It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. All the French Quarter hotels are getting ready to dazzle it up with lights, trees, and all the decor.
At Hotel Monteleone, Kenny Rabalais of The Plant Gallery is busy digging through holiday boxes in the attic—figuring out what he’ll use to transform the historic hotel into a winter wonderland.
“We’re going through these things and we find this garland. It looks tires and obviously needs to retire,” he said.
After he finds what he needs, Rabalais and his team of “elves” bring the decorations down to a ballroom, and that’s where all the decorating takes place before they take it out to the hotel halls.
“We want to get things looking really good before we bring them out, ” Rabalais said.
He said the biggest and most time-consuming part of the decorating process is the lights.
“The lighting takes more time than the ornaments. The lights take probably three times longer,” he said.
Over the holiday season they put in 450 hours of hard work. From lighting to the garland—every detail counts.
“When the garland is packed up it doesn’t look very pretty. We have to get all the garland fluffed out,” he said.
This year it’s even more exciting because of all the renovations the hotel has undergone in the past year. Because of the renovations, all the decorations must match the hotel’s new look.
“The Monteleone’s new lobby is very elegant, so we have these new hand blown ornaments. They will go in the new lobby, and we will have 18 trees down there,” Rabalais said.
For him there is nothing better than seeing this beautiful hotel shimer with holiday spirit.
“Every year we add something new. It’s really fun working here,” he said.
All the old ornaments are donated to various non-profit organizations to use.