The Grand Dame of New Orleans Hotels Reclaims Its Glory
With a resplendent makeover, this iconic Pontchartrain Hotel is ready for its close up.
Named after Louis XIV court’s Count de Pontchartrain, the Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans originally opened as a luxury apartment building in 1927. In the 1940s, it was refashioned as a luxury hotel and became a veritable who’s who of prominent locals and visitors. Through its hallowed doors, it hosted luminaries as diverse as Frank Sinatra, The Doors, Rita Hayworth, presidents Gerald Ford and George H. Bush, and not to mention the city’s favorite son Tennessee Williams who worked on “A Streetcar Named Desire” while staying at the storied hotel perched on the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line, which traverses New Orleans most well heeled of historic neighborhoods.
Located in New Orleans’ historic Garden District area along the St. Charles Avenue carnival route, its 200-year-old oak trees draped with Mardi Gras beads, the Pontchartrain Hotel boasts the singular convenience of the city’s clanging streetcar line running directly to its doorstep. The storied New Orleans hotel, beloved by locals and recently renovated with respect to its timeless aura and original bones, is at the crossroads to downtown and uptown entertaining, restaurants, music, shopping and business conferences. It is minutes from downtown’s boisterous French Quarter scene, the theater and commerce Central Business District row and live jazz hub the Faubourg Marigny as well as uptown’s tony University Area (Tulane and Loyola), the youthful indie vibed shopping and fine dining Magazine Street sprawl alongside the Spanish moss-cloaked Audubon Park and Zoo. Drive, stroll (recommended), bicycle or take the streetcar to randomly hop off at all points in between. From the magnificently decrepit cemeteries to grand architectural gems, oh, the things you will see.
Last year the Pontchartrain Hotel began a major renovation, providing it current 21st Century amenities for business and pleasure while maintaining its clubby comfort-meets-sophisticated elegant carriage and a design scheme that mirrors the city’s tropically exotic indigenous color schemes and old school appointments. The 106 room Garden District hotel, featuring luxury suites, roomy extended stay sprawls and anything but standard rooms. We reopen in Summer 2016, with the addition of a panoramic rooftop and three additional dining and entertaining emporiums, including its social coaster Bayou Bar and balmy palm motif Caribbean Room. All will be overseen by James Beard Foundation award winning New Orleans chef John Besh. Like its flapper era origins of the past, occupants can expect that intimate feeling being “in-residence” affords/inspires.