Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Hotel Mazarin: An Indulgent Oasis

New Orleans is a city of beauty, history and indulgence. You feast on the beauty of your surroundings as well as the culinary bounty. This tiny slice of France in the USA lures jazz lovers, foodies, party goers and more into its daily bacchanal. So finding an oasis of calm within the historic French Quarter is a blessing indeed.

The Hotel Mazarin is such a place. Named after the great 17th Century French statesman, the property exudes Parisian finesse. The large inner courtyard features a stunning fountain whose soothing sounds serenade the guests. I could hear the gentle gurgling of the fountain from my room which was directly off the courtyard. 

Pictured below is the facade, typically New Orleans, of the Hotel.

Complimentary Breakfast is served in the courtyard pictured below.

And wrought iron detailing like this is featured throughout the courtyard.

The rooms are tastefully decorated and renovated. Those of you who know me know that bedding and bathrooms are the first things I look for in a hotel room. These crisp white immaculate sheets were a perfect retreat from the bustling scene in the French Quarter where the party rages on till all hours of the morning, New Orleans style. 

The colors and the tropical vegetation in New Orleans is one of the things I treasure most about the place...if you block out the cars, and the modern dress, New Orleans is the sort of place that takes you back in time. Take one of the many carriages rides on offer in the historic district and you can almost hear the swish of ladies gowns against the cobblestone pavements... 

The Lobby pictured below is a paragon of French gilt and marquetry.

But my favorite time in New Orleans is, as the French call it, "l'heure Bleu" that moment at dusk when the sky changes, blue, purple...the old buildings take on a life of their own as they harmonize with the light show above, everything seems magical. I spent some time in the courtyard of the Hotel Mazarin to enjoy those fleeting dusky moments, I looked up and watched the masterpiece in the sky, knowing I only had about half an hour before night settled in, just enjoying. The fountain was singing, the chatter of guests could be heard through the French doors, the faint glow of the 18th century lanterns lit the pages of my book which by now was more of an accessory than anything else, the electric vibe of excitement as guests were busy readying themselves for that night's revelry...all coincided to create a memory of the place which I shan't soon forget. Indeed, the Hotel Mazarin will live on in my mind long after the words of its namesake, the Cardinal Mazarin, are but a distant memory.

If you're planning a trip to New Orleans, the Hotel Mazarin has it all: perfect accommodations, location and charm.