Maison de la Luz
New Orleans, Louisiana
A stunner of a renovation in our favorite Southern city has caught our eye and definitely turned our head. What was once the ornate 1908 City Hall Annex building at the edge of the burgeoning Warehouse District is now Maison de la Luz, a boutique guesthouse from Atelier Ace (the team behind the Ace Hotels). A wellspring of easy elegance, glamour, and just a bit of rebellion, the 67-room sanctuary extends the pleasures of the Crescent City in a relaxed and elevated environment. From historic sweeping staircases to old stone walls and a royal blue Wes Anderson-inspired concierge desk (complete with tasseled keys), Maison de la Luz impresses, amuses, and surprises with luxurious details and light-filled spaces. Tucked-away rooms exclusive to guests make for a lovely respite from the lively city, and a bespoke cocktail bar, Bar Marilou, takes its cue from French speakeasy culture with wall-to-wall bookshelves, worldly trinkets, and old paintings — beloved signals of a space well-loved and well-lived.
At a Glance
The Vibe: Romance, rebellion, and old New Orleans charm.
Standout Detail: Walking through the timeless, open-atrium foyer with the dramatic sweeping staircases, antique grandfather clock, and antique Moroccan rugs.
This Place Is Perfect For: Eccentric design enthusiasts. Couples who swoon over Southern glamour. Seekers of the innate mysteries of New Orleans.
Rooms: The 67 options include 44 King and Double bedrooms and 23 suites — all are tranquil sanctuaries decorated with warm touches like velvet headboards, paneled walls, arched doorways, comfy seating, velvet furnishings, clusters of paintings, and marble-accented bathrooms (many with tubs). All are so welcoming to come home to after indulging in a night on the town. (This town takes it out of you.) The Grand Studio corner suites have regally high ceilings (17 feet!), four windows, deep clawfoot tubs, and hand-embroidered linens. There are two of them, and they can be connected to a one-bedroom suite for a truly expansive and swanky setup. No need to get out of bed either, as the hotel will deliver a pot of coffee in the morning and room service anytime.
On Site: The guests-only Living Room on the first floor is a vibrant contrast to the elegant guest rooms: a richly-colorful lounge anchored by a Christopher Farr x Studio Shamshiri rug in golden tiger stripes. The honor bar is very please-help-yourself from 12:30 p.m. to midnight; wine, cheese, charcuterie, and fruit are served every night from 6 until 8. Take your time walking through the hallways and discrete corners to discover beloved NOLA motifs (like alligators, serpents, magnolia trees, and the crescent moon) disguised in the artwork by local artist Rebecca Rebouché.
Sister hotel Ace across the streets for access to the 24-hour gym and rooftop Alto terrace and bar with reservable day beds and weekend DJs. Maison de la Luz does not have a spa, but in-room pampering sessions (manicures, pedicures, massages) can be arranged.
Food + Drink: Guests who believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day will love the embellished and expansive Breakfast Room and the a la carte options — also exclusive to hotel guests. A private dining room is available to reserve for dinner parties and special events. For casual lunch and dinner, guests receive priority reservations at the Ace Hotel's Josephine Estelle (Italian-meets-the-South) and Seaworthy (fruits of the sea and fancy cocktails).
Bar Marilou is a sexy and spiritual boite that serves craft cocktails in three sizes mixed by Quixotic Projects — the team behind beloved Paris bars Les Grands Verres, Candelaria, Le Mary Celeste, and Hero. Muddling French elegance and Caribbean heat, the team redesigned the former Annex library with antique curiosities, rich romantic red walls, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves — also very Wes Anderson.
If you're looking for a more intimate setting — and you can keep a secret — one particular bookcase wall revolves at the bartenders' discretion, giving way to a guest-only, 12-seat salon with cocktails served from behind a painting. See if you can catch a glimpse.
What to Do Nearby
At the edge of the Warehouse District and notably the hip "Ace Village," you could spend your entire trip within the few blocks of Lafayette Square (not that you should, but it's possible). Balise Tavern serves locally sourced oysters and seafood in a stylish Creole cottage, and Herbsaint is perfect for upscale French and American classics. Take a digestif to-go (best law in New Orleans) and stroll St. Charles Avenue or Magazine Street after dinner. Stop by Carmo, an innovative vegan-friendly cafe, all powered by 100-percent renewable energy with Caribbean dishes and cozy, casual seating. For an afternoon stroll, stop into the galleries on Julia Street to browse local and contemporary art and chat with the eccentric and friendly gallery owners. For an extra dose of Southern charm, make your way to the Lower Garden District to peruse the hauntingly beautiful homes with walls that could tell a good story or two.