Sign in

Forgotten your password

Sign up for free Smith membership

×
Show
Hide

iFrame []

URL:

Hotel Highlights

  • French Quarter location
  • Beautiful historic former residence
  • Two leafy courtyards

Overview

A French Quarter favourite, Soniat House in New Orleans is a peek into bygone days situated on a chilled-out section of Chartres Street; it’s an antique-laden base camp from which to explore the buzzy Big Easy.

Smith Extra

Here's what you get for booking Soniat House with us:

A copy of La Bouche Creole cookbook by Leon Soniat, and SilverSmith and GoldSmith members receive a free welcome glass of champagne

Facilities

View Gallery
Soniat House hotel – New Orleans - United States

Need To Know

Rooms

30, including 12 suites.

Check–out

Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Late check-outs after 2pm are charged half the nightly rate. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $265.00, excluding tax at 13 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of $1.00 per room per night on check-out.

More details

Rates exclude breakfast (US$12.50).

Also

Browse pieces procured on owners Frances and Rodney’s trips to the Toulouse, Paris and Leon in the shop on the grounds. Add gilded sconces, crystal-covered chandeliers, buffets and other 18th-century artefacts to your collection.

At the hotel

Courtyard, antiques shop, sitting room with a computer for guests, free use of facilities at the New Orleans Athletic Club. In rooms: free WiFi throughout, flatscreen TVs, Frette linens and Molton Brown bath products.

Our favourite rooms

A walk up the chandelier-lit staircase lands you in Room 28, the only Grand Suite in the main house. Check out peaceful Chartres Street from one of the rocking chairs on the private balcony. The suite is kitted out with a lacquered turquoise four-poster bed with a pleated white canopy and a decorative fireplace. Go for the rooms in the main house if you can; they get more natural light. The back-house bedrooms are a bit darker and lower-ceilinged; they used to be the slaves’ quarters.

Packing tips

Bring an old-school fan to wave while you sit in one of the rockers, like the good ole days. Pack a polaroid camera to capture Nola’s mix of architecture. Start with a photo of Soniat House, it’s a typical Creole townhouse.

Also

In-room massages can be booked and a DVD player is available on request.

Children

Children ages 10 and up are welcome, although there are no facilities geared towards them at the hotel.

Food & Drink

View Gallery
Soniat House hotel – New Orleans - United States

Hotel Restaurant

There’s no restaurant at Soniat House, but a down-home Southern Continental breakfast is served either in your room or in the coutryard each morning. Tuck into fresh-baked buttermilk biscuits with home-made strawberry preserves and a café au lait in the leafy courtyard or back in your boudoir.

Hotel Bar

An honour bar is set up in the drawing room with premium liquors lining the top of the three-tiered rack. Whip up a tipple and relax in the casual antique-lined drawing room, or have a cocktail delivered to your room.

Last orders

The courtyard is available for guests 24 hours a day, breakfast is served here starting at 8am.

Room service

Breakfast can be served in-room starting at 7.15am. A selection of salads, po’ boys and seafood is available from 9am to 9pm.

Smith Insider

Dress code

Lightweight linen slacks and a button-down shirt for Mr Smith and a knee-skimming, full-skirted eyelet dress for southern belle Mrs Smith.

Top table

Have a pre-dinner cocktail or nightcap on the wraparound balcony, while you ponder which jazz club to scoot off to.

Local Guide

View Gallery
Soniat House hotel – New Orleans - United States
Eat, drink, see, do: local favourites and more…

Worth getting out of bed for

Spend time touring historical landmarks along Chartes Street, just five-minutes away on foot: The Presbytere, aka New Orleans’ Mardi Gras museum, built in 1791 and The Cabildo, which was completed in 1799 (lsm.crt.state.la.us). The St Louis Cathedral is the oldest working one of its kind in the US (stlouiscathedral.org). Take in Jackson Square, across from the cathedral. Artists line the green recreating the scene on canvas and there are plenty of clothing shops to peruse (www.jackson-square.com). Built in 1835, the Old US Mint at 400 Esplanade Avenue is a Greek Revival edifice worthy of a stroll-by (lsm.crt.state.la.us). Take little ones to the Audubon Nature Institute to visit the zoo, learn about swamp critters and study creepy-crawlies at the Insectarium (+1 800 774 7394; www.auduboninstitute.org). Pick up Mardi Gras-approved eyewear at Maskarade, five minutes from the hotel. Now the hard part: deciding whether to go for a demure or full-tilt feather-lined mask (www.frenchquartermaskstore.com). Celebrate the vampy lore of Nola with a trip to Boutique du Vampyre at 633 Toulouse (+1 504 561 8267; www.feelthebite.com). Have a ‘haunted’ portrait made, admire the art gallery and pick up some Creole mustard.

 

Local restaurants

Sip fine wines and sample the tasting menu of Canadian lobster, black truffles and beef tenderloin at Tennessee Williams-homage Stella! one minute from Soniat House (+1 504 587 0091; www.restaurantstella.com). Just a two-minute walk away, Palm Court Jazz Café offers local flavour in the form of red beans and rice, flash-fried crawfish tails and the Creole pasta tossed with sausage, chicken, shrimp and oysters (+1 504 525 0200; www.palmcourtjazzcafe.com). With back-talking bartenders and potent cocktails (try the Sazerac), Coop’s Place on Decatur in the French Quarter is a local favourite. It serves some of the best Cajun food in the city, including rabbit and sausage jambalaya and seafood gumbo (+1 504 525 9053; www.coopsplace.net). For linen-table dining try the Italian Barrel on Barracks Street, three blocks away. Fresh sandwiches, pastas imported from Italy and delectable antipasti plates are on the menu (+1 504 569 0198; www.italianbarrel.com).

Local bars

Edging the French Quarter, Bar Tonique takes cocktails seriously. Rare liquors and bitters, freshly squeezed fruit juices and tinctures are employed to create their heady, old-school concoctions (+1504 324 6045; www.bartonique.com). Grab a brew and check out nightly live music at dba a five-minute walk from Soniat House, in Faubourg Marigny. Greats such as Jimmy Buffet and Stevie Wonder have graced the stage (+1 504 942 3731; dbabars.com/dbano).

Local cafés

Organic, hippie-tinged Satsuma Café at 3218 Dauphine Street in the Bywater neighbourhood, less than 10 minutes’ walk from the hotel, serves freshly squeezed juices, banana-Nutella pancakes and fresh salads (+1 504 304 5962). Piping-hot beignets and creamy café au laits are on the menu at Café Du Monde, just two blocks away (+1 800 772 2927; www.cafedumonde.com)

+ Enlarge
Vivacious Vieux Carré

Soniat House

1133 Chartres Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70116-2593, United States

Soniat House is in the heart of the French Quarter on a quiet stretch of Chartes Street between Governor Nicholls and Ursulines Streets.

Planes

From New York, fly with American Airlines (www.aa.com) or United Airlines (www.united.com). International and domestic flights from most major hubs touch down and take-off from Louis Armstrong International Airport (www.flymsy.com), 15 minutes’ drive from the hotel. Take a taxi to the hotel for US$33.

Trains

Amtrak serves New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal on Loyola Avenue (www.amtrak.com), two miles away with routes to Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Take a taxi for about US$20.

Automobiles

If you are here during the major fests and staying local, a car will be more of a hindrance than a help, as the French Quarter gets packed. Valet parking is available for US$25 a night.

Reviews

View Gallery
Soniat House hotel – New Orleans - United States

Anonymous review

by Geraldine Campbell , Southern scribe

I grew up in New Jersey, far from the world of grits and grillades, y’alls and debutante balls. But I’ve got a bit of a crush on the South. I lived in Memphis, New Orleans, and Shreveport – for more than three years, and I’m intimately familiar with riverboats and racinos (race tracks with slot machines), big hair and bigger waistbands and fried everything – which, I&…
Read more

Soniat House

Anonymous review by Geraldine Campbell, Southern scribe

I grew up in New Jersey, far from the world of grits and grillades, y’alls and debutante balls. But I’ve got a bit of a crush on the South. I lived in Memphis, New Orleans, and Shreveport – for more than three years, and I’m intimately familiar with riverboats and racinos (race tracks with slot machines), big hair and bigger waistbands and fried everything – which, I’ll admit, can be a good thing.

For better and for worse, I love the South. And I love New Orleans most of all. So, in spite of my lingering head cold, I left Mr. Smith, my dog and a mountain of work and boarded a plane to the Big Easy with the giddiness of a schoolgirl playing hooky.

And the Soniat House, the boutique hotel where I’d be staying, was just the sort of civilized crash pad I was looking for in an escape. Located in the up-all-night French Quarter, but as my taxi drive pulled up onto a quiet stretch of Chartres, I realized this wasn’t the Quarter that I was familiar with.

Sure, Soniat House’s red brick façade, green shutters and wrought iron balcony are in keeping with the surrounding architecture. But this charming trio of 1830s townhouses has been converted into a 33-room hideaway for travelers keen to experience New Orleans beyond the buzzy Bourbon Street crawl.

Ringing the doorbell, I was greeted by a white-jacketed porter who took my suitcase and escorted me to the registration office. Confession: I’m the type of self-sufficient traveler who likes to be in possession of my bags at all times. But somehow, it seemed right to let go. And, instead of checking my iPhone as I waited, I was content to quietly take in the scene as dusk settled on the leafy courtyard within.

Check-in taken care of, I climbed the winding staircase to the second floor to my Deluxe Room that opened onto a balcony overlooking the courtyard. The room itself was small, but well laid out, with just the right amount of flourishes – a floral upholstered headboard with a gauzy overhang, an antique dresser, and an impressionist style painting over the mantle – to lend personality, without venturing into the territory of fussiness.

Plans for the evening focused on checking out SoBou, a gastropub newcomer from the Commander’s Palace family of restaurants, and, as I walked along Chartres, I had the feeling that the city, like me, was a bit under the weather. The late-night revelers seemed to be nursing their hangovers in the aftermath of Halloween and Voodoo Fest, a weekend-long music and arts festival. Or, perhaps, it was just that I was several blocks from the always-raucous Bourbon Street.

Grabbing a seat at SoBou’s bar, I chatted with head bar chef and ex-New Yorker Abigail Gullo over yellowfin ice cream cones, oyster cocktails, and a fizzy scotch cocktail dubbed Paris Between the Wars. Ending the night with a shot of Abigail’s homemade Negroni, I headed back to my hotel and briefly considered a glass of wine in the inviting first-floor lounge before tucking in beneath my Egyptian cotton sheets.

Feeling well-rested the next morning, I was ready to explore the bordering neighborhoods of the Marigny and the Bywater. But first, breakfast. I’m not usually a breakfast person, but the breakfast at Soniat House is one worth staying in bed for. I rang the front desk and within 20 minutes, warm buttermilk biscuits, homemade strawberry preserves, fresh-squeezed orange juice and café au lait were delivered to my door – on a silver tray. I happily tucked in while plotting my day’s adventures.

New Orleans is a city that’s slow to change, but the Bywater, even on a Tuesday morning, was filled with laptop-toting entrepreneurs, juice-drinking yogis and artists who don’t work regular hours. I happily wandered for a few hours, taking in street art, popping into shops and admiring the Creole cottages, before grabbing lunch at Booty’s Street Food, where the menu is inspired by street food from around the world. And because I was in New Orleans, I was persuaded by my waitress to try the Bywater Bomber: a haute take on a frozen daiquiri with pineapple, orange, lime juice, rose water, Booty's bitters and Old New Orleans Rum.

Midday drinking calls for a siesta and the hushed ambiance of the Soniat House – and those gorgeous Frette linens – were the perfect setting for an afternoon nap.

Energized, I freshened up for dinner at Mariza, an Italian-inspired eatery in a cool, industrial space back in the Bywater. Frenchman Street, a bar-lined stretch of the Marigny where locals go for live music, was a tempting after-dinner activity, but I decided instead to return to the hotel and investigate the lounge and honor bar.

Finding the cozy lounge empty, I took my glass of red wine up to the second floor, gliding down the antique-lined corridor and out to the Chartres-facing wraparound balcony. The street was quiet, save for a ghost tour, which was just wrapping up. I sat, sipped and listened, content to know that I still had one more breakfast in bed to look forward to – and already plotting my return with Mr Smith.

 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel with us, we'll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Soniat House's Guestbook below.

 

No Smith members have posted their reviews of Soniat House yet. You could be the first!