The hostel opened its doors in January 2017 in the site of the former Audubon Hotel after a year-long historic restoration to the 80-year-old building. The building has had a varied and rakish past as a boarding house for ship captains and sailors and, later, as an underground club known for its ties to the local art and music scene. The renovation preserved the exterior of the building to honor that past and so that it continues to fit in with its historic neighbors. The Audubon Hotel sign and ornate frieze at the top of the building’s façade were preserved and a modern rendition of the original awning that sat atop the entrance was added.
The interior spaces were designed with a focus on functionality and showcasing local craftsmanship. “The building was just sitting there completely vacant, and we saw an opportunity to create something unique to New Orleans,” said David Gindin, General Manager at The Quisby and one of the developers behind the project. “During the renovation process, we reached out to as many local craftspeople as possible and had them come in and throw around ideas,” he said. Gindin manages the property together with Mac Warren, who oversees operations and branding for the business.
All 60 bunk beds were custom-made to be sturdy, comfortable, and beautiful by Heinz Gatuschi, an expert woodworker originally from Switzerland whose shop is located less than a mile from the building. The striking white concrete bar was molded by James Moulton, a local concrete casting expert, to straddle the original steel columns in the lobby. Walls throughout the building feature work by Milagros, a travelling artist collective that stopped in New Orleans for three days in January to work on The Quisby. Guestroom doors feature hand-stenciled butterfly graffiti by Joseph Konert from Baton Rouge, La.
Like many modern hostels, which have swept across Europe and the U.S. in the last decade, The Quisby is a major upgrade from the no frills travel experience most people have come to associate with the word “hostel.” The convenient location, beautiful design, and modern amenities match the quality of a boutique hotel while the shared rooms create a fun social environment and keep costs low, allowing travelers to have a comfortable stay while still having enough cash left over to experience all that New Orleans has to offer.
The hostel features 30 rooms including a six-person shared room starting at $27 per bed; co-ed or female only shared quad rooms starting at $30 per bed; private quad rooms starting at $115 per room; and private double rooms starting at $70 per room. All rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, comfy memory foam mattresses, bedside reading lamps and outlets, air conditioning, high speed wifi, and a collection of pulpy sci-fi and adventure paperback books and vintage magnets from all over the world. Additional amenities include free breakfast, a 24-hour front desk, a fully stocked lobby bar, luggage storage, daily housekeeping, and bicycle parking.
A focus on service in the classic sense compliments the modern design. “The people who work here make The Quisby what it is,” said Warren. “We’re small enough that we get to make real connections with our guests. Everyone in the building has their own version of New Orleans – whether it’s the best spot to get a po boy or the best place to hear music on a Thursday night – and they’re happy to share it with you if you ask.”
A comfortable, stylish, and affordable space with an unbeatable location, The Quisby is the perfect place to lay your head in New Orleans whether traveling solo, with friends, with family, for fun, or on business. Learn more about The Quisby at thequisby.com, on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.