“This charming colonial boutique hotel is made up of two old townhouses across the road from each other, right in the heart of the French quarter. The style of the place is Spanish, with cooling inner courtyards surrounded by the arcade of rooms, tinkling fountains, and a low key vibe perfect for budding writers. It has something of the feel of a Moroccan riad, but with a Big Easy twist. The rooms are furnished with drapes and antiques, full of character, many of them large for a hotel of this size. Frette bathrobes and Canadian down pillows are just two small details that help make this a super-comfortable place to stay.
Public areas and facilities are limited, but then you don’t come to a hotel like this for that. Breakfast is taken in your room or in one of the inner courtyards, and needs to be pre-ordered, but it’s home made with home baked ‘biscuits’ and fresh local produce.
There is a small sitting room with an honesty bar, and reception is a small office where you are presented with old fashioned keys. Being in the heart of the French quarter, but in a quieter section, you can walk everywhere with ease.
All in all this is a gem of a place, quiet and relaxed.”
Written by James Dunford Wood
“The hotel everyone dreams of discovering.”
New Orleans is a thrilling mix of elegant French architecture, boozy stag nights, voodoo, trailblazing restaurants, steamy jazz bars and always, always a cocktail or three. But the one disappointment has always been the drab hotel scene. Besides a few tired, conference hotels there's never been much to tickle a smart traveller's fancy. So Soniat House, a trio of Creole townhouses at the quiet end of Chartres Street (just a stone's throw from Brangelina's house and around the corner from Paul Allen's gaff) is a real find. Each of the 31 bedrooms is decorated differently with art and antiques collected by avuncular owner Rodney Smith and his wife Frances on regular trips to Paris and London. The linen is Frette, breakfast is hot buttermilk biscuits served on a silver tray with homemade strawberry jam, and Claire the resident black cat rests her weary paws on a sofa beside the honesty bar. If, like many A-list actors currently working in NOLA, you want somewhere charming to escape from the buzz of the city, read a book and pour yourself a drink, then step right in and make yourself at home.
Originally published by Conde Nast Traveller (view article)