New Orleans Travel Guide
The Jinx--it's all anyone (on social media) could talk about last night. The HBO documentary series had a shocking ending that coincided with its subject, Robert Durst's arrest the day before in New Orleans.
Durst is a wealthy and eccentric but very disturbed heir to one of New York's richest real estate families who agreed to be interviewed about his life and the headline-making incidents that have gained him much notoriety.
We'd like not to spoil the series for you but it will be pretty hard, so if you're keen on watching this show, look away now. Go ahead. Be gone. Alrighty, you've been warned.
Modern Mad Men style on display at Le Méridien New Orleans
Earlier this year, we oohed and ahhed over the sophisticated transformation of the old W Hotel into the Le Méridien New Orleans on Poydras street but now we have a full gallery of the thoroughly modern and Le Méridien public spaces, guestooms and the Urban and Luxury suites along with close-ups of the crazy cool hallway wallpaper we previously admired and the updated pool area.
FWIW, the rest of the hotel looks as tasty as a powdered sugar covered beignet from Cafe du Monde. Except that thanks to Le Méridien's new eclair program you can find that sumptuous treat in the Le Méridien Hub (the lobby) instead.
Rates start at $329 a night this weekend for a classic room.
[Photos: Le Meridien Hotel New Orleans]
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An artsy, cool new hotel is opening in New Orleans soon – the 167-room Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery will debut in April about four blocks from the French Quarter in the Warehouse Arts District, a very up and coming name (and home to the popular Cochon Butcher sandwich shop.)
Old No. 77 will be the latest offering from Provenance Hotels and is described by the company thusly:
The hotel is the latest incarnation of a building that began its life in 1854 as a warehouse serving the Port of New Orleans and has served the city as the Ambassador Hotel for the last two decades. With Provenance Hotels at the helm, it is undergoing a renovation and rebranding that highlights rustic original details – like hard wood floors and exposed brick walls – and pairs sophisticated modern design with the culture, art and joie de vive that is uniquely New Orleans.
And the rooms are joie de vive indeed!
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The Le Méridien New Orleans on Poydras Street opened a few weeks ago after a $29 million renovation project that completely redesigned the guest rooms and suites, created three new restaurants and lounges and added 1,600-sq.ft. of meeting and event space.
The room photos on the hotel's website, look very understated, almost a bit bland, but the rest of the property looks gorgeous. We especially love the crazy wallpaper in the guest room corridors and the sophisticated Le Méridien Hub, the hotel brand's signature gathering spot where guests can sip on "carefully brewed cups of illy coffee by a Master Barista, engage over Le Méridien Sparkling cocktails and indulge in succulent éclairs."
The hotel has also unveiled its new LMNO restaurant, not to be confused with LMAO. Executive Chef Mauricio Gutierrez has created a menu of New American fare with an emphasis on local cuisine. Another restaurant, focusing on breakfast, should debut in the spring.
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Oh, no one. It’s just a Christmas elf working on the life-size gingerbread house at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
No, you’re not looking at it through a French Quarter-infused haze. Yes, life-size means human-sized – it’s 14 feet long, 15 feet high and 8 feet wide, and is the work of Exec chef Eric Damidot and his little helpers. Here are the stats:
· 500 sheets of gingerbread, made of:
We already gave you a brief look at the rooms inside the first ever AC Hotel by Marriott in the U.S. and we had you salivating over the croissants flown in from France (well, the frozen dough was), but now it's time to take you all around the AC Hotel by Marriott New Orleans.
We like to let the pictures do most of the talking but here's what you need to know:
The History: The AC was built out of two historic buildings--The Cotton Exchange and The Security Homestead Association--although the buildings have been used as hotel for quite some time. The hotel, which is one block from Canal and two from Bourbon Street, suffered some severe damage after Hurricane Katrina, but it was kept mostly to the first two floors.
The layout of the lobby has changed a bit structurally, and of course, everything inside is brand-new but the hotel retains a historic set-up especially on the guest room floors which have smaller hallways and many twists and turns.
Yesterday, we gave you a brief look at the first AC Hotel by Marriott to open in the U.S. We'll have more on the rest of the property and the AC experience next week but we thought we'd leave you with this snapshot of a staple breakfast item at all AC Hotels going forward--croissants.
The buttery, perfectly flaky breakfast pastry is served daily in the AC Kitchen along with other sweet and savory fare, as well as the all-important coffee. (You can get it hot or iced.) But these aren't any old croissants. The dough was made in France, frozen and shipped to New Orleans. It is near perfection. (Perfection is obviously a croissant made and eaten in Paris.)
Breakfast at the AC Kitchen costs $14 for all you can eat. There's no lunch at the kitchen but in the evenings, the adjacent AC Lounge serves up small plates alongside specialty cocktails. We'll have more on that next week as well. Stay tuned!
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Ever since we first heard about Marriott International's plans to import the AC Hotels brand from Europe into the United States, we've been incredibly curious to see the finished product. And now we have--at the AC Hotel New Orleans. #hotelnerdalldayeveryday
Since we're still in the midst of exploring the hotel, we're only sharing a few photos today but we'll have more to talk about, a lot more, on Friday and Monday. So far, we can absolutely say the hotel, which was kept very well under wraps during the construction process, is hitting all the right marks.
This hotel may have missed the mark with its insane asylum themed floor but the The W New Orleans is making the most of its location in the French quarter this Halloween with a "Feel the Spirits" package that is just the right amount of spooky.
The package includes a two-night stay in a Tarot-inspired guest room along with two tickets to the creepy Walking Cemetery Tour by Gray Line Tours and two Corpse Reviver cocktails from the hotel bar, SoBou. The Corpse Reviver is made with equal parts gin, Lillet, lemon and Cointreau and served in a glass misted with Absinthe, designed "to bring you back to life." You'll also be close to the city's Krewe of Boo Halloween parade on the 30th.
Rates for the package start at $391 a night on October 30 and 31st for a wonderful room and $401 for the Mega room with the tarot them. This room is actually available year-round so if you can't make to Nola for the Halloween festivities, you can go another time and have the same creepy experience.
[Photo: W New Orleans French Quarter]
Once again, hotels are going all out for Breast Cancer Awareness month, offering up pink cocktails, pink sheets, and pink-themed room packages.
Yet while we love the pink passion that hotels have this month (especially since costs for your pink hotel purchases go to a breast cancer awareness charity), we're really in love with this giant pink bra that's been hoisted upon the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
The 12-foot-high, 25-foot wide, 300-pound pink bra was constructed by artist Jonathan Bertuccelli of Studio3 inc. on behalf of the breast surgeons at The Omega Breast Center at The Omega Hospital in Metairie. It was raised up onto the hotel's exterior by crane on October 15, which was National Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day.
But the bra will get its moment to shine tonight as it will greet hundreds of breast cancer survivors who will be honored tonight at The Pink Gala, hosted by Omega Hospital and New Orleans Living Magazine, at the Windsor Court Hotel.
The bra will stay on the hotel until October 20. If you're in New Orleans, hurry by to see it!
[Photos: Windsor Court Hotel]
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We can't reveal our sources but there is word going around that a Moxy Hotel is being developed for New Orleans, which really could not be a more perfect city for the young and fun Moxy brand. It's also a favorite city for Marriott International.
The hotel company already has 18 Marriott-branded hotels in or just outside the city, with several more within an hour's drive. And every brand is represented there from Residence Inn to Couryard, Springhill Suites, Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Renaissance, Marriott and even the first-ever AC Hotels by Marriott in the United States. That hotel is opening next month.
It's been a while since we last checked in on the U.S. development plans for AC Hotels by Marriott but boy, are we glad we did. That's because we've discovered that the first AC Hotel for the U.S. won't be opening in Miami Beach.
Instead, Antonio Catalan's design forward boutique hotel concept will open inside the former Cotton Exchange Building in New Orleans in October. Miami Beach will follow in late 2014/early 2015 as will Kansas City.
So now, let's take a closer look at what to expect for the AC in NOLA. Looking at the hotel's website, there isn't much to go on from a visual standpoint. We've got a shot of the exterior of the building--a National Historic Landmark built in 1871, as well as a photo of the lobby, the AC Kitchen restaurant, the bar and the suave AC Lounge area, where all the action should be happening.
We're loving the glass bar that extends from the wall to the ceiling but we're also anxious to see a guest room too. Unfortunately, there aren't any shots of those but we do know that free WiFi will be found throughout the property.