Though all the buzz might be on Bourbon Street, it’s not exactly where you want to stay for a good night’s sleep. However, the Henry Howard Hotel in the Lower Garden District is thanks to its homey vibe.
Just two miles from the French Quarter, the former Greek revival mansion designed by Louisiana’s renowned architect in 1867 sits on a quiet stretch of the road among other historic townhomes. Wrought-iron balconies and gates greet guests as they walk up the stairs to the entrance, where you need a key to enter. When checking in for the first time, an onsite attendant—similar to a butler—will welcome you as if you were a house guest.
Continuing with the home-like setting, the Italianate lobby is outfitted like an elegant parlor with a couch, velvet-lined chairs, a small bar, and jazz music piping through the speakers. Music-themed artwork and artifacts hang on the wall paying homage to The Big Easy’s rich musical history. It’s here where morning coffee and pastries are laid out for a low-key breakfast, complete with newspapers for reading.
And the Instagram worthiness doesn’t stop there. The owners leaned into the home’s history by outfitting the rooms with a mix of modern and antique furniture and carried the music theme throughout with instruments hanging above some of the beds. You’ll also find quirky portraits and charming wallpaper, making each room unique while still having the same comfort levels as a blush bed and Beekman 1802 toiletries.
Another indicator of the building’s past is the unique layout. All the rooms vary in shape and size, and reaching your accommodations can be a bit of a labyrinth. For instance, I reached my room by venturing outside via the back staircase (that the attendant explained was for young men to “go about their business discretely” back in the day) and then back inside again. I could also get to my room by taking the grand front staircase, popping out onto a balcony, and then back inside via an outdoor corridor. But it all added to the unique charm of the hotel.
Again, unlike a traditional hotel, you won’t find amenities like a gym, spa, or onsite restaurant. But, the hotel has a list of UberEATS recommendations from local restaurants. Plus, you are close to the popular Magazine Street restaurants like the award-winning Lilette. Or, check out other Lower Garden District gems like Paradise Lounge at Hotel Saint Vincent, where local bands take the stage in a similar historical setting.
All this is to say that the Henry Howard is ideal for those looking to take advantage of all the activity New Orleans offers but enjoy a good night’s rest too. It’s all about feeling at home…a lovely home with elegant decor and butler-like service, of course.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana
The Vibe: An intimate, historic mansion with eclectic design and quirky details.
Food + Drink: Sticking with the homey feel, there is no onsite restaurant. But fresh coffee and pastries are available each morning. Plus, a small bar cart is available to guests.
Property Amenities: Beekman 1802 products; 24-hour front desk; private courtyard
Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: The charming front parlor that feels like you’re hanging out at home…a very well-decorated home.
Nearby Attractions: The Mardi Gras parade route, the French Quarter, the Superdome, Magazine Street
Any neighborhood recs?: French Truck Coffee for house-roasted coffee and District Donuts Sliders & Brew where everything from scratch (even the sprinkles!). Century Girl and Trashy Diva are two great vintage shops nearby, while Lafayette Cemetery is great for history fans as it’s a 19th-century above-ground graveyard. The hotel even has a “Walk the Garden District” printed guide available.
Rooms: 18 rooms and suites
Starting nightly rate: $189 for queen superior room type
Closest Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
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