In honor of Mardi Gras, let’s take a sojourn down south for this Real Weddings Mini-Moon and check out what’s going on in New Orleans. This charming city has come along way since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and wants you to know it is open for business. A shining example of this new growth and optimism is our boutique hotel pick of the week, International House.
Recommended Resort: International House. Just a couple blocks from the Quarter, this posh new boutique hotel is a re-envisioning of previous occupant, the Crescent. Sean Cummings and LM Pagano, whose private clients include Johnny Depp and Nicolas Cage, created a sophisticated sanctuary, a Mecca of sorts for the forward-looking artisans, entrepreneurs and visitors who are reinventing the great city of New Orleans.
During its three incarnations since being built in 1906, the property has hosted a bank, “World Trade Center to the world,” and of course a boutique hotel. Original hotel owners Cummings and Graham reached out to local artisans and wove into the hotel the eclectic mix of objects — old, new, bought, found and bequeathed — which is contemporary New Orleans style. The new renovation incorporates a fresh dose of glamour and international influences.
Each of the 117 rooms, suites and penthouses is designed to uplift the human spirit. Spacious bathrooms, architectural artifacts, complimentary 40 mb WIFI, Sony and Sharp LCD televisions, iHome micro-stereos, Modern Fan Company fans and Aveda bath amenities, as well as furnishings, linens and color palettes selected by LM Pagano create sexy, sophisticated, soothing spaces for sleep, work and play.
Check In: 221 Camp Street in New Orleans. 504-553-9550, ihhotel.com
Check Out: Rambla and Loa.
The menu at in-house restaurant Rambla features modern-day celebrations of the Spanish and French influences that continue to shape New Orleans culture. The approach is typified in such dishes as bacon-wrapped Dates with Cabrales and Marcona Almond, Cassoulet of Duck and Sausage, and for dessert, Classic Dark Chocolate Mousse with Candied Orange. Yum.
In the Voodoo tradition, the “Loa” are benevolent deities. The name suits the signature bar of the hotel because it is a place where the city’s spirit can be identified. No matter your poison, no doubt you conjure up some memories to last a lifetime.
Don’t Miss: The Rituals. In addition to the power of great design, it is the spirited ritual that sets New Orleans and International House apart. Guests may discover the depth, diversity and joy born of the city’s European, island and African influences. Beautifully blended in every way, they have given the city jazz, ragtime and blues music, renowned culinary traditions and acclaimed architecture.
International House — in concert with gifted local artisans — proudly shares the local celebrations with guests, including most famously, Mardi Gras, Winter Dress, All Souls/Saints Day, Christmas, St. John’s Eve, St. Joseph’s Day and Summer Dress. For more on these rituals and special occasions, visit the hotel’s Web site at ihhotel.com.
Blog post by Always a Bridesmaid Contributor Darren Elms.
Photos courtesy of International House.