This is a guest post by Susan Guillory of The Unexplorer.
I’d never stayed in a boutique hotel before a recent trip to New Orleans. We tend to rent AirBnBs or stay in hotel chains where my husband has premier status. But The Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery, located a short walk from the French Quarter, may have made me a boutique hotel convert.
The first thing that struck me upon entering the hotel lobby was how darn Instagrammable everything was. From the bowtied gent checking us in to the coffee bar and lounge area, every last detail has been polished for a visual delight.
Brand New Old World New Orleans
While the hotel only just opened in April of 2015, the building it’s in was built in 1854, and served as a coffee warehouse and general wholesale business, among other things. The hotel takes the best of its building’s heritage while completely modernizing it for today’s guest.
The desk I’m writing this post at looks to be midcentury modern, with its built-in brass lamp and leather bound cubby hole, but the hidey hole for the power strip tells me it was custom made for just such a place.
The details of the room go above and beyond, from the leather pocket on the side of the headboard that holds the remote (or a guest’s glasses) to the hook on the side of the bar (which hides both a safe and a mini bar) for my purse.
A Lounge-Worthy Lounge
I’m not one for hanging out in hotel lobbies. I’m always going somewhere while traveling. Doing. Exploring. But the lobby here begs you to sit down and just be.
The Art-o-mat® instantly drew in my son and I. A retired cigarette machine, this blast from the past now offers tiny art in a box from artists around the country. A measly $5 will get you a pin, artsy book, painting, or other work of art.
After stocking up on snacks, including a perfectly made café au lait and chocolate chip cookie sprinkled with sea salt, my son and I sat and soaked it all in.
A Bar So Fantastic, You Won’t Want to Leave
Though we had dinner plans elsewhere, my husband and I couldn’t resist stopping into the hotel restaurant, Compère Lapin, for a quick drink. The place evokes Old World bars, where bartenders knew how to make drinks that didn’t involve corn syrup. Bitters and other concoctions lined the bar in front of me, begging to be photographed.
I had a Pimm’s Cup, and my husband a rum neat. We would have stayed longer, but a large gaggle of local workers who had just gotten off work in the nearby Central Business District (CBD to locals) began to crowd the bar, and we were ready for more fun in the Quarter.
Other than the air conditioning not cooling us enough at night and a bit of early morning noise from the streets below, the stay was perfection. The best part? While the hotel seems really upscale, it’s one of the more affordable options for the area. And with the French Quarter just a 5-minute walk away, you stay away from the crowds.
Off-season rates range from $89 to $172, and there are packages that include meals or local activities as well. Because there are so many events in New Orleans (Mardi Gras and Jazzfest being just two), check for pricing, because I suspect rates go up substantially for these periods.
Need to know:
The Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery is pet-friendly. There is a $45 fee, as well as a pet services menu for additional fees.
Valet parking is available for $32 per night, plus State and City taxes.
Check in: 4:00 p.m.
Check out: 12 p.m.
Insider tip: With some many things to see and do in New Orleans, save one day of your trip to stay close to the hotel. With the bar and restaurant in the hotel, as well as half a dozen other restaurants and bars within a block or two, you won’t even need to brave the crowds of the French Quarter…and you’ll probably pay less for the privilege.
If You Go:
The Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery (866) 226-4727
535 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130
Article and photography by travel writer Susan Guillory. I received a media rate to stay in The Old No 77 Hotel & Chandlery, however all opinions are my own.