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Hotel Peter & Paul, New Orleans, USA

A former Catholic Church, rectory and schoolhouse built by New Orleans architect Henry Howard is now home to a chic and soulful hotel.

At the heart of the quiet Marigny neighbourhood in New Orleans, Hotel Peter & Paul blends seamlessly into its residential surroundings. The former 19th-century Catholic church, school house, convent and rectory have been reimagined by design firm Ash NYC into a series of theatrical spaces that are both unexpected and perfectly inkeeping with the surrounding architecture, neighbourhood and wider city culture.

Who stays here? 

Travellers looking for chic base close to Frenchman Street – a tasteful alternative to Bourbon Street for those seeking live music. Elysian Bar is populated by locals, perhaps in part due to its location between the city and the dive bars of Bywater.

Rooms 

Rooms are scattered across the schoolhouse, convent and rectory (which also houses the Elysian bar and restaurant) and so come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and styles to best preserve the original layout of the buildings. All rooms have an enormous amount of character, from cosy attic rooms to grand suites with four poster beds and simple but charming entry-level options.

Religious iconography is dotted around but the overriding style is one of pastoral kitsch and southern farmhouse chic thanks to all the gingham upholstery and antique furniture. Hundreds of antiques were sourced from Europe, including desks, chairs and monastic oil paintings that have found homes across the 71 guest bedrooms.

I appreciated little touches such as an in-room city guide (available to buy), a handheld clothes steamer and charmingly written, cloth-bound guest information folder which includes the staff’s excellent local picks. Whoever is in charge of brand and copywriting here is doing an excellent job.

Bathrooms feature brightly coloured tiles – ours was bright yellow with a striped shower – and own-brand toiletries in full-sized bottles.

Food and drink

Housed on the ground floor of the Rectory, Elysian Bar has become a neighbourhood favourite for coffee, cocktails and small plates. Its operated by local outfit Bachannal who have designed a locally-inspired menu featuring dishes such as Gulf Shrimp & Stone Ground Grits; Confit Chicken Leg; and Louisiana Blood Oranges & Roasted Beets. The striped coffee counter is a perfect morning pitstop while the cocktail bar is a wonderful place for a late-night sazerac.

Design details

The use of primary colours throughout is inspired by the bold shades found in religious paintings and tapestries. Guest rooms are decorated using one colour from this limited palette which then features in the upholstery, drapery and bathroom tiles.

Service 

Check-in is warm and informative, with an invitation to make use of all communal spaces and clear explanation of the buildings’ quirky layout. The event space within the former church, for example, has an eclectic programme of talks and performances, while the hours for brunch, lunch and dinner at Elysian Bar are also laid out. A small souvenir shop is located up a flight of stone stairs from the reception desk, presented in an antique wardrobe. Goods included branded umbrellas, tarot cards, bath salts and books.

Getting there

The Marigny is an increasingly cool and creative residential neighbourhood with brightly painted houses along tree-lined streets. The legendary jazz clubs on Frenchman Street are the area’s main appeal. The hotel is a 20 minute taxi ride from the airport.

2317 Burgundy St, New Orleans, LA 70117, USA
hotelpeterandpaul.com
From £90
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