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The members of the New Orleans Hotel Collection (NOHC) spin intriguing tales of their hotels. One property claims to have haunted rooms and corridors. Another hangs its hat on a 19th-century ballroom-turned-convent, while yet another features a former bordello.
But there’s a unifying theme among these colorful properties. Each of them appeals to travelers looking to stay at upscale, independent, boutique lodgings in prime locations throughout New Orleans.
“These are not cookie-cutter hotels,” said Marc Becker, NOHC’s area director of sales and marketing. “Locally owned and managed, they represent New Orleans, its neighborhoods and its history in a way that today’s discerning guests are searching for.”
Another NOHC common denominator is what Becker called a “no nickel-and-dime” approach to hospitality. Clients enjoy a range of free amenities — such as in-room bottled water and coffee service, and complimentary use of business centers, fitness rooms and pools — at any property in the NOHC collection.
A standout among NOHC’s distinctive digs is Audubon Cottages, a quiet French Quarter oasis where the naturalist and painter John James Audubon lived and worked in the 1820s. Seven luxurious, private, one- and two-bedroom suites surround an historic saltwater pool, with perks that include butler service and a gourmet continental breakfast delivered to the client’s cottage.
Bourbon Orleans Hotel, another NOHC treasure, lays claim a trio of handsome 1800’s buildings that once housed a ballroom, a theater and a convent. Its freshly renovated guestrooms and balcony suites more than live up to contemporary standards.
Psychics say that ghosts roam Dauphine Orleans Hotel, whose French Quarter structures include the 1834 dwelling of a prosperous local merchant. The hotel’s bar, May Baily’s Place, resides in a bordello that entertained guests in the early 1900s.
Hotel Le Marais takes its inspiration from the famed Parisian district. Thanks to a recent renovation, it evokes the joie de vivre of New Orleans. Blending chic furnishings and amenities with old-world charm, its 66 rooms hug a courtyard and a saltwater pool.
Hotel Mazarin, named for a 17th-century European diplomat, offers 102 rooms and a classy courtyard. The storied La Louisiane — a delightful event venue with gas lanterns and chandeliers — makes its home in the 1837 residence of a wealthy Creole gent.
On May 31, 2014, the current Whitney Wyndham Hotel will be rebranded as Whitney Boutique Hotel to become the newest NOHC property. The 93-room hotel is set in a converted bank building and National Historic Landmark dating from 1890.
Clients can also book a room in the modern, 292-unit Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport. A refreshing change from the oft-nondescript airport hotel experience, it provides all the indulgences of the NOHC portfolio.
Several of NOHC’s hotels are members of Stash, a rewards program with 200 independent properties across the U.S. Guests who sign up can earn and spend points and take advantage of exclusive travel deals.
No matter which NOHC property clients choose, it’s likely they will come away with their own stories about their singular stay in the Big Easy.