By Alison Fox
September 24, 2019

Sitting at the rooftop bar, looking out over New Orleans nine stories below, prepare to sip a cocktail out of a wide-mouth 1940s-era-looking thermos, a playful reminder of where you are.

The bar — called Rosie’s on the Roof in honor of Rosie the Riveter — is just one element of the new WWII-themed The Higgins Hotel & Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton, which will open its doors in November. The hotel, which is part of The National WWII Museum and sits in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, brings to life an era that has passed us by, immersing guests in the history and culture of the 1940s.

Courtesy of Higgins Hotel and Conference Center

“I think we’re keeping the story alive, the American experience during WWII,” James B. Williams, the vice president of sales for the The National WWII Museum, told Travel + Leisure, adding that 780,000 people visited the museum last year and more than 90 percent were from out of town. “We’re trying to keep the story alive for the younger generation as well to tell the stories… We have the luxury of incorporating the museum experiences into the hotel.”

Courtesy of Higgins Hotel and Conference Center

Often, when you visit a museum you become engrossed in the history or art it depicts, but that disappears when you walk out. With this hotel, opening 75 years after D-Day, guests don’t ever have to feel like they’ve left the museum.

“The museum and the hotel share the same mission,” Marc Becker, the director of sales and marketing for the hotel, told Travel + Leisure. “It’s a deeper experience of the period that perhaps the museum by itself isn’t able to give, that immersive experience.”

At the hotel’s Café Normandie, visitors can dine on French and Creole-inspired food while at Kilroy’s Bar & Lounge — named for a wartime cartoon — Becker said they’ll sip drinks from glasses that have a .30 caliber bullet embedded into them (the bullet of choice for Allied forces during the war).

Simply walking through the hotel will feel like an extension of the museum itself with curated items from the museum’s vault on display. Listen to someone play General George S. Patton's piano and admire an airplane propeller hanging in the rooftop bar as well as an oil painting displayed of the hotel’s namesake, Andrew Jackson Higgins, who designed and built more than 20,000 boats in New Orleans used in battles during the war.

While the hotel will undoubtedly bring you back to the era of WWII, the room amenities won’t be quite so antiquated: rooms will feature modern aspects like 55-inch TV’s. Keeping with the period theme, however, three of the hotel’s suites will be named after presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower, and will feature a Victrola record player.

And when you need an extra dose of history, just step right across the street and visit The National WWII Museum, which includes more than 250,000 artifacts and thousands of personal accounts of the era.

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