The Southern Hotel first opened in Covington, Louisiana in 1907 in the Spanish Mission style. It was a popular retreat for residents of New Orleans, who could take the ferry across Lake Pontchartrain. The 43-room hotel had amenities like hot and cold running water, a luxury for its time.
The original hotel closed in the 1960s. From 1983 to 2003, the building operated as offices and an annex for the courthouse and even had a bar inside. But in 2011 a local resident purchased the property to restore it to its former glory, returning it to a hotel.
Now a member of the Historic Hotels of America, the hotel incorporates historic elements with modern decor. Historic photographs from the hotel and town’s early days are in the hallways. Local artwork is also featured in the lobby to highlight the scenery of St. Tammany Parish.
There are 40 guest rooms on two floors along with two suites, named for writer Walker Percy and architect Thomas Sully. They all come equipped with bathrobes, flat-screen televisions, and luxury toiletries. The only thing it’s really missing is a coffee maker for caffeine addicts like myself.
Thankfully there’s the Cypress Room Bar, which by night is a popular hangout with craft beer and whiskey and by day serves breakfast and coffee. It features murals of historic Covington postcards by world-renowned muralist Grahame Menage.
Oxlot 9 Restaurant, the hotel restaurant, offers Gulf Coast-inspired Southern cuisine led by Chef Jeffrey Hansell. His wife Amy serves as the beverage director. Dinner offerings include chargrilled oysters, dirty rice stuffed quail, and roasted redfish. They’re also open for Sunday brunch.
As it was during the hotel’s heydey, the lobby is referred to as “Covington’s living room.” There’s also a meeting room named for the local Mardi Gras krewe. The Southern Hotel also has an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a day spa, and a library.
Guests have access to one of three parking lots for guest use in the blocks around the hotel, included within the nightly rate. There is also free WiFi throughout the property.
If You Go
The Southern Hotel is located at 428 East Boston Street, Covington, Louisiana 70433. Rates start at $169 per night. Book your stay by calling (844) 866-1907 or by visiting their website.