Maison de la Luz
New Orleans, Louisiana
$$$ (From $389)
NEW ORLEANS - Something new in our favorite Southern city has caught our eye. What was once the ornate City Hall Annex building of 1908 is now Maison de la Luz, a boutique guesthouse from Atelier Ace (the team behind the Ace Hotel) at the edge of the burgeoning Warehouse District. A wellspring of easy elegance, glamour, and a bit of rebellion, the 67-room Southern 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 guest are a lovely respite from the lively city, and a new 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: 67 rooms including 23 suites of stately Southern design are tranquil sanctuaries to retreat to after indulging in a jazz-fueled evening. Spacious suites are outfitted with private living room areas, velvet furniture, arched doorways, and generous marble bathrooms. The grand dame of the hotel being the second-floor Grand Studio Suite with regally-high ceilings, a desirable clawfoot tub bathed in Southern light, and hand-embroidered linens. Double bed and King rooms have the option to interconnect with multiple suites for a shared living space and for larger groups and families. Grown Alchemist bath products, freshly-brewed coffee delivery each morning, and 24-hour room service. There's no spa but in-room pampering sessions (manicures, pedicures, massages) can be arranged.
On Site: The first floor guest-exclusive Living Room is a welcome contrast to the airy guest rooms with richly-colorful lounge anchored by a Christopher Farr x Shamshiri rug in golden tiger stripes with a honor bar from 12:30pm to midnight and nightly wine and cheese. Spend time perusing the hallways and discrete corners to discover NOLA's beloved motifs (alligators, serpents, magnolia trees, and the crescent moon) disguised in the artwork by local artist Rebecca Rebouché.
Walk a few feet across the street to the sister Ace Hotel for access to the 24-hour gym and rooftop Alto terrace and bar with reservable day beds and weekend DJs.
Food + Drink: For those who believe breakfast is the most important meal of the day, the hotel designed a fittingly embellished and expansive Breakfast Room, also exclusive to hotel guests, with a bountiful buffet (from 6:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.) served on large marble slabs. 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 the newly-debuted sexy and spiritual sanctuary for 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 befittingly 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-seating 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.