The details make a great hotel, from the room keys to the room-service flatware to the aesthetic mood of every public space: the bar, the lobby, the bathrooms. To stay in a place that makes your imagination dance and satisfies all five senses is escapism and hedonism at its finest. In the South, perhaps no city offers more enchanting and inspiring options than New Orleans. These three memorable, design-minded hotels in particular will make you want to bask in their style long after a stay is over. Here’s a little inspiration to get you started.
The Soniat House Hotel
Located in the French Quarter, the Soniat House Hotel has reached legend status—not only for the magic of its romantic, historic location on Chartres Street, but also for the warmth and vision of owners Frances and Rodney Smith, who combined three nineteenth-century townhouses formerly owned by the Soniat family to create this thirty-room destination in the late eighties. Take a design cue from the Soniat House’s courtyard, where even the daily breakfast lineup of biscuits, jam, butter, and coffee becomes a work of art when enjoyed among the tropical palms and flowers adorning nearly every surface.
Feminine, simple botanicals swirl around the Soniat House’s plates and cups. These from Mottahedeh have the same feel. $215 per plate; $65 per cup and saucer; mottahedeh.com
Hotel Peter & Paul
Every single room in the four nineteenth-century buildings that comprise the Marigny neighborhood’s Hotel Peter & Paul, which opened in 2018, come layered with stories—no surprise considering that in their former life, they hosted the Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church and school. You’ll be especially tempted to replicate the dramatic guest room below, with its trompe l’oeil armoire, iron canopy bed, amber glass bell jar fixture, and acres of green gingham dreamed to life by the New York–based design firm ASH. Don’t forget the white walls—their airy, Scandinavian lightness are key to helping the deep green stand out.
Iron Canopy Bed
Compared to the real thing, this version is a steal and still packs a punch. $700; pbteen.com
The amount of fabric used in this room muffles sound and creates an idyllic hush. Scalamandre designs this version. $110 a yard; decoratorsbest.com
Glass Bell Jar Lantern
This lookalike is expensive, but for good reason—the craftsmanship and vintage (it’s circa 1880) make it well worthwhile. $3,200; 1stdibs.com
Maison de la Luz
The creatives at Studio Shamshiri designed Maison de la Luz, which debuted in the Warehouse District in 2019. And while almost every single item in the hotel was custom designed for its particular space, the inviting, high-spirited breakfast room shines. From a distance, the wallpaper appears to be overscale Delft. Up close, you realize you’re looking at watercolor renderings of plants from Louisiana swamps. The scalloped tables delight, as do the quirky chairs.
Vintage Russell Woodard patio furniture is coveted in the design world, and if you’re willing to dig, the pieces are out there. $265 for two chairs and a table; chairish.com
Real Delft, or the illusion it, on wallpaper—such as this design by Studio Printworks—charms. $224 a roll; houzz.com
Scallops are lovely when rendered in metal, as this example illustrates. $1,100; jossandmain.com