While the legacy of these grand dames remains firmly in tact, 2016 might just go down as the year the next generation of New Orleans hotel royalty begins to unfold. These new kids on the block retain the kind of breezy, music-and-cocktail-fueled vibe that is integral to a Crescent City experience, while adding in a host of novel flourishes, from a pisco bar to the South's first outpost of Stumptown coffee.
Below are three of the most exciting new hotels—opened and anticipated—to hit the scene this year.
The first Ace outpost in New Orleans opened quietly in mid-March, and has proven to be a bustling, art-driven stunner in its inaugural weeks. Rooms come equipped with their own curated bar cart and record collection (among other things), while locals and visitors alike can enjoy the Italian-meets-Southern charm of hotel restaurant Josephine Estelle, the South's inaugural Stumptown coffee bar, and Alto, a rooftop bar and restaurant flanked with all the tropical charm imaginable.
If that list leaves you breathless, the added bonus of the Three Keys music venue will prove to be a knock out. During Jazzfest (April 22 - May 1), events featuring artists like George Clinton, Vetiver, and Hurray for the Riff Raff are on tap as part of the Six of Saturns celebration.
(Psst, looking for a room deal? Enter the code 6SATURNS when booking during Jazzfest for special rates: $359 for weekend one and $389 for weekend two.)
Pontchartrain Hotel 2031 St Charles Ave New Orleans, LA 70130 Vibe: Historic with modern touches, 1940s-chic Special Features: Four John Besh-operated food and beverage spots Opening: June 2016
The Pontchartrain might still be under construction, but excitement about its arrival in the Lower Garden District is already palpable. One of the city's most historic and storied hotels, its revival will feature four John Besh-operated outposts, including the Caribbean Room, Bayou Bar, Silver Whistle, and a yet-to-be-named rooftop bar.
The bar, undoubtedly, will quickly become the hotel's piece de resistance, boasting a 270-degree view of the Mississippi River and harnessing a 1940s vibe in homage to Tennessee Williams, who lived in the hotel while writing A Streetcar Named Desire.
Catahoula Hotel 914 Union St New Orleans, LA 70112 Vibe: Eco-friendly meets Peruvian-inspired Special Features: Extensive, finely-tuned Peruvian-inspired menu and pisco bar Tucked away on a narrow street in the Central Business District, the Catahoula (mere days into its opening) already feels like the kind of furtive find folks will want to keep as their own personal secret. The boutique property has an eco-conscious frame of mind, complete with a forest of foliage and ample outdoor space, from an under-construction rooftop to a courtyard dripping in lights and decked out in murals.
The hotel's food and beverage offerings have a Peruvian focus, with the bar slinging a menu of pisco-based drinks that walk the line between novel and approachable with charming dexterity. The Pisco Punch (of course) is a must-try, along with the Algarrobina, a milkshake-like drink whipped up from the sap of Peruvian carob tree pods. Rest assured the bar staff has plenty of additional creative offerings up their sleeve, including the potential of boozy cotton candy.
(Illustrations: Shaye Anderson)