Following a four-year restoration, this former Catholic church and school in the heart of the Marigny has been repurposed as a 71-key hotel.
Newly-opened Hôtel Peter & Paul is the result of a joint partnership between real estate and design firm, ASH NYC, and prominent New Orleans resident, Nathalie Jordi.
The property is set in a historic 19th century site comprising four buildings – a church, rectory, schoolhouse and convent – which have been carefully restored and converted into an elegant 71-key hotel by architectural firm, studioWTA.
St Peter and Paul church and its accompanying rectory were designed by celebrated New Orleans architect, Henry Howard, in 1860. A small convent was added in 1890, while the school was built in 1900 by Diboll & Owen.
For 124 years, the Marianite Sisters of the Holy Cross taught at the school, until declining enrolments led to its closure in 1993, with the church ceasing operation in 2001.
In its current iteration, the School House contains a reception area, lounge and 59 guest rooms. The former classrooms, school theatre, and sleeping lofts have been thoughtfully redesigned, featuring a colour palette drawn from iconic 14-18th century religious paintings and tapestries.
ASH NYC has incorporated many of the property’s original features into its reimagined aesthetic, including the cypress wood mouldings, stained glass windows, wainscoted corridors, marble fireplaces, and the original rectory flag pole, which now hosts the Hôtel Peter & Paul flag.
The furnishings throughout have either been designed and constructed locally by regional artisans, or have been sourced from the great antique fairs of Europe and several of New Orleans’ finest estates.
The guest rooms within the School House range from “School House Petite” and “School House Classic”, with private bathrooms, hand-painted striped tile showers and custom Italian linens, to “School House Two of Queens” with two plush queen beds.
The Rectory, meanwhile, is a soft red brick building that now serves as the hotel’s lobby and F&B spaces, alongside five further guest rooms washed in a warm peach lime paint and adorned with opulent canopy beds, dormant antique fireplaces and sumptuous marble bathrooms.
The F&B programming at Hôtel Peter & Paul is led by the New Orleans-based Bacchanal Group. Influenced by the city’s Marigny neighbourhood – which fuses a New World location with Old World roots – the ground floor of the former rectory incorporates The Elysian Bar.
Named after the ‘Elysian Fields’ of classical mythology, this amber-hued room with fretwork on the walls and a suspended bamboo ceiling above serves up niche wines, specialty cocktails, and a menu designed by chef Alex Harrell.
The rectory’s former chapel has been converted into a cafe, complete with a trompe l’oeil citrus grove, while a sun room provides a perfect breakfast spot, complete with red and white tiles and citrus yellow walls. Simple wooden furniture lines the glass walls, which are dressed in full-length linen lace sheers, while cascading vines create a verdant all-season escape.
At the heart of the house are two inviting parlours, which provide space for guests to read, relax or socialise. Italianate marble fireplaces here are joined by a smattering of French and Italian bamboo and rattan vintage pieces, plus a collection of national and international periodicals for guests to peruse.
The 9450ft2 decommissioned church has been refurbished in the same sensitive manner. Honouring the memories and life-altering events that took place within its walls, the space now brings the community together through a host of private and public gatherings.
The final component of the redevelopment is the convent. Once the home of Marianite nuns, it now houses seven tranquil guest rooms with a colour palette of warm white lime, punctuated by Palladian blue. All seven convent rooms have canopied queen or king beds, large bathrooms and luxury amenities, some featuring iron claw-foot tubs and private planted balconies.
Photography courtesy of Hotel Peter & Paul