USA Saint Hotel contemporary yet faithful to roots By Johanna Jainchill / November 28, 2012 Share 1 -- Its name might indicate otherwise, but sinners are also welcome at the Saint Hotel, one of New Orleans' newest and most buzzed-about properties. The Saint opened last year on Canal Street in the city's historical Audubon Building, built in 1909 and vacant for almost a decade. The Saint is New Orleans' first and only member of Marriott's portfolio of Autograph Collection Hotels.An investment of more than $45 million transformed the property into the Saint Hotel, a 166-room, eight-story property steps from the city's French Quarter.Mark Wyant, owner and developer of the Saint, said the property was designed to offer guests a "new and contemporary feel, while still capturing the sparkling charm and romance of New Orleans."From the outside, the building's facade gives the property a stately look. Upon entering the building, time and venue change. Tall white pillars, long white sheets flowing from the lobby ceiling and the avant-garde furniture in the hotel's restaurant, Tempt, evoke a scene that would be at home on Miami Beach. The Saint's guestrooms are also quite modern; furniture and bedding are white with blue accents, and walls and ceilings are white and indigo. Some rooms have exposed brick walls. But the Saint also respects its locale. The lobby is decorated with wall-size photographs of the building's past. Its lobby-level Burgundy Bar is a live jazz venue designed in a Chicago speakeasy style that pays tribute to New Orleans native son Louis Armstrong. The bar's deep-red walls and banquettes and Venetian chandeliers provide what the Saint calls a "fun, bordello chic ambience." The hotel's restaurant, Tempt, offers a menu of traditional Louisiana cuisine, created by its Louisiana-born chef, with dishes such as fried oysters burgundy and crab and corn lasagna with pickled peppers and brie. "The Saint Hotel's timeless yet eclectic merging of the past and present is something New Orleans has never seen," Wyant said. During a tour of the Saint in August, a manager said that the hotel plays on the "saints and sinners" theme. The Burgundy Bar has a cocktail list called the "7 Deadly Sins and 7 Godly Virtues." In January, the hotel will open the Halo rooftop bar and lounge, offering panoramic views of downtown and further solidifying the hotel as a nightlife destination. Halo will have an in-house DJ and will offer cocktails crafted by a mixologist. The hotel offers complimentary in-room WiFi and Niven Morgan bath products. The property has 1,450 square feet of meetings and event space. Weekday rates start at $159 for a single king room and go up to $189 on the weekends. Visit www.thesainthotelneworleans.com. Follow Johanna Jainchill on Twitter @jjainchilltw.