May 14, 2017 • CULTURE, PLACES

DJ on the Road: Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans

If you’re asking us, right about now is the best time of year to visit New Orleans. After Jazz Fest is over and before the sweltering summer kicks in, you can enjoy still-comfortable temperatures, snag a table at most restaurants, and enjoy fun local festivals celebrating food, wine, and more.

For endless ideas for what to eat and do, check out our Draper James New Orleans guides here and here. And if you’re booking a hotel, let us recommend the Pontchartrain.

Pontchartrain Hotel

The exterior of the newly renovated Pontchartrain Hotel in New Orleans. (All images by Christian Horan Photography.)

Established in 1927, the Pontchartrain Hotel is a Garden District stalwart. After undergoing a major renovation, it reopened last summer. The hotel now boasts all the contemporary amenities you’d want, but it hasn’t lost its Old World charm.

Our House Hospitality Group, the restaurant company spearheaded by renowned NOLA chef John Besh, oversees all of the hotel dining, including the historic Caribbean Room, where new dishes have been added alongside revamped signatures. Click here to snag a home cook’s recipe for the hotel’s famous Mile High Pie from Pastry Chef Erin White, and read on for more on navigating NOLA and the new Pontchartrain from Cody Bertone, General Manager of the Pontchartrain Hotel.

Tell us about the renovation of the Pontchartrain?!
AJ Capital Partners spearheaded the renovation of the Pontchartrain Hotel, and they did an extraordinary job. The team thoughtfully restored the hotel to maintain its historical feel, while imparting a sense of modern comfort and style, as well as the unique personality of the neighborhood. They also added Hot Tin, the rooftop bar, which has certainly been a welcome addition to New Orleans.

Pontchartrain Hotel

The lobby of the new Pontchartrain Hotel.

What makes New Orleans the perfect place to visit in the spring?
Great weather, beautiful flowers blooming, the aroma of gardenias and jasmine, festivals, and, as always, amazing food.

Your must-visit. . . Restaurant?
Caribbean Room, Shaya, Coquette, and Galatoire’s.

Bar?
Hot Tin, Carousel Bar at the Monteleone, Cure, Henry’s Uptown Bar.

Shop?
NOLA Couture and Perlis.

Spot for some local culture, music or relaxation?
Take a walking Garden District tour. Visit the WWII Museum or the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Drink a Sazerac at the Roosevelt Hotel. Listen to music at Tipitina’s Uptown. And to relax, get a massage or facial at Belladonna on Magazine Street.

Place only a local would know?
I like to eat lunch at Joey K.’s on Magazine. After lunch, I explore all the shops on Magazine Street between Jackson Street and Napoleon Street, and then treat my children to snowballs at SnoWizard on Magazine Street.

Pontchartrain Hotel

The rooms at the Pontchartrain have all the modern amenities, but retain their Garden District charm.

If we’re spending a night “in” at the Ponchartrain, what should we do?
Try it all! Enjoy a Morrison Mule up in Hot Tin as the sun goes down. Listen to Phil Melancon play the piano in the Bayou Bar while enjoying a Duck Fat Sazerac. Relax in your room in a plush pink Pontchartrain robe, and then ask the front desk to plan your day in the Garden District.

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