History


The Bourbon Orleans Hotel’s storied history affords guests the opportunity to not only relive it, but to rewrite their own.

Historic Bourbon Orleans HotelIn 1817, entrepreneur John Davis hoped to make his mark on New Orleans' rich social scene, and built the Orleans Ballroom: the oldest, most historic ballroom in New Orleans. When it opened, the ballroom became the setting for the most select affairs in New Orleans. Events held here were masquerade balls, carnival balls and the forever famous Quadroon Balls, at which beautiful fair-­skinned African-American women, or quadroons, were selected to be the mistresses of wealthy Creole gentleman.

In 1827, the Orleans Ballroom became the state and house legislative meeting place. It is said, but unverified, that Andrew Jackson announced his candidacy for President of the United States of America within these staunch walls.

This early success led Davis to build the Orleans Theater on an adjacent plot of land. The Orleans Theater earned lasting recognition as it became an established venue, introducing French opera to America and continuing on to open opulent dining and gaming rooms that equaled the best in Europe. But Davis' endeavors were soon lost, as war destroyed most of the city's nightlife.

By 1881, both the Orleans Theater and Ballroom had been acquired by the Sisters of the Holy Family for use as a school and convent. For the next 83 years the Sisters remained, until the need for expansion pressed them to sell the property to hotel interests. New additions would replace structures built by the nuns, but the Orleans Ballroom would remain and begin a life more closely attuned to its opulent beginnings.

Today, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel opens the doors to a unique New Orleans experience, offering easy access to the city's best shopping, nightlife and dining. The Orleans Ballroom remains one of the most coveted event venues in New Orleans and has hosted countless weddings, receptions, dinners and meetings.