We had the opportunity to spend a few nights at the Mining Exchange recently and thoroughly enjoyed it. Having moved from Colorado Springs three years ago, I was surprised to see this building as a hotel and definitely wanted to try it. We are glad we did.
First of all, it's always wonderful to see a historic old building preserved and this building was one of the few truly historic buildings left downtown. They have done an excellent job restoring the building, preserving the important architectural features while creating modern, comfortable common spaces and rooms. The rooms themselves are somewhat small, but laid out in a way that makes the maximum use of the space with lots of partitions and angles. It makes the rooms seem bigger they are and gives a sense of intimacy. The staff at the hotel are all friendly and seem truly interested in your comfort. It is clear that they are proud of the hotel and everyone (from the manager to the servers) is always happy to talk with you about the property's history, etc.
As far as the bar and restaurant are concerned, they both get good marks from us. You can enjoy the lobby bar or the outside space between the hotel and restaurant. Given the New Orleans theme of the restaurant, the outdoor space is decorated accordingly, and because it is in an alleyway, it really does feel like being just off of Bourbon Street. Dinner at Springs Orleans was great. Most of the traditional cajun/creole cuisine is represented there and my companions all enjoyed their dishes (Shrimp Étouffée, Shrimp with Grits, and Pork Chops with Red Beans and Rice). Everyone agrees that I had the best dish on the menu -- Organic trotolle pasta with lobster in a sun dried tomato and tarragon cream sauce. Oh man, was that good! We shared the Southern Style banana puddin' (yep, it's the one with the Vanilla Wafers!) and the bread pudding with blueberry coulis and they were both wonderful.
All in all, we had a wonderful visit at the Mining Exchange and believe it is clearly the best downtown hotel. It's central location makes it easy to navigate downtown on foot and it is a great place to return to after a hard day of work or play.