The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery, a Re-Purposed Warehouse Hotel in the Heart of New Orleans

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Chandlery | Definition of Chandlery by Merriam-Webster
Chandlery is an old fashioned word derived from the stores that sold candles for ships lighting way back. Now it sometimes refers to a marine supplies store, but is seldom used now.

New Orleans is unique,  very different to any other City in the USA, so different that  I have heard it described as an” Island within the United States”.    With  a volatile three hundred year old history set against a multi cultural background, this is the Birthplace of Jazz, innovative food, creative cocktails, cemeteries, voodoo, a horrendous flood in 2005 –  and so much more,  Presently, there  is a surge in tourism and new hotels and restaurants are opening to keep pace.. For the third consecutive year, Travel and Leisure Magazine’s “World Best Awards” ranked New Orleans at #7 Worldwide and  #2 in the United States .

Also named by Travel and Leisure’ Magazine’s Best Awards,  The Old No.77 Hotel and Chandlery in New Orleans was ranked #7  for Best City Hotel in the Continental United States, an incredible achievement that was won against stiff competition.  And if you visit New Orleans, to totally embrace the spirit of this City, why not stay in a hotel that is an integral part of this story such as The Old No.77 Hotel and Chandlery ?

It is  a Boutique Hotel emanating  charm and character in a building noted for its adaptive re-use design and renovations in the heart of New Orleans.

The Old No.77 takes its name from the original address before the city re-numbered its streets when it was formerly known as 77 Tchoupitoulas Street.  Set in a Historically Designated Building, The Old No.77 Hotel and Chandlery opened its doors  at the end of 2015 after a $15 million dollar renovation.   Looking at the elevation, it is apparent that the structure is made up of three adjacent conjoined buildings that date from 1854, a time of affluence, when New Orleans was the busiest Port in the United States, rivaling that of New York and the fourth largest City in the Country

Originally a Coffee Warehouse, the building was subsequently purchased by E.J.Hart and Company who ran a Chandlery, supplying provisions and whatever else was required for the constant flow of ships sailing out of the burgeoning Port.   In its previous incarnation the Property operated as the Ambassador Hotel, that was shuttered  when it was purchased by Provenance Hotels, a Hotel Development and Management Company.

Hotel Chandlery

As the name suggests, Provenance Hotels specializes in operating hotels with a Provenance, a history, that can be authenticated, and this particular building fits right in with their manifesto. Provenance Hotels  are unique and  different – the opposite of “cookie cutter”.    They “develop award winning urban lifestyle hotels with a distinct and deeply integrated art story.” (quote from Provenance Hotels).

To carry out the renovation Provenance hired a NYC Design Company, Parts and Labor, a full service, award winning design company able to give the developers unique and customized interiors. Parts and Labor  is a maverick company whose partners, Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt, both original in their ideas and design ethic, knowing how to craft items with their own hands and able to offer unique design and fabrication services from their resources.  This was the perfect team to undertake this refurbishment, designers who understood the characteristics of a valued historic building and how to preserve it’s integrity and original historic architecture while bringing it into the Twenty First Century

The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery is located at 535 Tchoupitoulas Street.  (not No.77 !!) at the Intersection of Lafayette Street in the Warehouse Arts District. This neighborhood continues to undergo gentrification as it updates itself.  It has a flourishing arts scene, with a concentration of galleries and restaurants.

77_exterior-lobby-min

 

The heart of the hotel is the large public space one enters  into  from the street through original, tall, elegant double wood and glass doors.

A long table fitted with wi-fi and electric outlets and business like chairs is centered in the space that is used either to sit and read, work and catch up with business or relax over the newspaper with a cup of coffee from Tout La, the in-house coffee shop. There are nooks  with comfortable seating for more intimate conversations. The furnishings are Mid-Century styling, with an assortment of comfortable chairs, and a  large leather sofa in an alcove to one side.

The architectural details have been preserved as much as possible, framed by  a twelve foot high ceiling, with hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and ducts, giving it an industrial sensibility.

This is the nerve center of the Hotel and it has a lot of activity, but it is also a space where guests can find a place to sit quietly and read or talk to friends.


Against a wall,  is the desk where guests check in.
 


 
This leads to Tout La, the coffee shop serving French Truck Coffee, a locally sourced small batch coffee roaster. Breakfast is also served here and coffee and delicious in-house pastries are available throughout the day.
 

Adjacent to this is Compere Lapin the restaurant operated by Celebrity Chef Nina Compton, a relative newcomer who came to New Orleans to compete in the Food Network’s “Top Chef.” Falling in love with the City and its food she returned by invitation to open Compere Lapin that has become an award winning restaurant serving fusion food, incorporating flavors from her Childhood life in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, with the bounty of the Gulf’s indigenous ingredients and flavors plus influences from her Culinary training with French cuisine and her love of Italian Food. This is interesting, creative food and the reputation of the restaurant makes it a difficult reservation to snag.
 

The long blue bar between the Restaurant, and the Coffee Shop is helmed by Head Bartender, Abigali Gullo who worked closely with Chef Nina Compton to create a cocktail program that works well with the restaurant menu. Abigail Gullo is herself an award winner with a good resume including being named Bartender of the Year 2014 for New Orleans, by Eater.  New Orleans is the home of some very original cocktails and this fits right in.

An essential characteristic of Provenance Hotels, is an integrated arts program for each hotel that is strongly connected to the City in which their hotels operate. They form partnerships and ”layer” with local artists and artisans.  At the Old No.77, they have connected with the students of the  New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA),a publicly funded, tuition free high  school.  The  Artwork featured on the walls in the main hospitality areas,  form a gallery for work by students, faculty and alumni of NOCCA..  Student Art was also selected for the  Guestrooms.  Artwork  on display is for sale, with all the proceeds going to the students,  It also gives students exposure to high end guests in the hotel – exposure they would  not otherwise have had.

There is a further Gallery in the Hotel, behind the Lobby, that has changing exhibitions that is operated in collaboration with Where Y’Art, featuring local artists.  Where Y’Art Gallery operates  its main Gallery at 1901 Royal Street, in the Marigny neighborhood.

 


 
All the signage in the Hotel was custom designed to co-ordinate with the decor and is reminiscent of a previous era.

 
The Hotel has partnered with several local artisans and craftspeople to sell their products in the Chandlery, a Gift Shop  section  created inside the main hospitality area. This also highlights local creative talent.  Some of the Chandlery Vendors have a charitable component to their products and business models that enables them to give a percentage of their proceeds  to charity.
 

There are  167 guest rooms.  Unlike a modern hotel. the reconstruction yielded rooms with different configurations, requiring  individual furnishing plans.    They are characterized by floor to ceiling windows original to the Warehouse, with wooden floors, exposed brick walls and ducts, and are furnished with mid century style furniture and furnishings, with high speed internet and safes large enough to hold a laptop.  Many of the rooms also have a view of the Warehouse Arts District and Downtown.

Bedroom appointments are of the highest standard,using Italian Imported Linens, Simmons Beautyrest Black Napa mattresses and aquaplush pillows

 

 

 
The honor bar is stocked with local products such as Swamp Pop, Zappo’s Chips, Sucre Macaroons, Zydeco Power Bars, New Orleans famous Praline.   Alcohol available in the Bar includes Beer from the NOLA Brewing Company,  Vodka from Cathead Vodka and Rum from Old New Orleans Rum Distillery operated by James Michalopoulos, who is also a well known local artist whose artwork is featured in the hotel.  These are all local products.

Pets accompanying their owners are welcome – there are pet friendly rooms and a pet program.  Pets are given their own beds, bowls for food and water and a doggy gift and toys on arrival.  Should one need it, there is a list of groomers, veterinarians, pet walkers,, pet acupuncturists and pet psychics on call. There is room service and special food available for the pets and each pet is given a take home custom made dog tag with the name and phone number of the hotel that the pet wears throughout it’s stay. These guest rooms have a special door hanger to warn hotel staff if a pet is inside the room. A once only fee of $45 is applied for the special pet rooms although room service is extra,

The Old No.77  Hotel and Chandlery is an ideal location  for both the business and the leisure traveler.  Located three blocks from the bustling French Quarter, close to the Convention Center for Conference attendees, not too far from the Superdome for sporting events and within walking distance of a number of museums,  It is an inspired example of a re-purposed  historic building in the heart of New Orleans.
 
Photography courtesy of Provenance Hotels.
 
The Old #77 Hotel and Chandlery
535 Tchoupitoulas Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Tel  504/527-5271
http://www.old77Hotel.com
Reservations  504/599-2101
sales@old77Hotel.com

 

 

 

 

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