A former St. Charles Avenue hotspot whose golden days once seemed behind it, the Garden District’s Pontchartrain Hotel is getting a second life after a big restoration. The 106-room hotel, which despite its small size includes four different John Besh-helmed dining and drinking spots, opens Friday.
The Chicago-based AJ Capital Partners oversaw the redevelopment of the property, and Cooper Manning (of the football family) is one of the hotel’s local investors.
Built in 1927, the hotel earned notoriety with visits from the likes of Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, Truman Capote, President Gerald Ford, and Tennessee Williams (who is said to have worked on A Streetcar Named Desire during his stay). Its restaurants and bar were favorite spots among locals. The owners sold the hotel in 1897, and it changed hands a few times as a hotel and later as assisted living apartments.
This restoration seems to be evoking the Pontchartrain’s better years, and—bucking the trend of the modern hotel geared toward the Airbnb crowd—the rooms here are spacious and have a homey mix of Caribbean and European furniture in a "classic and refined color palette."