Where to Stay in New Orleans This SpringAuthor:Michelle Konstantinovsky
Mardi Gras madness has come and gone, but things are just starting to heat up in The Big Easy. If you’re visiting NOLA this season, you’ll have an array of historic, luxurious, and haunting (in a good way) accommodations options. Here are some of our very favorites:
The Pontchartrain Hotel
This iconic Garden District destination is conveniently located along the streetcar route and offers a uniquely New Orleans take on grandeur. Named after Louis XIV court’s Count de Pontchartrain, the hotel originally opened as a luxury apartment building in 1927 and was later refashioned as a glam hotel in the 1940s. Notables from Frank Sinatra to The Doors have stayed there, not to mention famed playwright Tennessee Williams, who penned a little something called “A Streetcar Named Desire” while staying at the hotel.
The Pontchartrain began a major renovation in 2016, retaining its rich historical roots but updating with modern-day amenities. The sophisticated design scheme was intended to mirror the city’s distinctive color schemes and classic style. The hotel reopened . its 106 rooms and luxury suites in Summer 2016, also unveiling a panoramic rooftop and three additional dining and entertaining emporiums, including the flapper-era-inspired Bayou Bar.
The Pontchartrain Hotel is located at 2031 St Charles Ave. thepontchartrainhotel.com
Hotel Peter & Paul
Sure, you could stay in a standard, cookie-cutter boutique…or you could stay in a centuries-old Catholic church. Hotel Peter & Paul is the result of a four-year restoration of the former Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic church and school. The history of the site is palpable from the Henry Howard-designed buildings to the the former school house (featured in A Confederacy of Dunces), rectory, church, and convent.
Each of the property’s buildings has been carefully restored and repurposed, and each expresses a distinct narrative, meaning no two guest rooms are exactly alike. The School House borrows inspiration from the featured 14th-18th century religious paintings, and its guest rooms borrow aesthetic influences from Europe, with furnishings from regional artisans, as well as antiques. The convent’s warm white lime color palette sets a calm and quiet tone for guests, and the 9,450-square-foot decommissioned red brick church hosts a mix of private and public gatherings (ask about weekend yoga classes).
The Elysian Bar, located on the ground floor of the former rectory partners with with the wine-loving folks at Bacchanal Wine to offer libations, as well as coffee and a selection of shareable plates inspired by “deconstructed brunch” in a series of stunningly restored rooms and an outdoor courtyard perfect for soaking up Southern sunshine.
Hotel Peter & Paul is located at 2317 Burgundy St. hotelpeterandpaul.com
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
Located just steps from the French Quarter, The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery was originally a coffee warehouse before E.J. Hart & Company bought the property and used it as a chandlery and trading post for sailing voyages. The reason for the name? Prior to the turn of the 20th century, when New Orleans renumbered its street addresses, the building’s address was 77 Tchoupitoulas Street.
One extra special feature of the hotel is its Artist in Residence Program, which invites an out-of-town artist to live at The Old No. 77 free of charge during the month of July and produce a collection of original NOLA-inspired works. 2016’s debut artist was TJ Kiser, an Art Institute of Chicago student. This year’s participant has yet to be announced, but the program has hosted two other impressive artists so far: 2017’s Kate Lewis, another Chicago artist, and 2018’s Chase Cannon of Indiana.
Art is celebrated throughout Old No. 77; the corridor behind the lobby features an extension of the latest exhibition on display at Where Y’Art. A Royal Street Gallery in the heart of the Marigny. Curated in-house in collaboration with Co-Founders Cat Todd and Colin Ferguson of Where Y’Art, 300 More is the latest exhibition to display at the warehouse hotel, exploring themes and issues around environmental and cultural preservation of life in New Orleans.
All that artistic energy is just icing on the cake at Old No. 77 where guests will find plush rooms and suites, a comprehensive wellness program, and food and drink offerings by Chef Nina Compton.
Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery is located at 535 Tchoupitoulas St. old77hotel.com/