The Dauphine Orleans is a quaint (and somewhat small) hotel located one block SW of Bourbon Street. It's a GREAT location – except that navigating New Orleans (referred to by locals as NOLA) by car can be a nightmare if you don't have GPS and/or a good map. You have to deal with narrow one-way streets which are either under construction or poorly maintained, sometimes requiring U-turns to get where you're going. Except on the Interstates, don't expect traffic direction signs – New Orleans is about as informative to drivers as Boston, and sometimes street-name signs are missing, unreadable, or rotated by a prankster.
Keep in mind that NOLA is expensive. Rooms at the Dauphine are comparatively reasonable, so the "value" in staying there is by comparison to other hotels in the area. The Dauphine was, by the way, booked when we arrived, so make reservations early.
The main building is U-shaped. To the SE of the main building, there are a somewhat smallish pool, a patio, and additional first floor rooms. The buffet food area is off the SE pool area.
We had four rooms on the 2nd floor, SW wing.
Rooms are sufficiently spacious, and there is no difficulty moving about the room. In addition to two queen-size beds (in our rooms), there is a desk & chair, night table, and TV stand with drawers. The bathrooms are average size, with a tub/shower. Water is hot enough, but not as hot as in upscale hotels.
There are the typical amenities, such as hair dryer, shampoo/conditioner/bodygel bottlettes. They also provide a $2.99 thinish monogramed bathrobe, which you can keep for $39. Also available are 79¢ bottles of water which cost you $3 if opened (or which you can get from the vending machine for $1.50).
The rooms were CLEAN, and we are picky about that. I wouldn't eat off the floors, but then I wouldn't do that at a 5-star, either.
The beds are comfortable, but not plush. The mattresses appear to be some kind of firm foam, slightly on the firm side. There were four foam-filled (not solid foam) pillows per bed (not much of a problem for a feather-pillow lover). Sheets were slightly thinnish (i.e., not high quality), but comfortable enough.
When it comes to quiet, you have to understand the environs and layout. On the 2nd floor, even-numbered rooms from 202-212 face a back alley, have no view worth seeing, and are quiet – ideal for people who want to sleep. Even-numbered rooms 214-224 face Dauphine Street, which has traffic, but there are usually no loud parties along the street - not too bad for people who want to sleep. Odd-numbered rooms face each other, and the parking area below. The parking crew (which appear to be there 24/7) can be a bit raucous, and unless you are a very sound sleeper, you may find sleeping to be a challenge. All the rooms have tiny balconies (except 207 and its opposite - 217, I think), which open onto a spacious "community" balcony.
There are 4 floors, and I believe the 3rd and 4th floor layouts are identical to the 2nd floor.
First floor rooms are adjacent to the pool (which saw little use during our stay) and a courtyard, where there were sometimes guests lounging in chairs with a drink or something from the breakfast buffet. The courtyard did not appear to be noisy.
The breakfast buffet was a bit more generous than the typical fast-food breakfast buffets seen at some motel chains. There was fresh fruit, juice, milk, coffee (Columbian, dark roast, and decaffeinated), tea, eggs, sausage (surely pork, but who knows), cereals, make-your-own-waffles, cereals - overall pretty good, although not something you'd go to a restaurant to get.
Parking is pricey ($28/day + 12% tax), but parking in NOLA is slightly better than non-existent. At least it's in-and-out, and it takes but a minute before your car is delivered.
Tourists are the chief economy of the French Quarter, and everyone seems to know that. Friendliness to tourists is almost ubiquitous, and the Dauphine hotel staff was no exception. There is no room service in the Dauphine, but why would you want room service in NOLA?
Rooms have wi-fi, and there are two computers for guests in the check-in/lobby area.
The fitness center is sparse (at best) with a treadmill, an elliptical, and a bike-machine. There are a variety of weights. There are also towels and water (dispenser with cups).
The desk (like much of the French Quarter) is tended 24/7.
Plan on walking to the various "attractions", which extend from Bourbon Street NE to the river. There is a plethora of restaurants/eateries, and many are quite small. Nearly all post their menus, so you can see what's available without going inside. Expect things to be expensive (would you believe $180 for 6 and not at an upscale place), with some exceptions.
Expect Bourbon Street to be a bit sleezy. Even Hustler has a joint. And every watering hole and every other vendor-type is looking to get you to part with your money. There are even mimes and singers (some of whom can't) posing or playing on sidewalks (and even in the streets), looking for a donation.
In summary, New Orleans is a place to visit (I wouldn't want to live there), and the Dauphine Orleans is an excellent choice, provided you understand the little caveats about staying there. Would we pick another place next time - maybe, but we would definitely consider the Dauphine if we can get the quiet rooms.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Dauphine Orleans Hotel is located in the heart of the historic French Quarter one block from the bustle of Bourbon Street. A multi-million dollar renovation in June 2008 has created a new era of elegance in this 18th-century landmark, featuring several private courtyards and balconies. The Dauphine Orleans offers modern amenities such as wireless internet, Tempur-Pedic bedding, fitness & exercise room, deluxe continental breakfast and a saltwater pool. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Dauphine Orleans New
- Hotel Dauphine Orleans