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Enhanced Editorial

Maison Dupuy Makes Your Stay
Luxury and location come together for a one-of-kind experience in the heart of New Orleans.

Say the name of one the country’s top destinations and travelers’ get very Pavlovian. Their eagerness is borne from past encounters with locales such as Times Square or South Beach, or it is coaxed by images they have seen or tales they have been told.

nightlifeNew Orleans’ French Quarter is such a place. Whether it is the euphoric Super Bowl celebration, gaudy Mardi Gras or centuries-old history, the district carries itself with a vibe people want to be part of. And there is no better place for them to make the connection than from quarters at The Maison Dupuy Hotel.

The 200-room hotel is nestled in the heart of the French Quarter and just two blocks from the zest of Bourbon Street. Its surroundings, marked by homes looking more at home in Europe, and streets and lamps looking more at home in a different century, let one easily slip into a touristy escape.

Maison Dupuy represents something guests will not find at home or along the interstate. This is the kind of place where romance takes precedence, and it is the kind of place where repeat visits are the norm.

Along the Timeline

Maison Dupuy grew into its status as one of the country’s best hotels, as its sumptuous locale has not always been a lauded lodging. In fact, it once was the site of a cotton press, then pressed into service as the location of sheet metal factories. In the 1970s, development of the hotel was approved—no mean feat given the strict local preservation organization that approves such projects.

hotelMaison Dupuy welcomed its first guests in 1973 and, as it turned out, became the last hotel to be built in the French Quarter. Construction involved the merging of five adjacent townhouses, giving the hotel authentic French Quarter flourishes, such as French doors, wrought iron balconies and an interior courtyard—the largest in the quarter no less. The courtyard is the figurative and literal centerpiece of Maison Dupuy, with its three-tiered marble fountain, verdant foliage and saltwater swimming pool.

It is a backdrop that exudes relaxation and private conversation. It is quintessential New Orleans —warm and welcomingly exotic.

As the hotel matured, it was given touches and accoutrements that helped it earn the rank as one of the top 172 hotels in the country. The first touch came from the company that bought it from its founders, the Delta Steamboat Co. The company, already widely known for its river cruises up and down the nearby Mississippi River, sought to deepen the Southern flavor of its excursions with a suitable lodging in New Orleans. A vestige of this time is a three-wall mural of a New Orleans street scene that adorns one of the hotel eateries.

Eateries were the focus of the firm that purchased Maison Dupuy from Delta, and the result is a culinary legacy worthy of a city so famous for its distinctive cuisine. The firm also renovated the hotel with an eye toward historical accuracy.

Maison Dupuy’s current owner, Pyramid Hotel Group, seeks out historical hotels that are indicative of their locale—something Maison Dupuy has always done. Shortly after it was acquired by Pyramid, the hotel and its city were beset by Hurricane Katrina, but both have rebounded. In Katrina’s aftermath, hotel staff was evacuated to Houston and repairs began as soon as possible. The work was so dedicated and fast that Maison Dupuy was open in time for Mardi Gras, easily carrying New Orleans’ banner of resiliency. And it still contains the essence of its great city, a city still ready and able to captivate travelers.

A Place of Distinction

Much of New Orleans’ lasting appeal is the fact that it is unlike most of the rest of the United States. The uniqueness is embodied by the French Quarter—the city center laid out by the colonists from France in 1718. The Franco-infused culture was complemented by a few decades of Spanish rule before New Orleans became part of the Louisiana Purchase. American culture started to make inroads a decade-plus later following the Battle of New Orleans, the engagement that closed the War of 1812.

courtyardAmong the most glorious hallmarks of the American presence is the French Quarter’s incubation of creativity. For instance, jazz was planted and came to fruition here. And literary luminaries, such as Truman Capote found their muses here.

The magic that drew them still abounds, and it can be touched in myriad ways. There are walking tours that point out architectural and historic highlights; carriage tours that traverse the narrow streets in romantically period charm; ghost tours that trade on the city’s otherworldly reputation and unusual above-ground cemeteries (because of the high water table); and music tours that explore the roots of regional music gone national.

Beyond the quarter, more tours also demonstrate the charm and heritage of the region. Steamboat tours recapture the heyday of riverboats and Mississippi wonder. Swamp tours hint at the massive wetlands that make up the lowlands of Louisiana from which New Orleans was fashioned. And plantation tours showcase the antebellum splendor of the South.

Then there is the ample adventure offered by New Orleans nightlife, from intimate spots for cooing couples to raucous juke joints for night owls. Plus, with the plethora of dining options, visitors might find it hard to find time to get much exploration done.

Whatever they decide to do, they can recharge for more of it in the pampering embrace of Maison Dupuy. With amenities that include pillow-top mattresses, complimentary high-speed Internet and rooms with balconies overlooking the private courtyard or the French Quarter, the hotel sets the scene for a carefree stay. Themed getaway packages that cater to girls-only vacations, family travelers and nature lovers, among others, also add to the attractiveness of the hotel. Mix in an award-winning restaurant, a low-key bar and an attention to detail, and The Maison Dupuy Hotel becomes a place that defies adjectives. It—like its city—simply must be experienced.

For more information, visit www.maisondupuy.com. For travel-planning assistance, visit AAA.com/travel.

Mar/Apr 2010 Issue

This Enhanced Editorial was paid for by a promotional fee from an advertiser.

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