Where most New Orleans hotels aim for a plush French mansion style, all antique furnishings, garish Louis XV fabrics and ivy, Loft 523 is a decidedly modern boutique hotel, even stark, minimal. This is more New York loft-style living, while the French Quarter is just two blocks away and Lafayette Square a 5-minute walk.
The building, a former dry goods warehouse from the 1880's has the advantage of high ceilings and full-lenght windows. Floor are either stained concrete or old wood planks, doors are made from hand-hammered copper, and turn-of-the-20th-century tin ceiling tiles outfit the elevators.
The 18 loft suites (three of them penthouses) read like a who is who in design with locally designed -very comfortable platform beds by Shane Porter fiited with linens by Frette. Work desks are by Herman Miller and lamps by Fortuny and the somewhat larger superior lofts have a freestanding Agape "Spoon" bath tub. Room facilities include air conditioning, TV/DVD, hair dryer, and MP3 docking station. Bathrooms have dual showers and amenities by Aveda. Room service is available from sister hotel International House.
Downstairs is an inviting bar/lounge, Gravier Street Social. Guests have 24-hour access to the gym at International House, just down the street.
• 18 rooms
• Unique: Elements of the original structure can be seen throughout the building, including exposed plasterwork, cast-iron columns, and raw timber beams.
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