New Orleans, Louisiana
Hotel Peter & Paul
What it is
A 19th-century Catholic schoolhouse, rectory, church and convent, reborn as an artful retreat for all.
What it isn't
Strict as a nun. These days, the former rectory hosts The Elysian Bar, where low-proof aperitivo cocktails flow where prayer once did.
What we think
We may take to calling New Orleans “Old Orleans,” because when we’re there, we prefer to steep ourselves in history. No sleek, just-built high rise will do it for us, not in The Big Easy’s magnolia-scented air. That’s one reason Peter & Paul is so alluring—it’s practically an homage to storied splendor. Take the guest rooms, where the design palette was culled from religious paintings from the 14th-18th century (gingham in saturated hues abounds), and antique furniture bought in European flea markets and local estates makes each and every room one of a kind. We’d recommend the School House Grand Lofts, where spiral staircases lead to sleeping mezzanines with beds topped in custom Italian linens. The poor nuns that used to live here don’t know what they’re missing.
You're here because
You’re obsessed with “A Confederacy of Dunces,” John Kennedy Toole’s infamous novel, and these sacred grounds appeared in the book.
You used to say ice cream was impossible to mess up, but you’ve had a slate of bad cones lately that weren’t worth even half their calories. So when you saw the hotel’s locavore Sundae Best ice cream shop that claims to sell the best ice cream in the city, you were dubious. And then you had your first lick of peanut crackle and jam ice cream and became what the nuns who used to live here would have prayed for: a convert and a believer.
Restaurants & Bars
The Elysian Bar - Partnered with the wine-loving folks at Bacchanal to offer excellent coffee, niche wines and specialty cocktails with a menu designed by Chef Alex Harrell featuring a selection of shareable plates
NoLa’s uber hip Faubourg Marigny district, just a few blocks northeast of the French Quarter. Cafe Du Monde is just a 15-minute stroll away and yes, the beignets really are worth the wait.