This past Saturday, I attended the grand opening of Soul Stay New Orleans. When I arrived, I was immediately welcomed by a sense of calmness. Not something you might expect given the location of this unique new bed and breakfast is in the heart of the vibrant Treme community. However, in some ways the contrast between the two makes it even more inviting.
One of the first things I noticed was the beautiful art on the walls by talented local artist, Myesha Francis. Myesha’s art is a mixture of afro-centric NOLA culture jazz, and abstract paintings. My first impression was that her art was the inspiration for the overall look and feel of Soul Stay. The colors are rich, yet not overwhelming. The vibe is immediately peaceful and effortlessly inspires you to quiet your thoughts. I was told that she can look at each work of art and recognize the mood she was in or what she was experiencing at the time of the painting. I don’t know about anyone else, but my thoughts are loud and I appreciate anything that will help me lower the volume a bit.
Guests can relax in one of three bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms are named Queen Mahalia (after Mahalia Jackson) and Queen Nina, (Nina Simone), which were chosen because these two women are known for their struggles and their encouragement. The largest room, the Amethyst Suite is named after the protective stone and the room of peace. This room’s intention is the clear out all negative energy.
As I walked through the space, I recognized some distinct differences between this property and other properties I’ve visited. While most hotels or bed and breakfasts cater to their guest’s external needs, the mission of Soul Stay is the cater to your spirit. Soul Stay was designed with women in mind as a place to retreat, reflect, relax and rejuvenate. You don’t come to Soul Stay for the typical hotel experience. You come to Soul Stay when you are ready to recharge your life experience.
Walking through the property was different because instead of the wide open lobbies I’m used to in other hotels — with marble floors, fancy chandeliers, and bustling tourists — it felt like I was walking through a family member’s home. I felt like I would be welcomed with open arms and I knew I would be well taken care of. Both experiences are valuable, you just have to know what you need when you need it.
Self-care is a booming business right now. It’s trending. It’s the buzzword of the year. However, it is important for us to be intentional about taking care of ourselves. It’s not something you pursue because it’s a trend. It’s something you do because it’s vital to your overall health and life experience. One of the most extraordinary things about Soul Stay is that their packages include can include things like art therapy, smudging, energy and spirit cleansing and meditation, available at sunrise and sunset. You won’t get that at your typical boutique hotel. Sometimes being bougie means spoiling your soul with the best, too.
Owners Myesha and Renata have joined forces to create a space like no other in NOLA. I would definitely recommend booking at Soul Stay for a girls retreat, couples retreat, or even on your own to show your soul a little love. If you do, make sure you tell them NOLA Bougie and Very Local NOLA sent ya!