When it comes to one of the most creative hotels we’ve reviewed, Hotel Peter & Paul in New Orleans ranks high. Seriously, it’s a brilliant refashioning of old NOLA, specifically a church, rectory, convent, and schoolhouse.
The four repurposed edifices thoughtfully comprise the original features from the hotel’s past life: Cypress wood molding, stained-glass windows redolent of a church-like aesthetic, and wainscoted corridors are a sampling of what stayed. Eclectic trappings dominate the décor narrative: antiques from European art fairs, custom rugs from India, and furnishings from New Orleans’ storied estates are ubiquitous. Color schemes draw inspiration from the paintings and tapestries found in Europe and Africa’s religious institutions between the 14th-18th centuries.
You check in on the ground floor of the schoolhouse, a building comprising four levels that each have their own individualistic color scheme. Our favorite common space here is the third-floor lounge, with its vignette seating arrangements fronting a makeshift stage where former students used to put on plays and then, behind that, a trompe-l’oeil background mural depicting a 19th-century sitting room.
The erstwhile rectory now hosts the hotel’s Elysian Bar. When here, expect a menu chock full of bespoke cocktails and small bites served amidst an old world-tinged space equipping muted yellow walls, a protruding half-arched terracotta ceiling hovering above the bar, and a glossy counter lined with round red barstools.
The former church is an aesthetic and a half: High ceilings, stained glass windows, and sizeable arches provide the ultimate event space (we did a yoga class here during our stay).
Then, lastly, is the convent, with its adorable boutique in the front, Iris, and its assemblage of second-floor rooms that brim with character. This includes the Mother Superior Room, a thoughtfully designed suite equipped with a four-poster bed sporting crosses standing from each of its corners, a clawfoot tub, and rustic plaid-patterned furnishings.
Ash — a design and development firm that helm a slew of trendy boutique hotels (The Siren Hotel in Detroit and Hotel Ulysses in Baltimore are two you need to look up if you love design) — are the masterminds, along with local entrepreneur Nathalie Jordi, behind this 71-key crop of creativity.
When it comes to location, the hotel sits in burgeoning New Orleans neighborhood, Marigny. The area’s cluster of colorful houses charms all who visit. One of the best parts is that you’re a 15-minute walk from the French Quarter and Bourbon Street, allowing you to choose whether to party, take it easy, or evoke balance and do both during your trip.
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana (Marigny neighborhood)
Food + Drink: The Elysian Bar serves lunch and dinner, with the latter featuring live music to accompany your meal. For quick treats, the adjoining Side Chapel Café serves coffee and pastries.
Our Favorite Part of the Hotel: The third-floor lounge — we love a trompe-l’oeil moment. And that 19th-century mural behind the once-upon-a-time schoolhouse stage is an alluring illusion that’s a feast for the eyes (and mind) while doing work in the space.
Amenities: Outdoor courtyard, bar, restaurant, coffee shop, event space, coworking lounge, in-house boutique (Iris), Wi-Fi, and air conditioning
What’s Nearby? French Quarter, Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, New Orleans Jazz Museum, Vieux Carre Historic District, Washington Square
Any personal neighborhood recs? These are more New Orleans recs as a whole (each is a short drive from the hotel): Commander’s Palace is a Creole restaurant that serves the best bread pudding you’ve ever had in your life; Magazine Street is a miles-long thoroughfare lined with independent establishments such as clothing stores Monomin and Muse Inspired Fashion, along with tasty eateries like Israel-meets-NOLA-cuisine haunt Shaya.
Pricing: Rooms start at $250/night
Closest Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl. Airport (MSY)
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