The Old 77 Hotel & Chandlery
New Orleans, Louisiana
Cozy, $$ (from $127)
Once upon a time, the building housed a coffee warehouse that served the bustling and thirsty port of New Orleans. Today, The Old 77 Hotel & Chandlery welcomes a new breed of wayfarer looking for a hip place to stay in the bustling Arts District. And it's ticking all the boxes that modern travelers want: The floor plan is raw and open. The chandlery (a old term for "general store") stocks local goods. The rotating gallery is a fixture in the local arts scene. And the in-house craft cocktail bar and restaurant is one of the city's best. At this unconventional historic hotel, NOLA's old roots are finding new life.
At a Glance
Vibe: Industrial-chic retreat four blocks from the hustle of the French Quarter.
Standout Detail: The vintage cigarette machine repurposed to dispense small original works of art by local artists.
This Place Is Perfect For: Hip travelers and art lovers looking for a cool hang off the French Quarter with a bustling lobby to chart out the day’s itinerary.
Rooms: 167 guest rooms nod at the hotel’s industrial past with high ceilings, exposed brick walls, and original hardwood floors. Studios with loft beds and custom workspaces (art supplies provided) are great for solo travelers. Windowless Wayfarer rooms were built for the up-all-night, Bourbon Street crowd (no judgement). And three loft suites individually designed by a local artist are the choice for would-be art dealers, who can purchase work right off the walls — the artist fills an empty frame with a fresh piece, making each room a sort of rotating gallery.
Perks: There’s a big focus on wellness here. Rooms come with Well + Fit kits, which include wrapped Manduka yoga mats, a set of Barre3 bands, weights, and an iPad preloaded with fitness videos. Guests also have access to an on-site fitness center and classes at local studios.
On Site: Paying homage to the building’s history as a trading business for sailing voyages, a modern chandlery located off the lobby stocks products from local makers and artisans: T-shirts, artwork, jewelry, fragrances, candles, and soaps. In addition to the art in each guest room, a lobby gallery showcases work curated by the local artist organizations Where Y’Art and NOCCA (New Orleans Center for Creative Arts).
Food + Drink: Indoor-outdoor eatery Compère Lapin has been the talk of the town since it opened in 2015. Head chef Nina Compton (who made a memorable appearance on Top Chef) grew up in St. Lucia, and it shows — the restaurant’s name references a folklore about a mischievous rabbit, while the menu plays on traditional Caribbean cuisine using indigenous ingredients from the Gulf. Grab a seat at the bar with a C.L. Pimm’s cup, a twist on a NOLA classic, then peek into the open kitchen and watch the chefs whip up dishes like conch croquettes, jalapeño shrimp, and curried goat with plantain gnocchi. If you’re in a rush, double-duty coffee bar and check-in counter Tout La does espresso and beignets on the go.
What to Do Nearby
Gallery hop on Royal Street, home to the gallery of hotel curators Where Y’Art as well as Ogden Museum of Southern Art, Contemporary Arts Center, the excellent World War II Museum, and many other modern galleries. Take a night off chef-spying at Compère Lapin and visit Pechè, famous for their beautiful raw bar and smothered catfish (a New Orleans classic). Grab desert at Sucre — the place to go for a sparkly slice of king cake and delicious chocolate bars flavored with exotic ingredients like Sicilian pistachios and rose petals.