In the quaint town of Covington, Louisiana, located just across Lake Pontchatrain from New Orleans, the Southern Hotel’s vaunted history of hospitality began in 1907. Established as a physical and spiritual retreat where visitors would re-energize amidst the area’s cool breezes, piney woods and mineral springs, the hotel hosted guests for more than 50 years.
From its original opening on June 1, 1907 until the 1960s when it ceased operation as a hotel, the Southern Hotel was an integral part of the Covington community. It hosted Sweet Sixteen parties, wedding receptions, anniversary dinners, and was a favorite for honeymooners. During the fifty years in which the building housed other businesses and then stood vacant for a time, it was still, in the collective memory of the town of Covington, the old hotel.
When the hotel’s new owners purchased the property in 2011, they were motivated by a desire to return the building to a modern interpretation of what it once was. After a two-year meticulous renovation and restoration, the hotel reopened on June 1, 2014, 107 years to the date from its original opening. The lobby of the hotel is now affectionately described as “Covington’s living room,” and is once again a beloved gathering place. From the furniture in the guest rooms to the artwork in the common areas, the hotel honors Covington’s legacy as an artists’ community by showcasing the work of many local artists; its two suites are named after Walker Percy, who was from Covington, and Thomas Sully, a Louisiana architect; it houses a separate business, a restaurant Oxlot 9, whose name is an homage to the town’s historical grid system; its meeting room is the Olympia Room, named after the local fifty-year-old Mardi Gras Krewe, and it displays the Krewe’s artifacts and memorabilia for the public to see.
A family-owned business, the hotel is committed to elevating the art of hospitality and providing guests with an experience that is rooted in the past, connected to the community around it, and celebrating all of the elements of a good life—good food and drink, comfort and communion, creativity and culture.
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