With a rich heritage, New Orleans, Louisiana, or as some know it as, NOLA, broods with vibrant culture, cuisine, and music. Senior Designer, Laura Sievers found herself down south for the recent groundbreaking of Cambria Hotel, Downtown New Orleans developed by Fillmore Hospitality. We were curious to know what she uncovered during her visit and caught up with her to get the download.

It isn’t easy traveling, especially for work and you arrived on a Wednesday night – did you get a chance to explore?

I did. I stopped at Friztles European Jazz Pub and caught a set of a traditional New Orleans Jazz band. The building was built in 1831 and the music was a perfect backdrop to the historic setting.

Fritzles Jazz  Fritzles

What a perfect pick me up after your flight. Were there any other exciting happenings that night?

I heard about the fictional version of Marie Laveau from the show, American Horror Story Coven set in New Orleans and picked up a good luck voodoo doll before my design presentation at Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.

House of Voodoo

I trust that voodoo doll brought you some luck for your presentation. Let’s talk more about the remainder of your trip – what other noteworthy spots did you stumble upon?

I went to the classic New Orleans restaurant, Royal House to grab a Cajun Bloody Mary to-go and walked down Royal Street which is part of a neighborhood called the French Quarter. What stood out to me during my time in NOLA was that there was a musician or band around every corner and block. It brought a special liveliness to the neighborhood and was really fun to experience.

Royal St Band 1  Royal St Band 2  Royal St House

There’s nothing like live music, I wish we could have more or that on the West Coast. Your trip was to attend the groundbreaking for the Cambria Hotel, can you tell us more about that?

Although the hotel isn’t our project, everyone was in town to attend the groundbreaking so we held our meeting there. The Cambria New Orleans is one of the first of the new generation of Cambria hotels opening in major urban markets throughout the country. The location in the arts district is great and will fit in well in the neighborhood.

Any noteworthy dining spots?

I had no idea that the restaurant I made a reservation across the street from the groundbreaking. The food at Compère Lapin (located inside of The Old No. 77 Hotel) had food which I would describe as French-Caribbean meets New Orleans. I had the curried goat with sweet potatoes and cashews, it was a perfect mix of sweet, savory, and a little spicy. I also found out the restaurant is named after a traditional Caribbean and Creole folktale that features a rabbit name Compere Lapin.

What a fun dining experience. Did you get to explore The Old No. 77 Hotel at all – any fun finds?

The hotel itself had a New York loft vibe and offered beautiful details including an Art-O-Mat machine that you can purchase little pieces of art from.

OldNo77 Floor  OldNo77 Hotel

The Old No. 77 Hotel sounds like a cool curated place. You got a chance to visit an old Puccini Group project right?

I stopped at Hotel Monteleone to see the Carousel Bar that Puccini Group worked on a few years ago. It’s also in the French Quarter and this historic location celebrates all that New Orleans is known for – with its inviting charm, ornate details, and a bustling vibe.

Who doesn’t love a bar that brings out the inner child in everyone! We’re there any additional spots you wouldn’t want anyone to forget?

Café du Monde is the place to go for an iconic New Orleans experience. Café du Monde is a sidewalk café that offers up some delicious treats including beignets that I enjoyed with some coffee. Also, a perfect place to people watch.

Would you want to visit Orleans again?

Definitely. It’s a very special city and it was wonderful to see it thriving 10 years after Katrina.

  Bourbon St  Bourbon St Sign