A Neighborhood Sanctuary

Nathalie Jordi (MBA ’12) is co-developer of Hotel Peter & Paul, a boutique hotel in the Faubourg Marigny housed on the site of the former Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church.

It’s more than just a hotel.

That’s the first thought that confronts almost anyone who ventures to the Hotel Peter & Paul, located at 2317 Burgundy St. in the heart of Faubourg Marigny. Nathalie Jordi (MBA ’12) planned it to be that way. Sort of. Her original plan for a cozy, boutique-style hotel didn’t happen — something much grander took shape instead — though she was always certain where it needed to be.

“What I wanted to do was a small hotel in our neighborhood,” said Jordi, who has lived in the Marigny with her husband and two children for about 10 years. “I felt like if I was visiting New Orleans, this is the neighborhood I want to be staying in, and I felt there were so many people who never leave the French Quarter. To me what is special about New Orleans are the neighborhoods.”

Developed in partnership with ASH NYC, a Brooklyn-based design and development company, Hotel Peter & Paul stands as a loving testament to that vision. Located on the site of the former Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, the property features four buildings — the church, a rectory, a schoolhouse and a convent — that have been transformed into an elegant hotel offering 71 guest rooms. The property also features an Old World-style courtyard, a bell tower and the Elysian Bar, a James Beard Award semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category.

The church, which was built in 1860, closed in 2001. Since then, the property had sat vacant and deteriorating, even as the Marigny underwent a dramatic revitalization.

“It took a while, but when this property became a possibility, it was more amazing than anything I had looked at but also bigger than what I would be able to do on my own,” Jordi said.

That’s where ASH NYC came into the picture. The firm had recently completed an historic hotel renovation in Providence, Rhode Island, and was eying New Orleans as a potential location for its next development.

While she had no previous experience in development, Jordi had worked as a travel and food writer, and that experience helped her to recognize an untapped opportunity in the neighborhood.

“There wasn’t that sweet spot that I look for when I travel, which is a hotel with a high sense of design and service but still feels like the place that it is in,” Jordi said.

At a time when travelers are increasingly abandoning traditional hotels in favor of more authentic experiences, Jordi sought to create a space with meticulous attention to detail — from the curtains and chandeliers to the antique clawfoot tubs to the vintage rotary dial phones in some rooms — while not neglecting the modern touches. To create that unique sense of place, Jordi and ASH turned to the community, hiring local artisans to make the furniture and partnering with local experts on amenities that reflect the neighborhood’s sensibility. The Elysian Bar, for example, is run by the team behind Bacchanal, the much-loved wine bar and restaurant in nearby Bywater.

Jordi said her personal connection to the Marigny and willingness to listen to the concerns of neighbors helped win their support for the project. She said neighbors were especially pleased with her plans to preserve all the structures on the site. “We wanted to create something that would be a benefit to the neighborhood, something they would get behind,” she said.

Since opening in October 2018, the Hotel Peter & Paul has quickly earned a reputation as one of the city’s premier places to stay. The New York Times published a glowing review, and TripAdvisor, which lists hotels by customer reviews, ranks the hotel as one of the top five places to stay in New Orleans. Jordi, the former hotel reviewer and writer, admits she fulfilled a “secret ambition” by having the hotel make Conde Nast Traveler’s 2019 Hot List.

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