In an interesting—if counterintuitive—trend, Times-Picayune-themed businesses are on the rise (e.g., Picayune Social House, an “investigative reporting”-themed VRBO rental) even as the newspaper itself continues to downsize. The latest and perhaps most ambitious venture to capitalize on Times-Picayune nostalgia is The Eliza Jane (315 Magazine Street), a 196-room Hyatt-brand hotel in the CBD. Named for Eliza Jane Nicholson, publisher of The Daily Picayune and the first woman to own a major newspaper in the U.S., the boutique hotel connects nine historic warehouses, one of which formerly housed The Daily Picayune.
The hotel is a joint venture between Columbus-based Rockbridge and local developer HRI Properties Inc. New York-based design firm Stonehill Taylor designed the interiors to highlight original elements, including brick walls and ceiling beams.
In the lobby, hex-tiled floors, a custom brass lighting feature, and paneled, antique-strewn bookshelves create a timeworn feel.
“Our goal with The Eliza Jane was to embrace the history and location of these distinct buildings to create a special experience for our guests,” stated Rockbridge CEO Jim Merkel in a press release.
An arched doorway connects the lobby to the courtyard, where you’ll find a sculpture by local artist Brent Barnidge, a black-and-white tiled fountain, and Spanish-inspired design.
There are 50 suites among the 196 nonsmoking guest rooms, which feature high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and walk-in shower and tub combinations. Amenities include free wi-fi, Keurig coffee makers, refrigerators, and 24/7 gym access. Rates start at $200/night.
The 17-seat Press Room Bar in the lobby serves coffee, cocktails, and small plates. There’s also more than 1,700 square feet of event space available.
Helmed by Chef Brad McDonald, Couvant serves French fare in a brasserie-inspired space with an oyster bar.
“The property fully embraces our city’s spirit, and we look forward to complementing that by offering personalized and genuine New Orleans experiences to our guests,” Travis Tague, the hotel’s general manager, said in a press release.