an expanded amenity center for hotel guests.
“The fitness center is awesome. We actually knocked down a wall that was part of a bathroom and we added space to do free weights or cardio. It made the fitness center significantly bigger,” described Marciante. “Between new equipment, a bigger space, brand new floors — it’s very elevated. I’m biased, but it’s the nicest hotel fitness center I’ve been in.”
Marciante says this most recent fourth-floor beautification effort is part of the company’s method of continuously updating. It also is an acceleration of a slate of renovations put on hold during the pandemic, she said.
“They were really eager to get that space re-done and as developed as possible, probably for a few years now, but you know the world stopped obviously with the pandemic,” said Marciante. “We just finished the presidential suite and the goal was to finish the fourth floor and then ultimately — I don’t know if it is going to get done before the Super Bowl — hopefully parts of the lobby and the rooms is also a new deadline helping to urge the new series of projects.”
The James J. Coleman Jr. Presidential Suite renovation, completed in December 2022, was another complete reworking of the 2,780-square-foot space with, among other changes: drywall coming down; custom, herringbone wood floor placed in common spaces; custom carpet in bedrooms; and natural marble added in the bathrooms. Now, with the new fourth floor update, it just adds that much more to the customer experience, said Marciante.
“I think we have everything laid out so everything is very streamlined: our spa is on the fourth floor, the pool is there, the fitness center — it is all very convenient to get to everything, and again with all of that being brand new and renovated, I think the guests can appreciate just being in a fresh space,” she said.