As much a gathering place for locals as it is a hub for travelers, each Ace Hotel—with locations in Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, London, Palm Springs, Seattle, and Portland—is entrenched in the community it serves. The just-opened New Orleans outpost (the first in the South) is no different. From local music and food to art and design, the hotel celebrates this Southern city at every turn.
To imbue the hotel with the Crescent City’s unique blend of French, Spanish, and Afro-Caribbean influences, Ace turned to Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch, the talented husband-and-wife team behind the interior design firm Roman and Williams, who designed Ace’s famous New York location. “Roman and Williams share our broad sense of appreciation for history,” says Kelly Sawdon, partner and chief brand officer for the hotel group. “Their aesthetics are deeply rooted at the juncture between the past and present. And Ace Hotel New Orleans is a place where traditions, generations, and rituals come to life.”
Situated on Carondelet Street in the emerging Warehouse District, the nine-story Art Deco building that houses the hotel is a perfect jumping off point for exploring the city—which the designers did plenty of. The duo scoured local antiques stores and vintage shops along Magazine Street, such as Loisel Vintage Modern and Talebloo Antique Rugs & Antiques, for furniture and lighting. They also browsed galleries to discover local artists, like the thirteen whose lush Southern landscapes adorn custom armoires in many of the 234 guest rooms.
The lobby, with its original Terrazzo floors restored, is home to a sultry living room in shades of dark greys, greens, eggplant, and indigo—a palette that carries throughout the hotel. It’s a moody spot that invites you to stay a while, with salon-style gatherings, burlesque shows, live music, and DJs inside Three Keys, the on-site music venue. During Jazz Fest this April, the hotel has teamed up with the Preservation Hall Foundation to present a lineup of free concerts, including a gospel workshop with Preservation Hall drummer Joe Lastie and his family.
And because this is New Orleans, you know you’ll eat well. The hotel’s restaurant, Josephine Estelle, is helmed by executive chef Phillip Mariano, a local talent who served as chef de cuisine at John Besh’s critically acclaimed Domenica. Need a pick me up the next morning? Portland’s cult coffee roaster Stumptown is opening its first Southern outpost in the Ace Hotel New Orleans, and will include a brand-new cold-brew coffee program—a nod to the city that put iced coffee on the map.
“All of the people who have lived and loved in New Orleans have had a hand in the city’s magic,” Sawdon says. Now the Ace is ready to play its part.