NEW ORLEANS (Nov. 5, 2014)-- The Omni Royal Orleans will host local journalist and author Paul Oswell and The History Press for a Meet the Author Reception for "New Orleans' Historic Hotels" on Thurs. Nov. 13, at Omni Royal Orleans. The reception will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Escoffier Room in The Rib Room restaurant. Complimentary beer and wine will be available at the reception.
Published by The History Press on Nov. 4, the new book is destined to become a New Orleans coffee table classic and will be available just in time for holiday gift giving. Author Paul Oswell captures the fascinating history of some of New Orleans' oldest hotels that reflect the city's own story, including Omni Royal Orleans, Hotel Monteleone and Le Pavillon Hotel, telling the story of properties that stood the test of time and of those that didn't.
Oswell is a writer and travel journalist originally from Chorley, Lancashire, England. He has been visiting New Orleans since 2001 and has been based in the city since 2011. He is the author of guide New Orleans for Free.
Omni Royal Orleans is one of just four hotels in New Orleans inducted into the Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. From the timelessly elegant lobby and traditional full-service barbershop to Zagat-award winning Rib Room restaurant and rooftop swimming pool and fitness center, Omni Royal Orleans combines old-world charm with 20th century elegance and modern amenities.
About the Book
The hotels of New Orleans have welcomed countless visitors in a history stretching back to the eighteenth century. From humble boardinghouse beginnings to the grand hotels of the nineteenth century and through to the modern properties that stand today, hotel life in New Orleans has reflected the city's own story. From political scandal and celebrity intrigue to events that shaped the landscape of the entire country, the story of New Orleans's hotels is an endlessly engaging one. Travel writer Paul Oswell checks into the great hotels of the past and the present, telling the story of the properties that stood the test of time, as well as those that didn't. Using city records, newspaper archives, vintage travel guides and anecdotal stories in the best New Orleans tradition, he brings each one to life and in the process fleshes out the story of the city's hospitality industry and, by extension, its lively, fascinating history.
Omni Royal Orleans' History
The site of Omni Royal Orleans at the corner of Royal and St. Louis streets has a colorful history dating back to the New Orleans Exchange, the marketplace where Creoles of the French Quarter conducted business and trade. It later was the location of the first Creole hotel in the French Quarter. The City Exchange, which opened 175 years ago, took its name from The City Exchange Restaurant, said to be the first restaurant to serve Gumbo, the thick Creole soup of seafood and okra. In its early years, the Creoles spent much of their social life and conducted business at the grand City Exchange hotel, which led to the exchange through a beautiful domed rotunda.
A new hotel was later built on the location, the Saint Louis Hotel, which was destroyed by a fire and quickly rebuilt as the Saint Louis Exchange to become the site of French New Orleans' most lavish banquets and balls throughout the 1840s and beyond. During Reconstruction following the war, the hotel passed through several hands until it was sold to the state of Louisiana to become the state capitol building.
The building lived on another 40 years with various owners trying to make it a success again, and eventually was sold back to the state, and its doors closed in the early 1900s. It would take until 1960 before the present Omni Royal Orleans Hotel, designed by famed architect Arthur David, was opened on the same site.
The 345-room Omni Royal Orleans was carefully renovated in 2013 during a $15 million renovation of guest rooms and suites, public spaces and premium meeting spaces, and the hotel is a place for both business and pleasure. The seven-story hotel features 49 guestrooms with private balconies and 14,000 square feet of function space.
About The History Press
The History Press, based in Charleston, SC, brings a new way of thinking to history publishing-preserving and enriching the community by empowering history enthusiasts to write local stories for local audiences. Since 2004, we have published nearly three thousand of the highest quality local and regional history titles from coast to coast.
About Omni Royal Orleans
The Omni Royal Orleans is a 345-room hotel in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. Located on the most fashionable corner, St. Louis at Royal, the hotel has received the four-diamond luxury award for the past 31 years. With a $15 million renovation in March 2013, the hotel welcomed modernized guest rooms, 24 new iconic wrought iron balconies and refreshed public spaces. Omni Royal Orleans offers several dining outlets, including the Zagat award-winning Rib Room, Touche Bar and La Riviera for poolside refreshments. Additional features include a rooftop fitness center, on-site barbershop, rooftop outdoor heated pool and an observation deck with picturesque views of the French Quarter and Mississippi River.
In addition to the four-diamond luxury award, the Omni Royal has earned the Pinnacle Award for its superior meeting services for the past ten years and was named in U.S. News & World Report's Best Hotels 2014: #5 in New Orleans.
About Omni Hotels & Resorts
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. With over 20 world-class golf courses and award-winning spa retreats, to dynamic business settings, each Omni showcases the local flavor of the destination while featuring four-diamond services, signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique wellness options. Known for its distinguished, personalized service, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every customer interaction, with a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program and the company's "Power of One" associate empowerment program. The brand is frequently recognized by top consumer research organizations and travel publications. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.