New Orleans is a thrilling mix of elegant French architecture, boozy stag nights, voodoo, trailblazing restaurants, steamy jazz bars and always, always a cocktail or three. But the one disappointment has always been the drab hotel scene.

Besides a few tired, conference hotels there’s never been much to tickle a smart traveller’s fancy. So Soniat House, a trio of Creole townhouses at the quiet end of Chartres Street (just a stone’s throw from Brangelina’s house and around the corner from Paul Allen’s gaff) is a real find. Each of the 31 bedrooms is decorated differently with art and antiques collected by avuncular owner Rodney Smith and his wife Frances on regular trips to Paris and London.

A bedroom at Soniat House – New Orleans, U.S.A

The linen is Frette, breakfast is hot buttermilk biscuits served on a silver tray with homemade strawberry jam, and Claire the resident black cat rests her weary paws on a sofa beside the honesty bar. If, like many A-list actors currently working in NOLA, you want somewhere charming to escape from the buzz of the city, read a book and pour yourself a drink, then step right in and make yourself at home.

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