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  • Ellen Byron

Hotel Heaven Replaces Hotel Hell

I've posted this before, but summer's here and it's time to remind you of great places to stay on a NOLA vacay!

I've guested at some lovely hotels in New Orleans, but I've also stayed in some flat-out dumps. During JazzFest a while ago, we found a burning cigarette and half-eaten brownie in our room - right after they cleaned it!! So it is with great relief I report that we have found a NOLA home away from home... Hotel Mazarin.

I found it the way most of us find lodging these days - through an internet search. Then I I joined Stash Rewards to lower an already very good rate.

Mazarin is part of The New Orleans Hotel Collection. Joe Jaeger, a NOLA hotelier, investor and real estate developer, has made a habit of picking up distressed hotel properties and turning them into little jewels.

We loved our room.

Breakfast was a buffet of delicious cold and hot dishes.

Even the water was awesome.

I was so impressed with the amenities offered at the hotel - Two complimentary cocktails at 21st Amendment Bar! $5 wine at Patrick's Bar Vin! Slippers and bathrobes in each room! - that I sat down with Laura Fanguy, sales manager at sister property Hotel Le Marais (also a great hostelry) to get a little history on the Collection. "Joe Jaeger decided to take on hotels in need of massive renovation," she shared. "Hotel Mazarin was built in 1837 as the town home of J.W. Zachary. You wouldn't believe what it looked like (before being restored). The roof was falling in. Joe saw the potential... the treasure that it was."

I could go on and on, but instead I'll just share the link to the Collection's website: Just so you know, I get nothing out of this except the opportunity to give a shout-out to a company that's restoring historic properties instead of tearing them down, and the satisfaction of sharing a travel tip with y'all. Bear in mind that all NOLA hotel rates are subject to change. Mardi Gras and JazzFest prices are high, off-season rates much lower. And the city tacks on a lot of taxes that can up the bill by more than 10%. But to temper that fact, I'll leave you with images of two courtyards. The pool belongs to Le Marais, the fountain to Mazarin. Both are hotel heaven.

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