Story by Melanie Votaw
Photos by Melanie Votaw and The New Orleans Hotel Collection
Hotel le Marais
717 Conti Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
I’ve been all over the world, but there are few places I love as much as New Orleans – especially the French Quarter. During my most recent visit, I stayed at The New Orleans Hotel Collection’s small boutique 4-star property, Hotel le Marais.
This little gem with 66 rooms doesn’t have the historical architecture you might expect in New Orleans but has a contemporary, funky design instead. The lobby and Vive! bar (which doubles as the breakfast restaurant) are fitted with purple lighting and cozy cushioned chairs in black, red, bold green, and purple.
I found the colorful décor cheerful, and the staff matched the friendly mood. I also appreciated the screen in the lobby with information about where to eat and things to do in the area. When I stepped out the door, I was on Bourbon Street in a matter of seconds. Yet, I never heard the noise of the street when I was in my room, which I thought was sort of miraculous.
In the courtyard just outside of the lobby is a comfortable lounge for sitting, reading, and eating with cushioned purple chairs and couches alongside a small heated outdoor saltwater pool. With New Orleans’ climate, you can enjoy this outdoor area almost year-round. I was there in August when it tends to be uncomfortably hot in the city, but with the trees there for shade, it was quite pleasant to sit in the courtyard – especially in the early morning hours.
Most of the hotel’s rooms aren’t large, but I had all the comforts I needed – a desk, a 42-inch flatscreen TV, a bathrobe, top-notch linens, an in-room safe, a makeup mirror, a coffee maker, an iPod docking station, and my favorites – complimentary WiFi and bottled water. And you get a card for a free drink at the bar when you check in.
The breakfast is called “continental,” but it was better than any continental breakfast I’d had elsewhere, which I tend to think of as just pastries and drinks. Hotel le Marais’ breakfast included bacon and scrambled eggs, as well as the expected breads, pastries, cereals, juices, and coffee. At 5:00, the area where you had breakfast turns into Vive! Bar Happy Hour with signature cocktails and $5 house wines.
Even though the hotel is small, it has a fitness room, boardroom for meetings, business center, laundry service, valet parking, and in-room services from a nearby spa. Pets aren’t allowed, but the hotel is 100% non-smoking. So, you never have to worry about getting put in a smoking room by mistake.
Hotel le Marais is too small for its own restaurant, but honestly, you’re in the French Quarter. There’s a restaurant right next door and some of the city’s best chefs are no more than a few steps away. You really don’t need room service in this area either.
Just step out, and you’re in the middle of everything at this location. Then, return in the evening for a welcome haven from the noise.
© October 2014 LuxuryWeb Magazine. All rights reserved.