Beloved New Orleans Hotel Re-Opens its Doors

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Guests, Staff Celebrate the Return of Hotel Maison de Ville

In the midst of the coordinating last-minute renovations, fielding phone calls, and double checking the first post-Katrina reservations at the Hotel Maison de Ville, Director of Sales and Marketing Courtney Abercrombie noticed a handwritten postcard on her desk: “We think the [hotel name] is nice, but it is no Maison de Ville. Please let us know when you are reopening.” The signature belonged to one of the hotel’s frequent guests, who had hand delivered the postcard while staying elsewhere in New Orleans.

Such genuine affection and fierce loyalty is common among guests who have stayed at the Hotel Maison De Ville. This historic inn in the heart of the French Quarter has become a home-away-from-home for travelers from all over the country and the world. This faithful fan club is sure to be cheering this week as Hotel Maison de Ville officially re-opens for business.

The first guests, who checked in over the weekend, were greeted by familiar faces and surroundings. Throughout the reconstruction, the hotel staff had taken care to place furniture, artwork, and knick-knacks exactly where they had been prior to the hurricane. “We wanted to create a genuine homecoming for our guests,” says Abercrombie. “They have a real attachment to this place, and they will notice if anything is missing.”

A little bit of change isn’t always a bad thing, though. In addition to repair and maintenance, the hotel also completed renovations during the forced closure, enhancing rooms with new, ultra-comfort beds and freshening their décor.

Reservations have been flowing in since late February, when the hotel announced its imminent reopening, and rooms are booked as far out as December 2006. This enthusiastic return to the French Quarter has been heartening to the Maison de Ville staff, many of whom are lifelong residents of New Orleans. “It’s been great to return to the normalcy of work,” says Abercrombie, “Seeing the hotel come back to life, better than ever, has given us all a boost. It’s wonderful to be a part of our city’s rebirth.”

A highly anticipated part of this rebirth will be the return of the Krewe of Cork, a group of wine aficionados who meet monthly in Maison de Ville’s Bistro Restaurant and march each year in the Mardi Gras parade. As in past years, Bistro Maitre d’ Patrick van Hoorebeek will lead the Krewe in its Mardi Gras 2006 festivities.

It’s a bright new beginning for the Maison de Ville which will complete its recovery in the spring. The majority of the hotel’s 19th century structure is ready for guests, but additional repair work is required on the Audubon Cottages, which are detached from the hotel’s main building. Their expected reopening date is April 1, 2006.

Hotel Maison de Ville is located in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. The main building located at 727 Rue Toulouse, the reception room, parlor, concierge, and 9 guest quarters. Additional luxury accommodations are offered in other historic buildings, including the Audubon Cottages. The Maison de Ville also is home to one of the finest restaurants in New Orleans, The Bistro, which features Nouvelle Creole Cuisine. Please see http://www.hotelmaisondeville.com for more information.

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Courtney Abercrombie
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