New Orleans has two exciting new hotel entrants in the market, both packed with character and masterminded by top interior designers. Hotel Peter & Paul is a special property located in the former 1860s Saints Peter and Paul Catholic church, school, rectory and convent in the Marigny—the third hotel project from Brooklyn-based AD100 design firm ASH NYC (they also have Detroit's buzzy new Siren Hoteland Providence's Dean Hotel). The second is a more-intimate venue from Atelier Ace, which has an Ace Hotel outpost across the street in the Arts Warehouse District, called Maison de la Luz.
Hotel Peter & Paul
The 71-room Hotel Peter & Paul located in a residential neighborhood of the city in a restored red brick church complex in the Faubourg Marigny was four years in the making for ASH NYC partners Ari Heckman and Will Cooper after discovering the site with local partner Nathalie Jordi. "New Orleans is such a unique American city, with influence from Europe, Africa and Latin America and we wanted to create a property that represented the magical combination of tranquility, decadence and diversity that the city is known for," says CEO Heckman of the historic site on which the Hotel Peter & Paul stands. "Most options exist in the French Quarter and the Central Business District, so our desire was to create an option in the Marigny, which is a cherished neighborhood that still remains a bit of a secret to most tourists." The partners, who also design commercial and residential spaces around the world, agree that a hotel is a different beast than a home or office project. "A hotel is open 24/7 and you have new guests every day," says Heckman. "There are many more touch points and interactions between the building and the inhabitant and we can have much of a fantastical lens when we are working on hotels because the consumer is transient," says chief creative officer Cooper. "Our residential spaces are much more subdued than those in our hotels."
The partners sourced furnishings and antiques from all over the world (from Cuba to Belgium), created custom fabrics (think lots of fresh, crisp gingham) and floor coverings and were influenced by Swedish interiors from the 18th and 19th centuries. The green, red, blue and yellow color palette was inspired by religious paintings from the 14th through 18th centuries. Cypress wood moldings, antique chandeliers, stained glass windows and terracotta, brick, antique marble and some original pine floors make the spaces dramatic yet comfortable and welcoming. "The craftsmanship and architecture couldn't be replicated today," says Heckman, noting how great the bones of the buildings were. "We kept almost every historical element intact, while adding modern systems to make our guests as comfortable as possible." For example, the School House lobby features a reception area underneath the staircase and two parlors in the Rectory function like living rooms with working Italianate marble fireplaces. The Elysian Bar, the buzzy red-and-yellow hued restaurant and bar with its rattan and candy apple red bar stools and marble bar top, from James Beard award-nominated wine bar Bacchanal and chef Alex Harrell, is well worth a visit itself. "The goal was to create something that felt nuanced and complex juxtaposed with a simple, clean and youthful place we would want to hang out," says Cooper. "We want it to feel like a private home you are being welcomed into—with grand sentiments but the intimacy of being taken care of by our wonderful team."