You might already be aware of this, but New Orleans is one of my favorite cities. I absolutely love the history, the architecture, the people, and of course, the food. For my senior thesis, I'm writing about one of the things that makes NOLA famous, Voodoo. At Chapman, writing our paper involves us doing some form of primary research. So of course when I was given the chance to go back to do some of this research, I couldn't wait to start planning my trip!
The last time I was in New Orleans, I stayed at a place that was pretty, but also a bit terrifying at the same time. I wanted to choose a place this time around that had a history, but wasn't plagued with stories of hauntings. (Which I firmly decided weren't for me after a bed shaking incident in the previous hotel...) As I was doing my research, I knew I wanted to stay within the central area of the French Quarter, as that's where most of my research was going to be, and also the best activities and restaurants.
I came across the Hotel Maison De Ville due to the fact that it has one of the oldest existing buildings in the French Quarter, which for a history nerd like me was a huge bonus. The main house was constructed in 1783, and the hotel definitely reflects the old flair of New Orleans with a modern twist. The hotel has a rich history, being home to many essential New Orleans characters including Antoine Amede Peychaud, the creator of New Orlean's first signature cocktail the Sazerac, as well as serving as a working apothecary and the favorite writing place of playwright Tennessee Williams. It's also a favorite of many celebrities who visit the area including Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Redford, and Julia Roberts.(!!)Let me first start this by saying I was absolutely blown away with how much I loved my stay at the Maison De Ville. Working with Celina on my visit was easy and she was so delightful, making sure everything was planned accordingly. You could tell that she, and everyone else at the hotel cares immensely about the guest and giving them the best possible experience.
When you walk up to the hotel, it looks like a private residence, especially since you can't just walk in the door like any other hotel. To check in you have to ring the doorbell, and then they'll give you a key that works on your room as well as the front door. Like I said earlier, I wanted a hotel that was in the middle of all the action. Hotel Maison De Ville is literally steps from Bourbon street, so you can't get much better than that! But I really liked the fact that we got some extra security with the hotel key, because there are definitely a few crazies on Bourbon, haha!
Even though we were so close to the rowdiness of the crowds on Bourbon, it's like the hotel was a little soundproof oasis. We could barely hear noise from the street, even during the crazy hours of the night, even if we were standing out on the balcony outside our room. I think there's some kind of magic going on there.
Speaking of the balcony, I think that was my favorite part of the hotel. Each morning was great because we were greeted with live jazz music from the restaurant next door. If you follow me on Instagram or snapchat(@samimast) you saw and heard a little sneak peak of this! I'm not typically a jazz person, but in New Orleans I definitely am. Maybe it's that you get caught up in the personalities of the performers, the fact that the music matches the area so well, or maybe it's just some more NOLA magic. (There's a lot of that here, btw) Whatever it is, I don't think I want to wake up any other way.
The one thing I am truly upset about is myself, because my camera was malfunctioning almost any time we tried to take photos inside. No matter what we tried, the photos would be blurry or dark, so I'll have to figure out what's going on with it. I got a few photos that I'll show, but these definitely don't do the room justice!! So if you notice that most of these photos are of the outside, then you know why! When my sister and I first walked in the room we got a personalized message from the hotel with some information, and had a cute little Voodoo doll waiting on the bed (how perfect considering my reason for visiting!) They also had super comfy robes waiting for us in the room as well! And because I'm a snoop and am always into the hotel toiletries, that was what I went to check out next. Y'all. They had L'Occitane toiletries. WHAT. You bet your bottom dollar I took some of those when I left. (Don't worry, I only took the hand cream and some face wipes because #necessary) If you aren't aware, L'Occitane is an amazing brand, with high quality products that smell amazing. The majority of the products in the hotel were verveine scented, which fun fact, is what's historically supposed to ward off vampires! So definitely a dual use product. 😉
The room my sister and I stayed in was a Superior room, which gave us a queen bed and a balcony. We also had a standing shower, an AC unit (which surprisingly was very much necessary for us) and an adorable vintage desk. We ended up spending a good amount of time in the room, because our days were pretty full in the mornings and evenings, but afternoons were empty. We chose to take that time to rest in the hotel, since we are really efficient (probably too efficient) at seeing everything we wanted to see in the morning and at night. This worked out pretty well for us as I got to work on some blog stuff and used the WiFi to look up where to eat next and make plans for the next day.
Besides the actual room, we also spent some time in other areas of the hotel. Each morning there was complimentary breakfast (woohoo!!) that consisted of a variety of items. Most were some type of carb: muffins, bagels, cornbread, croissants, but they also had some yogurt that you could help yourself to in the fridge. For beverages they had your regular assortment of breakfast drinks including coffee, juice, and tea. However, they also provide beverages 24/7 in the breakfast area, which was great for our downtime! There was a mini fridge in our room as well, so if we wanted to bring drinks up or stash leftovers we could have done that as well.
When we didn't take our breakfast to go, we made our way out to the beautiful 2000 sq ft courtyard and listened to the jazz from the restaurant next door. We were actually the only guests at the hotel for the first night, so it was almost like we were actually living in this place! The staff was also incredibly friendly, and greeted us every time we entered or left the building. They were also great for suggestions if we needed guidance on where to go or what to eat. I'm a little biased, but I think Trina was my favorite staff member.
As you can see from my photo, Trina is a snuggly cat! She was SO sweet, and would spend breakfast with us as well. We were calling her a little "ciabatta cat" because she was pudgy and looked like a loaf of bread when she sat down. Honestly the most adorable thing ever! I'm such a cat lady, so even though I was already in love with the hotel from the start, Trina made the experience so much better, and made me feel like I was actually staying in a home rather than a hotel.
This hotel is close to everything! As I said, it's only steps from Bourbon street, but in reality it's close to everything in the French Quarter. The Maison De Ville is a less than ten minute walk to Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, Canal Street, and other activities in the area! And if you want to walk down to the business district, you can easily do that from the hotel as well. There's also an incredible amount of restaurants near the hotel, but I think my favorite has to be The Gumbo Shop that's a few streets over! Honestly, this place is the best location for a hotel in the French Quarter, hands down.
I think the best part about staying at the Hotel Maison De Ville was that I didn't feel like I was staying a hotel at all. I felt very at home during the four nights I was there, and didn't want to leave! I highly recommend this be your go-to spot if you're traveling to the Big Easy and want to stay in style and comfort. I have to agree with their own advertisements, "Guests are treated to true Southern hospitality with that special New Orleans flair."
If you'd like to connect with the hotel further you can check out their social channels here: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest |
A huge thank you to the Maison De Ville for having me on a complimentary stay!