Most visitors to New Orleans tend to gravitate towards the beloved, if touristy, French Quarter. Set along a straight drive out on Tulane Avenue towards Mid-City, the newly opened 20-room Drifter Hotel offers a quieter, but equally escapist, alternative.
Starting with the original awning and restored neon road sign, Concordia Architecture and Nicole Cota Studio have preserved the silhouette and retro-vibe of the low-slung 1956 motel, while layering on nostalgic American-highway period references by way of white geometric lattices, mid-century furniture, concrete walls, palm-leaf wallpaper, floral-patterned breeze bricks and Oaxacan tile-work. A particularly surreal moment is the huge disco ball over the bijou swimming pool.
Encased in slick grey concrete walls, the bedrooms are dressed in Frette and Aesop bath products, but the more entertaining diversions are to be found pool-side with frozen cocktails and sakes, while on-site food trucks dish up Mexican, Cuban and Trinidadian standards.