PHOTOGRAPHY BY STEPHEN KENT JOHNSON
Atelier Ace’s Maison de la Luz draws on the peculiar mysticism of New Orleans.
The trendsetting Ace Hotel chain set up shop in the New Orleans Warehouse District in 2016; the hotel was such a hit that last year the company’s Atelier Ace team opened a sister property, the 67-room Maison de la Luz, in the 1908 former city hall annex down the street. If the Ace is a modish millennial, the Maison is her genteel but eccentric aunt. In fact, Studio Shamshiri designer Pamela Shamshiri has said that the hotel’s East-meets-West (meets-North-meets-South) maximalism is inspired by nonagenarian style icon Iris Apfel—or perhaps her voodoo-dabbling, swears-by-astrology Southern cousin.
The Public Spaces
Maison de la Luz is all about tactile experiences; instead of a key card, you’ll be given a silk-tasseled key fob (complete with a nazar evil-eye amulet), which you can drop off at the Art Deco front desk before leaving for the day. If you need a night in, you’ll feel at home in The Living Room, among hieroglyphic tapestries and Christopher Farr’s Matisse-goes-to-the-bayou “critter” rugs.
With high ceilings and a subdued palette of golds and navy blues, guest rooms give off the air of crisply handsome Parisian apartments. Look closer, though, and you’ll notice details that speak to the Big Easy’s stranger side: The shower door handle is a brass-and-pewter snake that weaves in and out of the glass, while the copper coffee tables are etched with zodiac symbols. On the nightstands, Clare Crespo’s bespoke shadow boxes are filled with handmade tarot-inspired cards and anatomical fabric hearts stuck with pearly pins. The walls, meanwhile, are hung with paintings by local artist Rebecca Rebouché, whose works feel like Gulf Coast riffs on Frida Kahlo.
Reached through a Clue-worthy revolving bookcase door, Bar Marilou is the first U.S. spot from Parisian hospitality group Quixotic Projects. The cocktails in this Bloody Mary–red nook are heavy on low-alcohol spirits (such as sherries and vermouths), while the food draws from both Old and New World French cuisines, including gougères aux Époisses (cheese puffs) and accras de morue (salt cod fritters).