The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in New Orleans
The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery is a Re-Purposed Warehouse Hotel in the Heart of New Orleans.
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 supply store but is seldom used now.
New Orleans Then
New Orleans is unique, very different than any other City in the USA.
So different that I have heard it described as an “Island within the United States.”
With a volatile 300-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.
New Orleans Now
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?
This 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 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.
The Old No.77 takes its name from the original address before the city re-numbered its streets. It was formerly known as 77 Tchoupitoulas (pronounced: “chop-a-TOO-lus”) Street. Set in a Historically Designated Building, The Old No.77 Hotel and Chandlery opened its doors at the end of 2015 after an extensive 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. New Orleans then was the busiest Port in the United States, rivaling that of New York and the fourth largest City in the Country.
The back story
Originally a Coffee Warehouse, the building was subsequently purchased by E.J..Hart and Company, They 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, shuttered when purchased by Provenance Hotels, a Hotel Development and Management Company.
As the name suggests, Provenance Hotels specializes in operating hotels with a Provenance, a history, that can be authenticated, and this 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,” according to Provenance Hotels.
To carry out the renovation Provenance hired a NYC Design Company, Parts and Labor, a full service, award winning design company to create unique and customized interiors. Parts and Labor is a maverick company whose partners, Andrew Cohen and Jeremy Levitt, are original in their ideas and design ethics. They craft items with their own hands and to offer unique design and fabrication services from their resources. They were the perfect team to undertake this refurbishment: designers who understood the characteristics of a valued historic building and how to preserve its integrity and original historic architecture while bringing it into the 21st century
Inside the hotel
The heart of the hotel is the large public space one enters from the street through original, tall, and 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 12’ high ceiling, with hardwood floors, exposed brick walls and ducts, giving it an industrial sensibility.
The main lobby 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.
There are 167 guest rooms. Unlike a newer hotel, the reconstruction yielded rooms with different configurations, requiring individual furnishing plans.
They are characterized by floor-to-ceiling windows original to the Warehouse, wooden floors, exposed brick walls and ducts. 19th century style furnishings reflect a bygone era, yet offer high-speed internet access 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 accessories, 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, a well-known local artist whose artwork is featured in the hotel.
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. 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 its 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,
Restaurants include 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. She is 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, now an award winning restaurant serving fusion food.
The Chef incorporates flavors from her childhood in Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, with the bounty of the Gulf’s indigenous ingredients. Then she adds flavors and influences from her culinary training in French cuisine and her love of Italian Food. This is interesting and 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. He 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.
The Arts Programs
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 also a satellite art gallery in the Hotel, off the lobby, that has changing exhibitions. Operated in collaboration with Where Y’Art, it features local artists. 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.
Furthering their art connections, the Hotel has partnered with several local artisans and craftspeople to sell their products in the Chandlery, a gift shop located inside the main hospitality area. The shop also highlights local creative talent. Some of the Chandlery donate a percentage of their proceeds to charity.
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.
Credits: Photography courtesy of Provenance Hotels.
The Old #77 Hotel and Chandlery
- 535 Tchoupitoulas Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
- Tel 504/527-5271
- Reservations: 504/599-2101