We were transported to the 19th century French Quarter as we walked inside the hotel, a historic mansion. Completed in 1839, its main hall and the adjacent double parlor remain much as they were in their early days. Antiques and period artworks decorated the hallway. An ornate chandelier hanged above the main hall. A vintage red sofa sat against one wall sandwiched between two end tables with decorative lampshades. Paintings adorned the wall over the couch, and a large mirror occupied the opposite wall. The hallway floor was tiled marble, while the double parlor was all wood. We felt that we turned back time and stepped into the antebellum era of New Orleans when it was the wealthiest city in the nation.
The only thing that gave it away as present-day was the reception desk with its computer. To our delight, a cat perched at the desk, ready to welcome guests. “Any business that has a house cat is tops in my book,” my girlfriend said. We were in luck as there were two roaming around the hotel, although one was a bit skittish.
The adjacent double parlor served as the lobby with two sitting areas. The double parlor had a fireplace on one side and a coffee station on the other side, open 24-hours. Like the hallway, antiques and period artworks decorated the double parlor.
Beyond the hallway and the double parlor, the grand staircase occupied the next room over. The stairs hugged the wall and curved up into the second floor. Two sets of stairs allowed for access to the upper floors. A very tiny elevator with room for two or three was also available. The elevator did remind us of the old hotels in Paris, France, one of our other favorite cities.
The hotel takes its name after its original owner, Madame Marieanne Bienvenu Olivier de Vezin. The home is one of the best-preserved Creole Greek Revival architectural style in the French Quarter today. The hotel offers 42 unique guestrooms decorated with antiques and artworks to make its guest feel the old world of New Orleans.
The hotel is in the heart of the historic French Quarter, located on Toulouse Street, just a block off Bourbon Street.
We tried two different rooms. The first was a standard room with a queen bed and a small sitting area next to a fireplace. It was a small room located on the upper floor but packed with character. The room had ornate lampshades and period artworks as well as wood paneling around the bed. A teddy bear sat on the bed. The bathroom was spacious with marble floors. An antique chest sits in a closet, and perhaps it was a treasure chest. The shower had a decorative fleur-de-lis on its tiled wall.
The second was probably our favorite, a junior suite with a balcony overlooking the swimming pool. The room was where the slave quarters used to be, the upper floors surrounding the courtyards. The room featured an exposed beam ceiling, wood floors, and brick walls. It was spacious with a king bed on one end and a sitting area with a sofa and two chairs on the other side. A chandelier hanged above a beautiful area rug. A painted portrait adorned the brick wall between the two chairs. My girlfriend said, “that painting looks familiar.” A quick search using Google Lens revealed it to be a reproduction of the “Portrait of Madame Recamier.” The original 1800 painting by Jacques-Louis David was of the Parisian socialite Juliette Recamier showing her at the height of Neoclassical fashion. Three ornate lampshades sit on end tables, each with unique artwork.
The room was relaxing and welcoming. The space, the history, the brick walls, the wood floors, artwork, and ambiance make the room feel like home. As noisy as Bourbon Street was, the place was tranquil despite its proximity to all the commotion.
When we were unloading our things from the car, a fellow guest asked us if it was our first time at the hotel, which it was. He told us that the Olivier House Hotel was his favorite of all the hotels he stayed at in the French Quarter.
We agree with him. The Olivier House Hotel is now our favorite too in New Orleans. We wanted the balcony overlooking the street, but unfortunately, there we no junior suites available at the time we stayed. We will be back for sure and perhaps try the different rooms.
Despite the lack of a restaurant, the location made up for it as there were so many options nearby. Moreover, the staff was friendly and accommodating. The historic ambiance was terrific. The house cats were a plus.
For more information about Olivier House Hotel, its pricing, and its history, visit its Web site at http://olivierhouse.com