W New Orleans – French Quarter Gets Stylish Revamp For 25th Anniversary
The classic NOLA hotel was upgraded with Sazerac-inspired rooms and a new cajun/creole restaurant, just in time for Mardi Gras.
Located on Chartres street in the heart of the French Quarter, the W New Orleans – French Quarter was the city’s original cool boutique luxury hotel when the brand first opened in NOLA nearly 25 years ago. Now, in time for its upcoming 25th anniversary, and Mardi Gras on Feb. 13, the luxe oasis has debuted multimillion-dollar renovation of its guest rooms and suites, including its famed Carriage Houses, that’s given the icon-in-the-making a new lease on life.
The upgrades also include a new restaurant concept from chef Nick Ocheltree that’s quickly becoming a must-visit for locals and visitors alike.
The hotels has 97 rooms and suites in all, a number of which feature private balconies with views of the lively neighborhood. It also has a picturesque courtyard complete with a pool, one of the Quarter’s most Instagrammable locales.
It’s about as close as you can get to having your own private French Quarter mansion, many of which also have captivating courtyards hidden from public view. As the hotel puts it, the general vibe is one of “relaxation meets revelry,” i.e. being in the thick if things but with an enchanting place to retreat to as necessary.
This is especially true if you splash out on one of the hotel’s Carriage House suites, which feature a private entrance, private courtyard with two balconies. “We’re thrilled to usher in a new era at W New Orleans – French Quarter, and are excited to give our guests, today’s luxury travelers, a look at our unique city’s storied past without even having to leave their room,” General Manager Derek Tueller tells Maxim.
When redesigning the rooms and suites, award-winning Canadian design firm Chapi Chapo “drew inspiration from New Orleans’ storied past,” as well as its cocktail culture.
“The new vibrant yet sophisticated design features rich oranges as well as the amber hue of the Sazerac, New Orleans’ beloved cocktail, as well as touches of nautical patterns, textured wallpaper and projections of moss—bringing a bayou sanctuary into each guest room.”
Other details are “hidden in plain sight, including nods to the intricate ironwork containing secret messages and ciphers found throughout the Quarter.” The hotel notes that the renovation is “part of the ongoing evolution of the W brand”—part of Marriott International”—which includes a significantly elevated design approach.”
The restaurant, called 3rd Block Depot, for its proximity to the Mississippi River, Jackson Square and Bourbon Street, is a showcase for the “melting pot” of modern cajun and creole cuisine with Ocheltree’s signature twists and witty flourishes, using only the freshest, seasonal ingredients.
Popular menu items include Boudin + Cracklins served with creole slaw and mustard; 3rd Block Depot Debris Fries, with smoked cochon de lait, pork jus gravy, pepper jack cheese, and piquillo crema; and Yakamein Ala NOLA, with shredded pork, gulf shrimp, spaghetti, soy boiled-eggs and scallions.
And it wouldn’t the French Quarter without a burlesque brunch, aka “Legs & Eggs,” which 3rd Block Depot offers every weekend with performances by famed burlesque dancer Bella Blue.
Guests can indulge in decadent delights including Bananas Foster French Toast; a Cochon de Lait Hash Bowl with 16-hour smoked pork; and the 3rd Block Bloody Mary, “packed with just the right amount of heat to make you overcome the night before.”