Many of the historic buildings in the French Quarter and New Orleans were destroyed in the fire of 1788. However, buildings that replaced them are just as historic. The Hotel Maison de Ville or "townhouse'' was built in the 1800's and the owner was Jean Baptiste Lilie Sarpy. The two storied home has been visited by the famous playwright, Tennessee Williams.
One resident of the Hotel Maison de Ville was Antoine Peychaud. He was an apothecary credited with making Peychaud Bitters. He used an egg cup to blend bitters and brandy in what is conceived as the first cocktail. The bitters are still being made today and are an integral part of the New Orleans drink called Sazerac. Mr. Peychaud had an apothecary on Royal Street instead of in the lower portion of the hotel.
Although no documentation is available it is thought that the carriage house and former slave quarters are some of the oldest buildings in the city. The Creole's often built homes for their adult sons to live until they married. The chance that some of these outbuildings were used for this purpose has also been considered.
Tennessee Williams finished his novel A Streetcar Named Desire while residing at the hotel in room number nine. It had a view of the patio with the greenery and flowers that Mr. Williams liked. The Main Building of the hotel is not currently open for reservations, but previous guests have been able to stay in room nine.
There are seven cottages that make up the Audubon Cottages. They were so named for the painter John James Audubon. He lived in Cottage number one when he was working on his Birds of America series. Cottage number seven served as his studio. The pool that is at the Audubon Cottages is made of bricks and it is thought to be the oldest swimming pool in New Orleans. They are located on Dauphine Street in the French Quarter.
Most of the Audubon Cottages are two bedrooms with double, queen and king size beds. There are two bathrooms in all of the two bedroom cottages. Some have Jacuzzi tubs for relaxation. Cottage number two offers a hardwood floor in the living room; it also has a dining table and private courtyard. Elizabeth Taylor spent some time in Cottage number two. Maison de Ville is listed as one of the haunted hotels of New Orleans. The cottages feature a semi-private or private courtyard.
The amenities that are provided at the hotel include feather beds, luxurious robes, daily newspaper, concierge services and valet parking. They have access to high speed internet service in the hotel. The Carriage House Suite is currently not available for guests.
A fire that occurred next door to the Bienvenue Au Bistro has prevented the restaurant from serving food temporarily. Information will be posted on the website when it is ready to be reopened. They offered traditional Louisiana Creole cuisine. Since the hotel is close to Jackson Square guests of the Audubon Cottages enjoy the many restaurants that are in the French Quarter.