In 2019 Innisfree Hotels, a hotel management, development, and marketing company finished their beautiful renovation of The Mercantile Hotel in the New Orleans Arts Warehouse District. A historic building that started as a sugar refinery in the late 1800s, the Mercantile Hotel in New Orleans has quickly become one of the most memorable and enjoyable places to stay in New Orleans. The renovations included transforming the lobby, adding a trendy craft cocktail bar and a rotating art gallery, and upgrading the business center while preserving the hotel’s historic charm.
The hotel’s atmosphere is truly unique and offers the latest in hospitality and technology. From the steel beams in the lobby to the exposed brick throughout the hotel, much of the charming interior is a mainstay from the original Henderson Sugar Refinery. Each suite has been outfitted with “Angie Hospitality,” an interactive concierge service where you can ask things like, “Hey Angie, where can I find the best po-boy?”
“We do art installments every quarter,” says the general manager Valarie Coston, “featuring new artists in the hotel. We also added an art gallery in the back, where we host a lot of local artwork. Featured in the hotel right now, we have Patrick Herring’s artwork, which is a 3D art installment, and it’s really something worth seeing. It’s very beautiful artwork.”
Also featured in the hotel are handcrafted Indian Mardi Gras suits that add a little flavor and culture of New Orleans to the inside. Valarie says, “Many people come in to look at the handcrafted Mardi Gras Indian suits that we have, and it is another thing that brings New Orleans culture inside the hotel.”
Playing off the sugar refinery theme and a part of the hotel that attracts visitors and locals alike is the hotel Confectionary Bar. “Our bar is very popular,” says Valarie, “and not just to guests staying at the hotel.” The Confectionery is home to “Cotton Candy Cocktails.” All the cocktails on the menu have a bit of homespun cotton candy added to them, giving them that old sugar refinery feel. Valarie says, “People love our cotton candy margaritas! We spin fresh cotton candy into them, and people just love it!”
Also served in The Confectionary Bar is a hip mix of Louisianastyle appetizers. They’re serving up Louisiana crab cakes, sliders, boudin egg rolls, and 5 different types of wings, so there’s no chance of you going hungry in the Confectionary! They have a steady clientele of people who visit the hotel bar but are not staying there. They always seem to have something fun going on, aside from the spectacular drinks and appetizers. They host regular Saints and Pelican watch parties, which draw locals to go in and have a cocktail, a bite to eat and watch the game. “Sometimes we have a local DJ that’ll play during the games. We do a lot of different events at the hotel that keep people coming back,” Valarie added .
One of the traditions the locals have a lot of fun with is their Mardi Gras float contest. Whoever makes the best float can win a 3-night stay during Mardi Gras season. “We just like to bring the community together and have a little fun during Mardi Gras, and it gets people together to be creative and have a little fun.” Float judging day is Feb 12.
Aside from all the regular events at the hotel, the Mercantile hosts quite a few small weddings and receptions throughout the year. “A lot of people like the vibe, unique look, and that our hotel is very intimate,” says Valarie. “We also frequently host bridal parties with room blocks. Brides love the exposed brick in the rooms where they can hang their wedding gowns, and it all photographs beautifully.” People love the intimate social space at The Mercantile and find that it lends itself very well to their small party or reception.
“We love to have fun here,” says Valarie! In fact, it’s how they answer the phone: “We’re having fun at the hotel Mercantile!” Customer service is everything according to the staff. “We love to take care of our guests. Having only a 90-room hotel allows us to be more personable and get to know our guests. We want them to have the best experience they can have while they’re visiting New Orleans!”
The hotel is within walking distance of the French Quarter, the Convention Center, and the best museums, restaurants, and festivals in the Crescent City, making it an ideal choice for business and leisure travelers. Give the Hotel Mercantile a call and let them make your stay in New Orleans the best part of your visit!