perches are ideal for catching the Bourbon
Street action below.
Other versatile venues include The
Jazz Playhouse for live music, fine dining
Restaurant R’evolution and evocative gas
lantern-lit Bar R’evolution.
Atmospheric throughout is the triumphant makeover of New Orleans Public
Service Inc.’s 1927 original headquarters
into the 217-room NOPSI Hotel. Faithful restorations of the vaulted ceilings,
ornamental columns and other elements
create a grand sense of place in the former
home of New Orleans power and transportation. Groups have 14,000-plus square
feet of evocative indoor and outdoor space,
including five breakout rooms and Dryades
Ballroom. Hosting PRSA’s closing night
after-party, this soaring room features a 30-
foot ceiling and the overhead crane once
used to lift transformers for repair.
Lined with grand department stores, theaters and office buildings in its celebrated
heyday, Upper Canal Street is pulsing back
behind an expanding medical campus.
Anchored by the Tulane University School
of Medicine and New Orleans Biomedical Innovation District, the rejuvenation
encompasses new hotels, including the
rebirth of the fabled Jung Hotel.
After opening in 1907, later additions
created the South’s largest convention hotel. With 1,200 rooms and headline entertainment in its legendary Tulane Ballroom,
the Jung was a social and society darling
before fading in the 1970s. In December
2017 the national landmark property was
relaunched as the Jung Hotel & Residences
following a $140 million gut renovation.
With 207 solidly comfortable guest rooms,
the Jung, a member of the restoration-fo-cused New Orleans Hotel Collection, offers
21,000 square feet of group space. Highlights include the Tulane Ballroom’s reincarnation as the 12,000-square-foot Grand
Hall, reimagined as a blank canvas for
banquets, galas and large exhibitions, adjoined by a prefunction area that includes
the restored original wooden bar.
The AAA Four Diamond Jung is off to
a strong start, with recent bookings that
include the MPI Gulf States Chapter and
Culinary Medicine Conference. As official
host hotel for the 29th New Orleans Film
Festival this October, the Jung will welcome
500 movie stars and glitterati to a grand
DRYADES BALLROOM, NOPSI HOTEL
References to NOPSI Hotel’s energetic former self as headquarters for the New Orleans Public Service Inc.
include cocktail coasters featuring historical
photos and quotes. One, from a former com-
pany executive, reads, “You know how many
Uptowners it takes to change a fuse? Two…
One to make the martini and the other to call
Served at NOPSI’s lobby bar underCUR-
RENT and outdoor rooftop bar and pool
Above the Grid, cocktails are integral not
only to NOPSI, but to New Orleans’ lore and
With no set closing hours and go-cups
permitted, Bourbon Street and the French
Quarter see much gonzo guzzling. Yet, as
Ann Tuennerman, founder of New Orleans’
famed Tales of the Cocktail conference (16th
edition this month) told The Washington Post
in 2014, “despite what people think, New
Orleans is the home of civilized drinking.”
Specifically, “It’s not about quantity, it’s about
quality. It’s about living in the moment and
having that joie de vivre.”
Spirited celebrations include the cocktail
program at the Central Business District’s
luxurious 117-room International House.
This 1906 Beaux Arts bank became the
world’s first World Trade Center in 1943 and
then in 1998 the city’s first boutique hotel.
Lush lobby bar Loa, named after the divine
spirits of voodoo, showcases proprietor Sean
Cummings’ desire to present a “true sense
Alan Walter, the hotel’s renowned “Spirit
Handler,” collaborates with Cummings on
local ingredient-driven seasonal cocktails
such as the limoncello, made with Sorrento
lemons grown in the city’s Bywater district.
And, elixirs honoring seven annual New Or-
leans rituals, including St. John’s Eve (June
22). For voodoo’s holiest day, Walter created
John’s Way, seven healing waters infused
with herbs and spirits presented in a wooden
box with sacramental objects. The potion
is shared at a full voodoo ceremony in the
lobby conducted by Sallie Anne Glassman,
the city’s current voodoo priestess.
The nearby Roosevelt New Orleans, a
Waldorf Astoria hotel, is home of the Art
Deco landmark Sazerac Bar. Originated in
a French Quarter apothecary in 1838 as a
mix of cognac (now rye whiskey), bitters and
absinthe, the Sazerac has been New Orleans’
official cocktail since 2008. Cocktails and
more fueled an outrageous post-concert party at the hotel (then Fairmont New Orleans)
in 1978 for rock legends Queen.
Ten this year, the event-capable South-
ern Food & Beverage Museum includes
the Museum of the American Cocktail and
Galerie d’Absinthe. Founded here in 1850,
family-owned liquor dynasty The Sazerac
Company’s new headquarters, housed in two
historic buildings, will include the Sazerac
House Museum. Slated for 2019, the devel-
opment reportedly includes meeting space.
In the Quarter, Tennessee Williams, Ernest
Hemingway and other literary luminaries
frequented Hotel Monteleone, home of the
slow-rotating vintage Carousel Bar.
Tennessee Williams also haunted the
Pontchartrain Hotel (1927), which faces
New Orleans & Company across St. Charles
Avenue. His influence includes the hotel’s
panoramic rooftop Hot Tin bar and new Jack
Rose restaurant. Libations include the 1920s
Jack Rose cocktail; four rooms include pri-
vate dining in the Mile High Pie Club.
Thirst for EXPERIENCE
COURTYARD, ROYAL SONESTA NEW ORLEANS R O Y A