First Look: Origin Hotel brings rooftop views, an all-day restaurant and Louisiana design elements to downtown

Nearly two years in the making, the boutique Origin Hotel officially opens this week in downtown Baton Rouge at the corner Saint Ferdinand Street and North Boulevard in the spot once occupied by Holiday Inn Express. The pet-friendly hotel has 87 guest rooms, an all-day restaurant, a hotel bar and coffee shop, as well as a rooftop bar with panoramic views overlooking downtown.

The hotel’s design-forward elements blend art deco touches with contemporary, on-trend patterns and hues. But what stands out most are flourishes that remind guests they’re in Baton Rouge, including jewel-toned tiger wallpaper in guest room bathrooms, tiger-striped hall carpeting and Do Not Disturb door hangers that read “Paws Off.”

A model tiger and merch from Sweet Baton Rouge welcome guests in the lobby of the new Origin Hotel, which officially opens Wednesday.

“When it comes to the interior designs of all the Origin Hotels, we want to make sure that every Origin is unique and is tied to the community,” says Baton Rouge General Manager Braylon Hyde. “Of course, here you’re going to get that southern Louisiana flair.”

Baton Rouge Origin Hotel General Manager Braylon Hyde.

The lively lobby includes a model tiger and wall art behind the front desk fashioned from pneumatic tube canisters, a nod to the 68-year-old building’s past life as a downtown bank. The lobby also features T-shirts and merchandise from local vendor Sweet Baton Rouge.

Find Louisiana-branded t-shirts and other merch in the lobby of the new Origin Hotel in downtown Baton Rouge.

The hotel’s Cajun-Creole restaurant, Passé All Day Café is overseen by executive chef Denise Williams and is situated on the ground floor along with the hotel’s bar and coffee kiosk. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with a menu that features dishes like Catfish Origin, with fried, grilled or blackened catfish served over crawfish etouffee. Other menu items include favorites like shrimp remoulade and a fried oyster Caesar salad.

Sample the Catfish Origin, with fried, grilled or blackened catfish served over crawfish etouffee, at the Origin’s ground floor Passé All Day Café. Photo courtesy Origin Hotel.

The hotel, a Wyndham Hotels & Resorts property, held a soft opening last Thursday, with many weekend guests participating in the Louisiana Marathon, said Jacob Van Winkle, president of Tandem Hospitality, which renovated the space. The official ribbon cutting is this Wednesday.

“We’re very excited about entering this market,” Van Winkle says.

The fourth floor features the Eye in the Sky rooftop bar with a wraparound terrace delivering clear vistas of the downtown library and Old State Capitol, North Boulevard Town Square and the stately live oaks that line North Boulevard. A gym is also located on the fourth floor.

A guest room bathroom, featuring a colorful spin on the LSU mascot.

“We consider the Origin to be a catalyst to kick downtown Baton Rouge into high gear,” Hyde says. “This will be a destination, as well as a place to stay the night.”

The Origin Hotel is at 101 St. Ferdinand Street and offers valet parking.