Antonio Monteleone was an industrious nobleman who was operating a very successful shoe factory in Sicily when he heard great things about America. The call of adventure motivated him to pack the tools of his trade and head for "the land of opportunity." Antonio arrived in New Orleans circa 1880 and opened a cobbler shop on Royal Street, the busy thoroughfare of commerce and banking in America’s most European city.
At the time Royal Street was indeed the grand street of the "Vieux Carre," as the French Colonial’s sometimes called the new town. In 1886, Mr. Monteleone bought a 64-room hotel on the corner of Royal and Iberville streets in New Orleans’ world-famous French Quarter. The setting was ripe for Antonio to spread his entrepreneurial wings when the nearby Commercial Hotel became available for purchase. That was only the beginning of an amazing historical landmark that is one of the last great family-owned and operated hotels in the city. Since 1886, five generations of Monteleones have dedicated themselves to making their hotel what it was and still is - a sparkling jewel in the heart of the French Quarter.
There have been five major additions to the Hotel Monteleone. The first was in 1903 when 30 rooms were added. The next addition occurred in 1908, during a time of financial panic in the United States; when 300 more rooms were added. 1908 was also the year that the name of the hotel was changed from the Commercial Hotel to Hotel Monteleone. In 1913, Antonio Monteleone passed away and was succeeded by his son Frank who added 200 more rooms in 1928, a year before another horrible crash in the U.S. economy. The Hotel Monteleone was one of America’s few family- owned hotels to weather the depression, and remained unchanged until 1954. That year the fourth addition required the razing of the original building and the foundation was laid for a completely new building that would include guest facilities, ballrooms, dining rooms and cocktail lounges. In 1964, under the direction of Bill Monteleone, who took over after his father passed in 1958, more floors, guestrooms, and a Sky Terrace with swimming pools and cocktail lounges were added.