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The best new boutique hotels in New Orleans for 2021

Louisiana’s legendary city is now pairing its reputation for partying with a sideline in chic, upmarket boutiques that double down on character and history — from a rejuvenated convent in the Marigny to a renovated warehouse in the French Quarter.

By Zoey Goto
Published 1 Sept 2021, 15:00 BST
Two blocks from the buzz of the French Quarter, the 196-roomed Eliza Jane is a masterclass ...

Two blocks from the buzz of the French Quarter, the 196-roomed Eliza Jane is a masterclass in industrial-chic design.

Photograph by Taggart Cojan Sorensen

Think of New Orleans and images of raucous Mardi Gras parades or swinging jazz joints spring to mind. But recently, the Big Easy has revealed its more low-key side with a fresh crop of stylish hotel openings, using repurposed buildings to tap into the city’s storied past.

Alongside iconic architecture, NOLA’s finest lodgings also feature interiors that reflect the city’s distinctive personality — that intoxicating mishmash of cultures and influences. And with so many new hotels on the block, there’s something for every wallet in this raffish town. 

Best for history buffs: The Eliza Jane

Two blocks from the buzz of the French Quarter, this 196-roomed hotel is a masterclass in industrial-chic design. Ghosts of the past still haunt the building’s decor, from the exposed brickwork paying homage to its warehouse heritage to the Press Room lounge where vintage typewriters nod to its former glory as a newspaper hub. Be sure to stop by at the hotel’s Couvant restaurant, for a croque monsieur every bit as authentic as you’d expect from a Parisian bistro. 
Rooms: From $169 (£123). 

Best for a bargain: Selina Catahoula

For a characterful Downtown hotel on a budget, head to the Selina Catahoula, nestled on a peaceful side street in the city's Central Business District. This restored Creole townhouse has a young, hip vibe and outrageously photogenic interiors. While the 35 guest rooms are on the dinky side, the public spaces more than compensate, with a rooftop terrace hosting al fresco yoga sessions and live music.
Rooms: From $96 (£70). 

One of the city's hottest new openings, The Chloe is adorned with contemporary artworks by the likes of artist Cindy Sherman.

Photograph by Chloe Hotel

Best for a new-school sleepover: Hotel Peter & Paul

This converted 19th-century church, school, convent and rectory was recently resurrected as one of the Marigny neighbourhood’s finest stays. Entering through the nostalgic schoolhouse entrance, the interiors are a theatrical tribute to its past — from the evocative stained glass windows to the religious iconography dotted throughout the 71 guest rooms. The jazz bars of Frenchmen Street are also within strolling distance.
Rooms: From $134 (£100). 

Best for porch life: The Chloe

It doesn’t get more quintessentially Southern than reclining on the verandah with a glass of iced tea in hand. Do this in style at The Chloe; the city’s most eagerly anticipated recent reveal. Inside this treasure trove of a hotel, contemporary artworks by the likes of Cindy Sherman sit shoulder to shoulder with eclectic flea market finds. Come for the backyard lap pool and easy vicinity to the Garden District, stay for the shrimp etouffee dumplings.
Rooms: From $300 (£218). 

Best for a splurge: Maison de la Luz

This flamboyant offering from the Ace Hotel group is a deep dive into the Big Easy’s mystical spirit. The whimsical design details from Studio Shamshiri are a delight, from the shower handles sculpted into venomous snakes to the tables etched with cosmic zodiac signs. Remember to check out the secret bookcases in the ornate Bar Marilou, a destination in its own right.
Rooms: From $499 (£363). 

Best for a room with a view: ONE11 Hotel

It’s been half a century since a new hotel opened in the historic French Quarter, yet this recent unveiling proves that good things come to those who wait. Housed in a former sugarcane warehouse, the 83 pared-back guestrooms offer a quiet sanctuary from nearby Bourbon Street, where the good times roll. Head up to the terrace for ringside views of the sun setting over the mighty Mississippi River. 
Rooms: From $299 (£217). 

Published in the October 2012 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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