History of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel
Past Meets Present
The past blends seamlessly into the present at our historic New Orleans hotel, which boasts a history almost as old and rich as the Crescent City itself. Records of the Dauphine Orleans’ site date from 1775, and several of the original structures have survived the test of time. One of our most notable jewels is what is now part of May Baily’s Place where, from 1821-22, John James Audubon painted his famous Birds of America series. New Orleans’ intriguing past seeps into every detail and moment at the Dauphine Orleans. Step back in time and see where we’ve been:
Earliest records show Dauphine Orleans’ plot of land belonged to Don Andres Almonester y Roxas, who owned and operated most of the real estate in the French Quarter at that time.
Late 1700s | Early 1800s
Dauphine Orleans’ property and land was purchased and sold many times to several local wealthy families, including the Broutins, Chauvins, and Bonnabels.
The Creole cottage that would later become May Baily’s famed bordello was built just down the street from the current Dauphine Orleans.
John James Audubon, the naturalist and painter, created his famous Birds of America series while sitting in what is now known as May Baily’s Place. The famed Audubon Society was named in his honor.
Prosperous merchant Samuel Hermann built his manor with strict instructions and high standards. Only the “best country brick, sand and cypress” were used in constructed. Just before becoming part of the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, the Hermann House served a small hotel called the Anchor Hotel. Today, guests can stay in the 16 spacious Hermann House Guest Rooms across the street from the Main House, which were originally part of his carriage house.
May Baily’s bordello opened its doors on the fringe of New Orleans’ Storyville red-light district. May Baily’s was the first licensed brothel in the city and became one of its most popular and prosperous. Today at May Baily’s Place, mingle with this alluring past while enjoying hand-crafted cocktails and spirits. You can still see May Baily’s original operating license and a red light reflecting this bar’s alluring red-light history.
Dauphine Orleans’ Main House is built in the design of a French Quarter townhouse.
The hotel officially opened August 15, 1969 as the Dauphine Orleans Motor Hotel.
During a renovation of the Carriage House cottages, the original brick walls, wooden posts and handmade nails uncovered are believed to have come from the blacksmith shop of the infamous pirate Jean Lafitte.
A Haunted New Orleans Hotel
Ghosts sightings and hauntings are nothing new to New Orleans and the French Quarter, where historic sites and centuries-old buildings reside (some since 1718 when New Orleans was founded).
Starting since 1775, Dauphine Orleans land and buildings have changed hand numerous times over the past several centuries. With all the people that has crossed our land’s threshold, it’s no surprise Dauphine Orleans has it’s own collection of ghosts sightings.
Dauphine Orleans Ghosts
The hauntings at Dauphine Orleans vary from Civil War soldiers to well-dressed “ladies of the night” employed at May Baily’s Place.
Guests and employees have reported multiple sightings of a Creole soldier wearing a military uniform and wandering the courtyard. Another often-seen ghost is a whimsical and slightly disturbed woman, who guests have fleetingly seen dancing in the courtyard. Many believe she once worked at the bordello, then later became an alcoholic.
Reports over the years indicate that there is perchance more than one ghost that lingers inside the bar. One spirit is believed to be that of a Creole soldier, perhaps a patron of the former bordello, who wanders through the courtyard wearing a military uniform.
Another entity is a female, who seems very whimsical and a bit disturbed. Select guests have reported catching a lightning-fast glimpse of her dancing across the courtyard. It’s believed that she might have been employed by the bordello and eventually became an alcoholic.