Columns Hotel

Grand Dame of New Orleans

By: Erin Byers Murray
TLP Featured Image

The charm of this circa-1880s residence-turned-hotel hits you as soon as you enter the wrought-iron gates and are greeted by the lush, greenery-lined patio and wide front porch. Columns, a historic New Orleans hotel, received a makeover in 2020. Now, the 20-room property, which was built as an Italianate home by architect Thomas Sully and then became a boardinghouse before it was a hotel, cleverly balances old-world grace with modern, theatrical touches. The original mahogany stairwell is punctuated by a domed stained-glass skylight, while whimsical new elements, like a neon-lighted “confession” booth, pool room, communal spaces, and original artwork offer dramatic effect. The hotel’s restaurant boundaries stretch from a sultry, red-lit bar inside the building out onto the broad patio and intimate gardens surrounding it—you’ll find diners lounging in all spaces from morning through night. Like the rest of its home city, staying here gives you the sense that you’re at the heart of the party.

The Neighborhood

The historic Garden District, marked by its ancient oaks glittering with Mardi Gras beads, is at your fingertips from this stately perch. You’re a walk from Magazine Street, where hip restaurants like Dakar NOLA and Really Really Nice Wines reside; the streetcar also runs right past the hotel, giving you easy access to the French Quarter and Audubon Park.

The Food Scene

Columns Pri Pri Chicken Credit @coryjames fontenot

Open for brunch, lunch, and dinner, Columns’ restaurant spans nearly the footprint of the building. Pick and choose between the shaded garden, the column-accented patio, or inside, where upholstered furniture mixes with the mahogany molding to set a romantic scene. Executive chef Paul Terrebonne plays with place (New Orleans and others) in dishes like shaved brussels sprouts amped up with an umami dressing or calamari stuffed with pork and shrimp under a tuft of thinly sliced cabbage. To drink, choose from a host of original cocktails (lavender cold press martini, anyone?) or go for a classic, like a Cognac-based French 75 or Vieux Carré. For your morning espresso fix, a coffee shop sits in the front room of the hotel—don’t skip the pastries, like a sesame seed and chocolate scone.

The Digs

Grab your old-school key hanging on a fringed key fob and make your way up the stairs toward the 20 revamped guest rooms where vintage furniture, like massive four-poster beds and original claw-foot tubs, stand out against modern linens and colors. Ceilings span from 10 to 15 feet in rooms that range from standard-sized to suites. Opt for the second floor, where you can take your coffee on the private balcony overlooking St. Charles Avenue.

Columns GuestRoom AlexMarks

about this hotel

  • Address

    3811 St. Charles Avenue
    New Orleans, Louisiana

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