If These Walls Could TalkAuthor:Lindsey Shook
McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality transforms a historic New Orleans icon that was once an orphanage into Hotel Saint Vincent
Nestled in the heart of the Lower Garden District shines a landmarked building that is now one of New Orleans’ most desirable design destinations—Hotel Saint Vincent. The 75-room brick-clad escape was built in 1861 to house the Saint Vincent’s Infant Asylum, founded by Irish immigrant Margaret Haughery, a bakery owner and philanthropist celebrated for her humanitarian services in New Orleans. When acquired by Austin-based hospitality group McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality—a company from industry veterans Larry McGuire, Tom Moorman and Liz Lambert—the renowned firm knew they needed to honor Haughery’s legacy and the building’s rich history when updating the design.
From the well-maintained historic Creole cottages to the colorful shotgun houses and Greek Revival and Italianate-style mansions that line the streets, architectural preservation plays a key role in maintaining the city’s unparalleled charm. Therefore it was important to the team that the building’s original exterior remain intact, including details like the ornate wrought-iron gates. Veranda ceilings were painted sky blue, looming palm trees and hanging ferns now line each balcony and Bevolo gas lighting and signature neon signs illuminate the property.
Inside the interiors were transformed by Lambert McGuire Design, an architecture and interior design studio founded in 2019 by Lambert and McGuire—and sister company to McGuire Moorman Lambert Hospitality. In the main spaces, sumptuous Italian ’70s Murano glass chandeliers are layered against mid-century furnishings and rich materials, along with thoughtful selections, including vintage custom tailored furniture and commissions from local artists. Color and print abound in the guest suites, where the team installed a blend of deep red mohair, salmon-colored velvet curtains, red lacquer millwork and Carrara marble alongside a curated mix of vintage art and objects. One of the most exciting design details can be found in the red- and pink-tiled bathrooms, which are lined in a custom psychedelic Voutsa wallpaper derived from traditional Florentine marble book bindings found within Haughery’s ledgers.
Guests can indulge in Hotel Saint Vincent’s robust food and beverage offerings. On property there are two restaurants: San Lorenzo, which has a coastal Italian menu influenced by the rich culinary history of New Orleans; and the Elizabeth Street Café—a second location of the iconic Austin hot spot—featuring a French bakery and Vietnamese-style café menu. For cocktails, the Paradise Lounge and the Chapel Club offer lovely libations and bites. While pretty much every corner of New Orleans is a visual delight, the addition of Hotel Saint Vincent makes the city even more enticing.