Staying at Maison de la Luz is more like visiting a close friend’s resort than an actual hotel. The best friend of the unlimited hospitality and art deco, that is.
As soon as you enter the iconic six-story building in the Warehouse District, you’ll be greeted by black and white stone floors and two grand staircases leading to a soaring foyer. Grab a handful of pistachios from the rude metal pedestal on the center table before heading through the French doors.
The design principles continue into the hotel’s Living Room, which serves as the lobby. Designed by renowned duo Studio Shamshiri in collaboration with Atelier Ace, the interior design agency of Ace Hotel, the decor is best described as refined bohemian. Think: chartreuse velor tufted banquettes, velvet chairs, a Christopher Farr tiger-head rug, ornate lighting, and a mix of objects and art from African wooden masks and ceramic busts to decorative paintings and ancient Egyptian clocks. . The stacked designs are attractive enough that even staunch minimalists, like myself, may be thinking about remodeling the house.
In contrast, the hotel’s 67 guest rooms offer a quiet elegance. Apropos of its name, which means ‘house of light,’ the sunlight enters through the large windows and reflects the mirrors that resemble the wind. The beds have a light blue headboard and crisp white linens decorated with a removable ornament. In keeping with the play at La Luz, metal snakes serve as shower door handles and a figurative painting by New Orleans native Rebecca Rebouché features a crocodile with a snake caught in its jaws. Bathrooms feel refreshingly clean with freestanding bathtubs, marble vanities, and free standing tubs.
For a real splurge, book a corner Grand Studio with 17-foot high ceilings fit for royalty.
Even more impressive than the bargain price in the blue and white breakfast room is the all-day dining experience. It starts with complimentary morning coffee and afternoon iced tea in the lounge followed by a strong wine and cheese spread from 6-8pm daily and pastries from 9pm onwards. As if that wasn’t enough, there is a prestigious bar open daily until midnight and an intimate speakeasy where guests can order cocktails through a hidden window behind the artwork.
A hidden entrance from the speakeasy to the adjacent Bar Marilou, a red-colored lounge located in the former City Hall library. This concept by Atelier Ace and Paris-based Quixotic Projects is one of the best places in the city, with stunning cocktails and a decor as elegant as the hotel.
For the perfect meal, head next door to its sister hotel, Ace Hotel. Your early reservation gives you first dibs at Seaworthy, where you can try wild-caught oysters, and Josephine Estelle, home of the city’s best pasta made by James Beard Award-nominated chefs. You are welcome to use the Ace Hotel’s rooftop pool and gym for free, although you will find it very difficult to leave the fun life at La Luz.
Place: New Orleans, LA
Standard: Five Stars
The Vibe: Your world-class travel companion with a wide variety of artworks.
Food + Beverage: The Breakfast Room has a buffet and a la carte options. You will find evening iced tea in the Living Room as well as wine and cheese every evening followed by nightly pastries.
Resources: Concierge; complimentary coffee, tea, wine and cheese, and evening pastries; denial service; morning cream; honor bar; speakeasy; access to the 24-hour fitness center and rooftop pool at the Ace Hotel; early reservations at Bar Marilou, Josephine Estelle, and Seaworthy.
What We Loved About This Hotel: You will receive a heavy duty key upon check-in with instructions to leave it at the front upon check-out. Why? Because of Luz they will not interfere with any of their guests living there. The understated hospitality emphasizes that la Luz is a luxury guest house and not your average hotel.
Every Neighbor Recs? Besides Bar Marilou and Seaworthy neighbors and Josephine Estelle, we like lunch al fresco at Herbsaint, a French-inspired eatery, and dinner at the old cabaret Le Chat Noir, where the selection of oysters is large and strong cocktails.
Romans: 67 rooms and suites
PricesRates start at $370/night.
Nearest Airport: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
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