This week began with a long-anticipated announcement from Leblanc+Smith, the New Orleans restaurant and now hotel group, that its chic The Chloe on St. Charles Avenue is accepting bookings for October. The 14-room boutique hotel is housed in a circa-1891 Queen Anne (formerly the Picard Mansion) and underwent extensive restoration beginning in 2019. The significant transformation was the always artful work of New Orleans decorator, designer and author Sara Ruffin Costello.
The announcement included links to the boutique hotel’s gift shop, which offers up bespoke and “handpicked goods and curated experiences from our interior designer Sara Costello and owner Robért LeBlanc,” some of which — such as chocolates from Piety & Desire, body products by Oxalis Apothecary and hand woven robes by Lekha (all local) — are used in the hotels guest rooms, restaurant and bar. Tastemakers such as Costello and LeBlanc win my click-throughs every single time, so I hopped on over to the site to check it out.
In addition to sumptuous goods in the gift shop, through Sept. 20, you can purchase a six-course meal — prepared by The Chloe’s chef Todd Pulsinelli — to be enjoyed at home, complete with drink pairings upon request for an additional fee. The offering that caught my eye however is the tab under “The Shop” labeled “Experiences.”
The hotel has curated gift packages that can be picked up at Cavan on Magazine Street (one of the hospitality group’s other properties), such as “Sleep and Soak” (a robe, body products and incense holder), “By the Pool” (towel, tote, water bottle and straw hat), “Stay Safe” (bandana and hand sanitizer) and, the one that will be coming to my home soon, “The Chloe Provisions.” From the site:
“The Chloe Provisions includes our housemade pimento cheese and crackers, sweet & salty snack mix, pre-batched cocktails for two, a Piety & Desire chocolate bar, Eki hot sauce, hand stitched napkins by Hibiscus Linens and a custom tote.”
Hello happy hour at my house.
The Chloe joins a fashionable list of local hotels (albeit not always locally-owned) with fabulous gift shops. Two of my favorites are the Emporium Gift Shop at The Roosevelt New Orleans and the Ace Hotel Shop at the Ace Hotel. I often find myself shopping the goods at both for gifts and am glad to have a new option in my rotation.
The Chloe is an elegant addition to the hospitality scene on St. Charles in Uptown. I look forward to sipping a cocktail at the bar in what I hope is the not-too-distant future. Until then, the crafty at-home experiences will be a welcome indulgence.