I think I would not be an interior designer today were it not for my childhood love affair with New Orleans. Every summer before I was shipped off to camp, my family and I would stay at the Monteleone Hotel and have beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde.
I just wanted my parents to leave me there, so I could haunt those elegant lobbies and bathrooms forever…..I was fascinated with the hauntingly beautiful and delicately crafted historic architecture. I wondered loudly to myself why somewhere in the middle of the 20th century we’d as a society abandoned what seemed to have been a more civilized, slower, considered (at least in the built environment) way of life.
My friends who are eager for me to launch this blog suggested I might be irritated that Gwyneth Paltrow beat me to the punch with her recent blog on New Orleans. On the contrary, I am thrilled that such a lovely, cool chick has the same love for my place of birth as me. It so happens that I am covering in pics the hotel that her guest blogger, Michael Stipe, recommends. So check out his blog entry, and I will keep my words brief. I will only add my words from a journal entry during my own recent stay at the Soniat House. Enjoy.
“I’m sitting at a table in the Soniat House courtyard, waiting for my tea and hot biscuits. Got a tour of some gorgeous rooms here. I now know why the celebrities come here. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen such beautifully appointed hotel rooms.
But now I can see “why”. Why it’s so beautiful. The color palettes are so refined, classic, yet up to the minute.
The drapes “stack” voluptuously and artfully, and are made of high quality textiles.
The antique chandeliers are top quality, often genuinely antique, yet chic’ly refurbished.
The historic architecture has dramatic, extremely well-proportioned tall ceilings, tall doors and windows.
The woodwork is of a level of sculptural craftsmanship which can no longer be found.
The furniture is historically appropriate, yet upholstered in the coolest cut velvets, oversized red stripes, or alligator hides.
The gridded streets of the French Quarter are utterly walkable, and impossible to get lost on. The balconies that line the streets above afford a breezy view from any vantage point.”
( Marcelle’s “Frugal Traveler Tip”: The smallest, still generously sized room in this courtyard getaway is around $200. GO )