International House is a joyful tribute to New Orleans today - an ensemble of historic architecture, colorful characters, cheerful culture, signature food and local music unlike any other city in America.
It’s about the cross-pollination of cultures. European romance. Caribbean ways and African influences. The struggle with change. Life percolated, steeped, marinated, distilled and lived. Spirited and spiritual. Played out for nearly 300 years and counting. On this great river and in this classic Beaux Arts building. Once the first world trade center in the world, our downtown New Orleans hotel offers 117 guest rooms, suites and penthouses, as well a destination bar and popular restaurant. It also includes Entrepreneurs’ Row, a modern conference center with meeting spaces for promising start-up companies fueling New Orleans’s economy. It is a forward-looking hotel, alive with the energy of New Orleans today - a creative culture of invention that has gifted the world legendary music, seeded the nation's finest kitchens and nourished a joyful quality
To express the idea, the design trio of architect Brooks Graham, designer LM Pagano and owner Sean Cummings hired local artisans and wove into our boutique hotel the eclectic mix of objects - old, new, bought, found and bequeathed - which reflects contemporary New Orleans style. Whether it is a backlit front desk inspired by a field of Louisiana wild Irises, the imaginative use of indigenous woods and metals, the mesmerizing glow of candlelight, blown glass, a fertility bed from Senegal, handcrafted chandeliers,
or S. Pablo & Son mineral water bottles, there are layers and layers to discover. Says Pagano, “There are unexpected moments of pristine yet tattered grace, in this hotel and in this city I love so much. To me, it’s all about culture and the patina of time.”
The hotel lobby is one of those moments. With soaring 23' ceilings, ornate pilasters and intimate groupings of furniture, the lobby glows in tones of carnelian and opulent antiqued velvets. Candles and seasonal wild flora transform a Senegalese bench into a sacred altar, hinting at the ritual and religiosity that flavor New Orleans’ mysterious character. Elevators open to reveal an alluring Adonis and Venus mosaic by Bisazza, and the interplay between bar, restaurant and hotel enlivens the space in which Pagano seems to tap effortlessly into the sensuality, magic, mystery and elegance of this place. The result is a soulful and inventive expression of New Orleans style.
The same theme is evident in seven rituals and Here’s to the Creative Ones events that the hotel hosts annually. Rituals include Carnival, St. Joseph’s Day, Summer Dress, St. John’s Eve and All Souls Day, among others. There is a curated art collection. And the Creative Ones’ events include tributes to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Benjamin Latrobe and Audrey Hepburn, as well as Malcolm Sayer and Mary Magdalene.
Forward looking but instantly familiar, International House heralds a bright new time in New Orleans, an intriguing place we each call home whether for a few days or a lifetime.