This Hip New Orleans Hotel Was Once a Gunpowder Factory, Distillery & Printing House
The stylish Eliza Jane is now home to one of NOLA’s best hotel restaurants.
The Eliza Jane is a 196-room boutique luxury hotel located in New Orleans’ Central Business District (CBD)—which is a lot cooler than it sounds. The CBD is home to a plethora of amazing historic buildings, many of them industrial, which have found new lives in the course of the city’s rebirth. None so artfully transformed as the series of brick edifices which have been combined to form the hip hotel, which is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio.
The Eliza Jane, housed in a quartet of historic 19th century buildings, also has the benefit of being located quite close to the famed French Quarter. And the hotel’s unique “programming, amenities and design all pay homage” to its storied past as a gunpowder factory, Peychaud’s Bitters distillery, and printing house for the city’s famed Daily Picayune newspaper.
The Eliza Jane is also home to Couvant, its signature “French fusion restaurant with southern soul and an eclectic flair”, which is one of the very best places to drink and dine in all of New Orleans; as well as the Press Room, a “spirited lobby lounge that is equal parts library, meeting space and craft coffee and cocktail bar.”
While keeping the original architectural details intact, the Eliza Jane has been brought into the contemporary scene, as Dezeen notes, courtesy of “deep colors and tiled flooring sitting side-by-side with exposed beams and brickwork”, plus custom fixtures galore.
New York-based architecture and design studio Stonehill Taylor created a stunning assemblage by linking the historic buildings together around a 2,000-square-foot courtyard. Inside there is a grand salon with furniture is arranged around a marble fireplace to “evoke a living-room setting,” with a custom brass light fixture overhead.
The salon opens into the Press Room lounge, where nods to The Daily Picayune can be found in the form of antique books, typewriters and other accessories artfully strewn across its shelves, alongside an impressive selection of spirits, with an emphasis on whiskey and riffs on classic NOLA cocktails like the Sazerac.
“The Eliza Jane is where the rich history of New Orleans meets contemporary luxury,” the property’s General Manager Parker Sams tells Maxim. “[It] offers an experience unlike any other. From curated events that capture the essence of the city’s spirit, to the thoughtful restoration of architectural elements that nod to its industrial heritage, every corner of The Eliza Jane exudes a sense of cool sophistication.”
He notes that, “our guests aren’t just booking a room; they are immersing themselves in a space where the echoes of history resonate through the halls, and each stay becomes a memorable chapter in the unfolding story of this remarkable city.”
That’s especially true at Couvant. “Inspired by for Old French invitation to couvent, or convene, Couvant is a space where people can gather and celebrate the decadent heritage of Louisiana cuisine,” chef Ryan Pearson tells us. “Our menu is intentionally crafted to pay homage to the French origins and eclectic influences of classic dishes and is inspired by my previous culinary experience in Paris.”
Remixing the concept of a classic French brasseries, “from effortlessly elegant decor to fresh ingredients and elevated recipes, guests can expect a finer dining experience like none other in New Orleans,” Pearson declares. “It’s equal parts French flair and Southern soul.” Standout menu items include fried oysters with lemon beurre blanc and paddlefish caviar; Sauternes-marinated torchon of foie gras with seasonal chutney and toasted brioche; and duck confit with pan-roasted duck leg, beluga lentils, triple-cream blue cheese, and candied orange.
At Couvant, housed in the former Peychaud’s Bitters factory, Pearson brings more than a decade of top-drawer culinary experience to The Eliza Jane. He also “influences and provides creative direction” for The the Press Room bar as well as the property’s catering and banquet offerings.
A New Orleans native, Pearson “returned to the city’s robust and cutting-edge dining scene in 2022 after culinary success in New York and Paris.” Prior to joining Couvant and The Eliza Jane, he served as the sous chef of Michelin-starred Daniel in New York City. He also served as executive sous chef for Michelin-starred and James Beard Award recipient Batard; and chef tournant at Michelin-starred Nomad, both in New York City.
The Eliza Jane is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, a portfolio of luxury and upscale properties worldwide including historic urban gems, boutique properties, luxury resorts, and “contemporary trend-setters.” Other locations include Mexico, Japan, Spain, France, Italy and Sweden, among others, all of them highly regarded.