While visiting party-centric New Orleans, where you lay your head may not always be a top priority, but the buzzy new NOPSI Hotel will make you rethink where you spend the night. It’s the chance to sleep in a piece of The Crescent City’s history, while enjoying modern-day indulgences.
Quick history lesson: For eight decades, the building served as headquarters for the New Orleans Public Service Inc., the city’s former power and transportation operator, where customers would pay their electric and gas bills. After being shuttered for almost 40 years, the nine-story building powered back on this summer as a luxury hotel — showcasing the name NOPSI to honor its storied past. Ironically, the new hot-spot couldn’t ask for better advertising; thousands of manhole covers on the city’s sidewalks still bear the NOPSI name. (Play a fun game as you walk around New Orleans to see how many you can find.)
While the building’s Jazz Age-past still shines with original gleaming terrazzo stone floors, ornate sconces and even a transaction table still on display, the grand dame’s high-energy lobby now greets guests with dramatic vaulted ceilings, cascading brass chandeliers, and is bordered by a gin-focused bar playfully named Under Current on one side, and signature restaurant, Public Service, on the other. At all times of the day, a constant flow of hotel guests, visitors and locals pop-in for Prohibition-style cocktails at the wooden bar, while a jazz singer belts out tunes, or to feast on Gulf Coast seafood, like fresh oysters or crab gnocchi.
NOPSI has bragging rights to one of the best locations in the bustling Central Business District, offering an easy walk or entertaining cable car ride to must-see sights like the French Quarter, Superdome, Garden District, or City Park. When you’re done exploring, you’ll want to retreat to the hotel’s rooftop, Above the Grid, to cool off in the sparkling pool and simply soak up the expansive city skyline views. At sunset, sip a cocktail as you watch the surrounding buildings take on the orange and yellow hues of the golden hour; and at night, the rooftop transforms into an animated social scene, with music pumping and glowing balls floating in the pool that illuminate the night.
Sleep may not be a priority in NOLA, but with 217-spacious rooms fitted with local artwork, and plush beds and bathrooms that boast the largest showers in the city, the rooms are a welcome oasis after a raucous night out. If you want to elevate your stay, reserve one of the four spa suites with generous terraces that offer those stunning city views and book an in-room massage. Sleeping, or even resting, while in New Orleans — does that ever happen? Someone should rewrite history, and it might as well be you.