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New Orleans has seen plenty of change in recent years, and that transformation continues today in the city’s hospitality industry. Now that tourists are back in the Big Easy, hotels are opening, updating, renovating and adding to their offerings. Here is some of the latest hotel news.
Boutique BountyThe name says it all — a “modern” hotel for a graceful historic city. The Hotel Modern New Orleans is one of three new boutique hotels that have transformed historic spaces in New Orleans, part of an exciting trend that further varies the style of accommodations offered in the Big Easy.
The 135-room hotel hardly resembles the former YMCA that once stood in its spot on Lee Circle in the heart of the city’s Warehouse Arts District. The building was converted into a hotel years ago by Klaus Ortlieb of New York, but Ortlieb took the transformation one step further last year with a major renovation and name change.
Rooms at the Hotel Modern are sleek and hip, a combination of unique antiques with elegant linens, stylish colors and high technology. A smaller building attached to the property offers a lounge area named Bellocq’s in honor of E.J. Bellocq, a turn-of-the-century photographer who secretly shot the madams in an area known as Storyville. In honor of that era, visitors to the lounge can enjoy a retro ambience — with a Bellocq photo on the ceiling — and live music and a burlesque show. Bellocq’s also features original cocktail creations known as “cobblers,” created by Neal Bodenheimer, Kirk Estopinal and Matthew Kohnke, owners of Cure restaurant in New Orleans.
The hotel’s restaurant, Tamarind, is helmed by New Orleans chef Dominique Macquet, who owns the acclaimed Dominique’s on Magazine Street, and his chef de cuisine Quan Tran. Hotel amenities include a concierge desk with a friendly parrot named Scarlet, books in every room available for reading and purchasing — with proceeds going to charity — and a business center. Valet parking is available and a cheaper alternative is just behind the building on St. Joseph Street, with easy access through the back of the hotel. The St. Charles streetcar picks up a block away.
The Hotel Mazarin opened last year in the French Quarter building that formerly housed the St. Louis Hotel. The multimillion-dollar renovation of the 102-room hotel on Bienville Street includes meeting space, complimentary Wi-Fi, a fitness center, a business center and Patrick’s Bar Vin, a bar adjacent to the hotel’s courtyard with a fountain. Amenities include newspaper, robe and slippers, a safe, in-room spa services and a welcome refreshment upon arrival.
The hotel was named for Cardinal Jules Mazarin, a 17th-century, Italian-born pontiff who served as an advisor to the French crown. Mazarin was also a collector of fine wines and wealth as well as a Machiavellian diplomat.
Earlier this year, The Saint Hotel New Orleans opened in the historic Audubon Building on Canal Street following a $45 million purchase and transformation. The hotel offers 166 modern guestrooms adorned in whites and deep blues and the Sweet Olive restaurant run by Chef Michael Stoltzfus. For drinks and conversation, there’s also the Burgundy Bar and the Halo Rooftop Bar.
The Hotel Modern New Orleanswww.thehotelmodern.com
The Saint Hotel New Orleanswww.thesainthotelneworleans.com
The W New Orleans - French Quarter is redesigning its 97 guestrooms and recently completed the first floor of renovations. The new design features black-and-white linens mixed with gold tones and primary colors in expanded rooms. In addition, there will be a 24-hour state-of-the-art Sweat fitness facility with cardiovascular fitness and personal training programs, as well as SoBou, a “modern Creole Saloon” restaurant and bar by the Commander’s Family of Restaurants with a locally sourced menu created by Executive Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez. The redesign should be completed by July 2 with the restaurant opening June 25.
The historic Bourbon Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter has completed its $17 million renovation of the hotel’s 218 guestrooms and 28 balcony suites, including new bedding and carpeting, refurbished bathrooms and a new fitness center.
This July, the Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter hotel will open in the former Ramada hotel after a multimillion-dollar renovation. The new property will feature 186 guestrooms, 4,375 square feet of meeting space and a full-service restaurant called Cafe Opera, under the direction of Chef Philippe Andreani.
The Hotel Monteleone’s new Criollo Restaurant and Lounge debuted this month, serving up Louisiana Fusion cuisine. The Monteleone just finished a renovation and expansion of its famous Carousel Bar, where the city’s literary elite have been known to frequent.
Bourbon Orleans Hotelwww.bourbonorleans.com
Four Points by Sheraton French Quarterwww.starwoodhotels.com/fourpoints
W New Orleans - French Quarterwww.whotelsneworleans.com