This Bespoke Guest House in New Orleans Is a Design Lover’s Dream

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

Staying at Maison de la Luz is more like visiting your best friend’s impeccably curated pied-à-terre than an actual hotel. A best friend with unfettered hospitality and a beguiling art collection, that is.

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

Immediately upon entering the six-story historic building in the Warehouse District, you’ll be enchanted by the black and white checkered marble floors and two grand staircases flanking the lofty foyer. Grab a handful of pistachios from the irreverent iron foot set upon the center table before continuing through the French doors.

The design intrigue carries through to the hotel’s Living Room, which doubles as its lobby. Masterminded by acclaimed design duo Studio Shamshiri in collaboration with Atelier Ace, the in-house creative agency of Ace Hotel, the décor is best described as refined bohemian. Think: chartreuse velour tufted banquettes, velvet fringed chairs, a tiger-themed Christopher Farr carpet, bespoke light fixtures, and an eclectic mix of objects and art ranging from African wood masks and ceramic busts to Egyptian-inspired paintings and antique clocks. The layered design is sufficiently captivating that even die-hard minimalists, such as myself, are likely to find themselves fantasizing about a home redesign.

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

By contrast, the hotel’s 67 bedrooms offer a more calming aesthetic. Apropos of its name, which means ‘house of light,’ sunlight streams in through large windows and reflects off glass fixtures that resemble wind chimes. Beds bear a scalloped blue headboard and crisp white linens adorned with a removable decorative crest. Consistent with the serpent motif at play throughout la Luz, metal snakes serve as shower door handles and allegorical paintings by New Orleans native Rebecca Rebouché feature an alligator with a snake caught in its jaw. Bathrooms feel refreshingly proper with walk-in showers, marble vanities, and freestanding tubs. 

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

For a real splurge, book a Grand Studio corner suite with soaring 17-foot ceilings befit for royalty.

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

More impressive than the perfectly serviceable fare in the blue and white botanical-themed Breakfast Room are the extensive complimentary offerings throughout the day. It begins with contactless morning coffee delivery and afternoon iced tea in the living room followed by a robust wine and cheese spread from 6-8 pm daily and cookies from 9 pm onwards. As if that weren’t enough, there’s an honor bar open daily until midnight as well as an intimate speakeasy from which guests can order cocktails via a window hidden behind paintings.

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

A concealed door leads from the speakeasy to neighboring Bar Marilou, a scarlet-hued lounge housed in the former City Hall library. This brainchild of Atelier Ace and Paris-based Quixotic Projects is one of the city’s best bars, with splendid cocktails and as much decorative allure as the hotel itself.

Credit: Stephen Kent Johnson

For a proper meal, head next door to its sister property Ace Hotel. Your priority reservations give you first dibs at Seaworthy, where you should try wild-caught oysters, and Josephine Estelle, home to some of the best pasta in the city crafted by James Beard Award-nominated chefs. You’re also welcome to use Ace Hotel’s rooftop pool and gym free of charge, though you’ll likely find it too hard to leave the bon vivant lifestyle at la Luz.

Top Takeaways

Location: New Orleans, LA

Rating: Five-Star

The Vibe: Your world traveler friend’s luxury pied-à-terre with an eclectic art collection.

Food + Drink: The Breakfast Room offers a buffet as well as curated à la carte options. You’ll find complimentary afternoon iced tea in the Living Room as well as wine and cheese every evening followed by nightly cookies.

Amenities: Concierge; complimentary coffee, tea, wine and cheese, and evening cookies; turn-down service; breakfast room; honor bar; speakeasy; access to a 24-hour gym and rooftop pool at Ace Hotel; priority reservations at Bar Marilou, Josephine Estelle, and Seaworthy.

Our Favorite Thing About the Hotel: You’ll receive a heavy tasseled key upon check-in with instructions to leave it at the front desk when you go out. Why? Because la Luz will never disturb any of their guests in residence. The understated high-touch hospitality emphasizes that la Luz is a luxury guest house rather than your average hotel.

Any Personal Neighborhood Recs? Apart from Bar Marilou and neighboring Seaworthy and Josephine Estelle, we love lunch al fresco at Herbsaint, a French-inspired eatery, and dinner at former cabaret Le Chat Noir, where the oyster selection is wide and the cocktails are strong. 

Rooms: 67 rooms and suites

Pricing: Rates start at $370/night.

Closest Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport

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