A friendly staff, social lobby space and bicycles make this an activity filled hotel in the heart of New Orleans.
After a $29 million renovation in 2015, the hotel has emerged as the epitome of European refinement retaining the spirit of New Orleans. That spirit, seen in spontaneous street parties that routinely break out in the city, is captured on a smaller scale with Le Meridien Hub, or the lobby. Reinterpreted as a social gathering space, it includes modern art, a signature soundtrack and even a master barista. A small outdoor courtyard with fire pits links the lobby to the street – a cozy way to spend an evening.
My superior room, like the décor in general, takes a subtle sometimes subliminal approach to incorporating elements of New Orleans lore: a decorative steamer trunk represents the ships that travelled along the Mississippi River; wallpaper depicts a street grid with population density during the Mardi Gras parade; a distorted fleur de lis pattern stamps the carpet.
LMNO, punctuated by hanging lamps, subway tile, light wood flooring, complete with a grey, cream and navy colour theme, conveys a sophisticated yet inviting ambience. Floor to ceiling windows allow light to stream into the room while photographs of New Orleans hang on the wall to create a sense of place. This is a great spot for people watching. The restaurant focuses on unconventional tweaks to local cuisine – like the BBQ shrimp and grits made with sharp cheddar and the braised short ribs served with a sweet potato mash, stewed tomatoes, okra and crispy onion. Breakfast is delicious, with a large selection including hearty Gulf crab cake eggs Benedict with Creole hollandaise and fingerling potatoes.
The outdoor rooftop pool is a quiet place to enjoy views of the city, or relax at one of the three sexy private poolside cabanas equipped with TVs. Bikes are free for Starwood Preferred guests to use – what better way to explore the French Quarter! I had a great conversation with bellman Ken, and the staff at the hotel is incredibly accommodating and courteous, making a point of ensuring your stay is truly memorable.
333 Poydras Street
This original hotel article first appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.
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