Celebrating 10 Years of The Southern Hotel in Covington

Lisa Condrey Ward at the Greenwood

Nestled in the heart of Covington, Louisiana, the Southern Hotel stands as an integral part of the community. Since its inception in the early 1900s, this establishment has witnessed the transformation of the Northshore. After years of abandonment, the hotel came back to life when Lisa Condrey Ward and her husband embarked on a journey of restoration. The Southern Hotel invites guests to immerse themselves in its rich blend of history and hospitality. As the hotel celebrates its ten-year anniversary, it not only commemorates a decade of success but also ushers in a promising future with the introduction of The Greenwood, a beautiful venue located three miles down the road.


The Southern Hotel first opened its doors on June 1st, 1907 in Covington, Louisiana. At that time, the Northshore was known as a spa retreat, owing to its piney woods, fresh air, and artisan wells. The hotel was built just a few blocks away from the Bogue Falaya river, a crucial part of Northshore commerce. As people flocked to Covington for business, the Southern Hotel became popular. The hotel operated until around the 1960s, and then it was abandoned. Over the years, the space operated as law offices, a courthouse, and it even had a bar in it called Tugy’s Bar. Left abandoned once more, it remained in that state until Lisa Condrey Ward and her husband embarked on its restoration journey.


In 2011, Lisa and her husband began renovations to return the Southern Hotel to its former glory. With Lisa’s keen eye for design, she oversaw the entire renovation process, preserving historical elements and incorporating local artists’ work throughout. Covington has a very vibrant artists community, so it was important to Lisa to highlight their work. The Southern Hotel reopened on June 1st, 2014, revitalizing Downtown Covington. Since the hotel has reopened, many small businesses have opened in downtown Covington, fostering a close-knit community where each business supports its neighbors. The hotel significantly boosts tax revenue and draws visitors to Covington, so they walk down the street and explore local businesses.

The Southern Hotel features 48 rooms and suites, with each room having a distinctive design. For instance, the Xavier Gonzales Suite has a huge mural that he painted in the 1930s that was found under sheetrock during the renovation. The Garden House, which has five suites, is adjacent to the hotel and that building was the Covington Post Office, so it’s very unique. It’s a popular suite for brides on their wedding weekend because they have their own space with a courtyard. The Southern Hotel recently broke ground on their Summer House expansion, which will add to the hotel footprint. It’s going to introduce 25 more hotel rooms, condominiums, and retail space.

In 2022, the Southern Hotel opened their restaurant, The Gloriette, which features French and local-inspired cuisine. The Gloriette has been a hit among Covington natives.


The Southern Hotel acquired The Greenwood in July of 2023. The Greenwood was first a Benedictine Convent and then it evolved into an event space called Vintage Court. They kept the original Italian floor, the bell tower, and the grotto but Lisa gave the interior a full refresh.

The Greenwood is a beautiful property that is only three miles from downtown Covington. It features a 300 year old live oak tree on the heart of the grounds that makes a beautiful backdrop. The Greenwood has one grand ballroom and can host 500 guests across the whole property. It’s able to host a multitude of events, and it can even host corporate retreats. It has screen projectors, TV monitors, state-of-the-art AV, and Wi-Fi.

The Southern Hotel is excited to offer The Greenwood as an event space for bigger weddings. The Greenwood is a great option for brides, as the Southern Hotel is able to handle all of the elements of a wedding weekend. They can host your wedding party at the hotel and then have the wedding and reception at The Greenwood.


In preparation for the big celebration, the Southern Hotel has been hosting a “Dancing through the Decades” series. It’s one night each month where you can travel back in time with dance lessons. An entertainment group comes in and teaches the dance of a certain decade. So far, they’ve taught The Charleston, The Lindy Hop, and The Shag. On April 18th, they will be teaching The Twist and The Mashed Potato. On May 16th, they will be teaching The Waltz. You can buy a ticket to the “Dancing through the Decades” series here. During the ten year anniversary party, people can show off their dancing skills that they learned. If you purchase a ticket to the ten year anniversary celebration, it comes with free admission to the “Dancing through the Decades” events.

The ten year anniversary party for the Southern Hotel is June 1st, 2024 at the hotel. There will be live entertainment, open buffet and bar, all included in the package. The tickets are live, buy yours here. To honor the long history of the hotel, there will be historical elements on display, such as the newspaper from the day the Southern Hotel first opened. It will be a great night to honor the past and look forward to the future of the Southern Hotel.