The Hotel Masion de Ville used to be the top-rated hotel in all of New Orleans on TripAdvisor before it went out of business and was sold. That top-rating is how I found out about it in the first place, and I fell in love with it (like most did) upon arrival.
The hotel went out of business a few years ago and was sold to a private owner. Fast-forward to 2012, and it's finally back, re-opened and taking bookings.
It's the same...but it's not.
- This hotel is in the absolute best location in the French Quarter. It's about 30-ft off of Bourbon St and in the middle of everything. Sure, it can be a little loud outside at night, but you didn't come to New Orleans to sleep soundly.
- The staff was very nice, helpful and courteous all trip. With that said, we are low-maintenance guests who didn't require much assistance. We did not see more than one employee on-site at any particular time, and could not find anyone in the place when we checked out (we just left out keys and walked out).
- Nothing particularly notable.
Somewhere in the middle:
- Everything else.
The real allure of this property was the courtyard, and it's not the same as it used to be. The old red brick has been torn up and replaced with slate tiles. The greenery is gone. Though the fountain still stands and appear original, it's reservoir is new and completely different than before. In place of the antique and rustic feel of the old courtyard is new furniture, ultra-modern and trendy looking with high-end propane-fueled patio heaters. The aesthetic has been ruined by the desire to spruce up the place. I'm not even going to mention what they did to the legendary Tennesee Williams room (umm, at least it has flat-screens now).
Hotel Maison de Ville looks like a high-end tequila company bought a charming, historic hotel and tried to make it hip. I can't say for sure that's the whole story, but it certainly seems that way.
If you've never been to the French Quarter, and want a small boutique hotel with some historic charm, this is still a great property. It does still feel like another world compared to a chain hotel. The location is unbeatable, and it does seem like they are trying hard to please.
But, if you have stayed here before, prior to the renovations, and you loved it as we did...you might not want to come back. It will break your heart.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Maison de Ville, whose name in French means “Town House”, was just that. A two- storied dwelling rebuilt by Jean Baptista Lilie Sarpy around 1800 after the second disastrous fire.Across the picturesque courtyard with its cast-iron three-tiered fountain are two additional buildings. The historic former slave quarters are believed to have been constructed as early as 1762 and are one of the oldest structures in the State. Also off the courtyard is the old carriage house, now a charming two-story suite.An early resident of the home was Antoine Amede Peychaud, an apothecary who developed a concoction of bitters and brandy, known as the Sazerac. No doubt Peychaud’s circle of friends and patients widened as the popularity and fame of this first “cocktail” spread. In many Creole homes of the time the first floor was used for commercial purposes, as a store or office, but we know that Peychaud maintained his pharmacy on nearby Royal Street. Today, Peychaud’s bitters are still used to make the official cocktail of the State of Louisiana- the Sazerac.Before he purchased his own house in the French Quarter Tennessee Williams often stayed in room number 9, where he completed “A Streetcar Named Desire” and drank Sazeracs in the hotel courtyard. The room opens onto the patio, and much of Dick Cavett’s 1974 interview with Williams was filmed there, surrounded by the lush semi-tropical greenery and flowers the playwright enjoyed.Among the contemporary guests of note at the hotel: Elizabeth Taylor, Dan Akroyd, Robert Redford, Michael Jackson, Julia Roberts and many others.Hotel Maison de Ville is proud to be part of New Orleans’ historic past and present. Our buildings are over two and a half centuries old. Our endeavors of maintenance and upkeep are focused on keeping them in their original condition as much as ‘historically possible’. ... more less
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