“For the first time in more than 50 years, the town finally has its own hotel.”
With that simply-stated sentence, Olivia Vidal spoke volumes about Lake Arthur’s (LA) past, present, and future (March 6, 2013 at kplctv.com/story/21538518).
And our tour through L’Banca Albergo with co-owner Roberta Palmero brought parts of each of these volumes to life.
Roberta and her husband Bobby saw that the Regatta restaurant on the lake (see our previous blog entry) had encouraged several other small businesses to open in town. The former Jeff Davis Bank was available, and after they purchased it at an estate sale, they started kicking around ideas for its use. A meeting with an architect out of Lake Charles followed...and “The Bank Hotel” was born.
Kate and I seek out restored hotels, movie theaters, and opera houses, but are equally eager to tour “repurposed” buildings, i.e., those buildings whose owners preserve as much of the original structure and its history in the course of incorporating new functions into the structure.
The Palermos have succeeded in preserving and recreating the bank’s structure as they built the work of a boutique hotel into this structure.
In the lobby, they left the vault, which became a wine vault for guests to purchase bottles of wine during their stay.