Take Me to Church
The dome of Hotel Peter & Paul’s bell tower rises to the heavens, allowing the property to be seen from afar, and like a beacon, it calls the weary, the hungry, and the thirsty to it, offering rest and provision. The structure, usually reserved for sacred spaces, hints at the property’s history as a Catholic church and school, founded in the 1860s. Inventive developers resurrected the four-building complex, transforming it into a sophisticated but decidedly unstuffy seventy-one-room hotel.
Run in partnership with Bacchanal Wine, the hotel’s Elysian Bar occupies the cozy spaces of the former rectory—a plush, fabric-festooned parlor, a glassed-in garden room dripping with philodendron, and an amber-washed bar. During daily apertivo hour, guests, locals, and visitors pack in for effervescent delights like the classic Aperol spritz and woodsy, herbal tonics. Whetting appetites with these offerings makes sense with chef Alex Harrell helming the kitchen. The former owner of the erstwhile Angeline dishes out sharable plates that pair perfectly with the intimate atmosphere. Harrell’s mix of Mediterranean and Southern influences on the seafood- and vegetable-forward menu is exemplified in plates like roasted Gulf shrimp accented with chile butter and zingy preserved lemon, and steamed mussels swimming in smoked tomato broth with a chorizo punch.
THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Faubourg Marigny is easily one of NOLA’s most interesting areas, and a stay at Peter & Paul puts you in the thick of it. With its colorful mix of cottages packed like crayons in their box, some of the city’s most famous jazz clubs, bohemian galleries, and eccentric eateries, the neighborhood is offbeat and low-key yet pulsing with life.
THE VIBE: A foil to the eclectic energy of its surroundings, Peter & Paul is a respite, its airy and spacious interiors outfitted in soothing whites, creams, and pale yellows with garden-themed trompe l’oeil surprises scattered throughout. In the school building, the third-floor lounge gets an A+ for transforming the auditorium (including the intact original stage) into an inviting spot for relaxing on comfy carved-wood daybeds.
THE DIGS: Most of the guestrooms are in the school building with a few in the rectory and convent, and while they all vary in size, they share a fanciful blend of tropical (rattan and pops of lush jungle green) with Southern prep (powder-blue and leaf-green gingham). In some rooms, saints watch over you, thanks to small, gilded iconographic paintings above the bed.