NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The award-winning and luxurious The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel celebrated the spirit of the holidays with the long-awaited lighting of the Waldorf Wonderland in the hotel’s lobby on Tuesday, Nov. 29.The New Orleans holiday tradition featured this year’s honorary lobby lighter, the Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas who, with the flip of a switch, ignited the New Orleans holiday season, dazzling the Roosevelt lobby with thousands of sparkling lights. 

“Being part of this beloved New Orleans holiday tradition was an honor and a pleasure,” said Mrs. Thomas. “Serving as this year’s lobby lighter for the iconic Roosevelt Hotel was an unexpected opportunity and an unforgettable experience. You could almost feel the holiday spirit ripple through the lobby as it lit up with thousands of lights. It was magical.”

A Grammy-winning R&B singer whose career spans 60 years, Mrs. Thomas joins the ranks of accomplished hosts for the annual lobby lighting, including musician Trombone Shorty, the family of the late Fats Domino, Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the cast of NCIS New Orleans. 

“Irma Thomas is a legend and a great friend of our hotel, and it is our good fortune to have her here to light up the lobby, signaling the official start of the holiday season in New Orleans,” said Tod Chambers, general manager, The Roosevelt New Orleans. “The magic of the holidays really comes alive at The Roosevelt. It’s heartwarming to see so many people here, taking family photos and enjoying all the hotel has to offer during this festive season, and it’s an honor to bring this tradition to the community year after year.”

A tradition since the 1930s, The Roosevelt’s festive lobby has served as the perfect family photo-op, welcoming an estimated 250,000 visitors. The Waldorf Wonderland is free and open to the public starting Nov. 29 through New Year’s Day. 

In addition to the lights, the hotel is celebrating the holiday season in a variety of other ways, including: 

Festive Food and Beverage Experiences

The hotel’s most elegant ballroom and the Fountain Lounge will also host Christmas brunches for patrons who prefer to relax and leave the cooking to Executive Chef Jason Schneider. 

The historic Sazerac Bar’s annual handcrafted holiday season libation, this year, the Christmas Cookie and Candy Cane are sure to put every guest in a festive spirit.

Perfect for families, Teddy’s Café will serve holiday pastries, specialty coffees, and hot chocolate, making it the perfect place to enjoy the sights and sounds of the festive lobby while noshing on a seasonal treat. For young kids and those who are kids at heart, families are encouraged to reserve their spot early at one of the most beloved traditions each holiday season, The Roosevelt’s annual Teddy Bear Tea. Available now, children of all ages are transported to a North Pole winter wonderland where Santa and his reindeer appear while the boys and girls enjoy pastries and hot chocolate as their parents sip champagne. Guests can continue this holiday experience by booking a suite through The Roosevelt’s one-of-a-kind personal concierge service.

Seasonal Shopping

For those looking for some seasonal retail therapy, holiday shopping is already underway at The Emporium Gift Shop. Decked halls of seasonal décor welcome shoppers to peruse the curated, one-of-a-kind gifts selected by buyer Colleen Stack, and The Roosevelt’s sought-after annual Christmas ornament. 

Room rates for the holiday season start from $305 plus taxes and fees per night. 

To experience the holidays at The Roosevelt, please visit www.waldorfastoria.com/theroosevelt, call +1-504-648-1200 or follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter @theroosevelt_no. The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel is located at 130 Roosevelt Way, New Orleans, LA 70112.