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“Authentic New Orleans” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Soniat House

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Soniat House
3.5 of 5 Hotel   |   1133 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116 (French Quarter)   |  
Hotel website
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Hotel amenities
Ranked #64 of 155 Hotels in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Brooklyn, New York
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
62 hotel reviews
Reviews in 56 cities Reviews in 56 cities
142 helpful votes 142 helpful votes
“Authentic New Orleans”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2008

There is a great sense of place at Soniat House. You won’t find all the amenities and service of a mainstream hotel, and it’s in need of refurbishing here and there, but it feels SO authentically New Orleans. The location, in a peaceful part of the French Quarter, is also a plus. We were there during Mardi Gras, in a first floor room facing the street, and it was bearable.
Guests are greeted by white-jacketed, soft-spoken older men. I had to listen very carefully to comprehend their deep Southern drawls. You enter through a shadowy passageway, into a verdant courtyard complete with fountain. This is particularly evocative at night when it’s all lit with white pillar candles: you almost feel that a swashbuckling, gentleman pirate is on your heels.
A small sitting room is filled with antiques, with an honor bar in one corner. The Front Desk is a small study with room for one or two always-gracious staff. Our room was spacious and high-ceilinged. It was furnished more like a 19th century salon than a 21st century bedroom. Very OK with us. We relished the authenticity and didn’t mind the 14”TV and only a little bit missed a proper desk. An alcove just fit a queen bed and two narrow stands. There was a ravishing mix of traditional and modern art, and thick, lush silk draperies. On the other hand, our dated and stained bathroom needed help. If it weren’t for the city’s Katrina issues, it would have been unacceptable. However, I feel sure it’s on management’s short soon-to-be fixed list.
I loved sitting in the courtyard for breakfast, but found the offerings whimpy for the price. You’d get pretty sick of biscuits if you stayed more than a couple of days. Also, sometimes it was difficult to get the attention of staff. There was generally just one person at the desk, and that person was frequently on the phone.
We loved being there, and would stay again. Another time, we’d request an upstairs room with a traditional wrought-iron balcony.

  • Liked — Antiques and NOLA authenticity.
  • Disliked — Dingy, bathroom, past its prime.
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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225 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (48)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Durango
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2008

Beware in making your reservation. My fiance and I each called separately to book a three night stay during Jazz Festival. We were told which room they had available and we booked a room for our stay. We then book our non-refundable airline reservations. The next day we received our fax confirmation that had us staying 4 nights instead of 3. I called and was informed that they had a 4 night minimum during Jazz Festival. the reservations agent had not told either of us about the minimum, nor did their fax state that there was such a minimum. I tried to rearrange our schedule, but could not. Since the hotel had not mentioned this during our multiple calls reserving the room and we had paid for non-refundable airline tickets based our our converstion with their reservation agent, I hoped that they would waive the 4th night requirement and allow us to stay the 3 nights. They apologized for the "misunderstanding", but refused. I have heard that the hotel is beautiful, but I would never stay there or recommend it to anybody due to the way we were treated.

Stayed February 2007
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Top Contributor
59 reviews 59 reviews
42 hotel reviews
Reviews in 44 cities Reviews in 44 cities
115 helpful votes 115 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2008

In reading some previous reviews, it seems that many people are expecting full service amenities at this antique jewelbox of...the most elegant B&B that ever existed in New Orleans. Granted, the property is listed among SLH places, meaning Small Luxury Hotels. And still, to us the Soniat House is the following:

An absolutely stunning, antique-filled, quintessentially New Orleans almost-B&B, with class, service-minded staff and truly a must if your wallet can stand it. Forget about the rooms - get a junior suite or a full-size suite instead. We opted for their $1,500 package, which included a FABULOUS junior suite, a complementary dinner at Gautreau's, an elegant culinary Uptown restaurant in the Garden District, limo transportation from the airport to the hotel, and yes, the delicious buttermilk biscuit breakfast for which the hotel is known.

I wanted to steal half the furniture with me from the hotel room, it was that beautiful. Frette linens and robes, a very comfortable four poster king bed draped by THE Alain Simard - like sleeping under the most exquisite tented ceiling. There was a small ante-room where we took our breakfast every morning. Two television sets, tiny (mercifully, huge TVs are ugly in an antique-filled suite) which we never watched, because we were so taken with every corner of the room. The bathroom had a whirlpool tub, marble, wallpaper, sconces and was equipped with Annick Goutal toiletries. Safe, hairdryer, in-room wireless...and those lamps...so help me, I would have bought them all on the spot, had they been for sale. We would have opened the windows to our French balcony, but alas, it was a little too chilly outside. Our accommodations were facing a lovely courtyard...it was so romantic, so elegant, so charming and so put us in the mood for exploring the French Quarter. In addition, the property is located at the quiet end of the Vieux Carré, meaning away from all the insanity on Bourbon Street. It was the perfect location for antique shopping, eating, strolling and still, at night, there wasn't a sound. And we were there for New Year's Eve!

The property has a lovely drawing room where there is a well--stocked honor bar and a computer which somehow was always available. The staff - Rodney and Frances Smith, the owners, as well as the concierges and the charming local elderly gentlemen who showed up in white tuxes for breakfast room service - were the epitome of N'Awlins charm...soooooo sweet!.

I had requested a different type of breakfast - I wanted oatmeal, a fruitplate and herbal tea instead. No problem whatsoever. This was delivered every morning. The newspaper came once during our stay. The concierge booked a swamp outing for us. They made dinner reservations way in advance. They diligently tried to get a taxi for us on New Year's Eve. All in all, everyone was so gracious and so professional.

So why the four stars instead of five? Simply because there isn't a 4.5 rating. In all fairness, I don't think you can compare, say, a full-service luxury hotel with spa, on-site restaurant, full room service, on-site boutiques, etc. with this place. People who come to Soniat house and expect those things will be disappointed. They should stay at the Ritz-Carlton on Canal Street, which unfortunately is noisy with traffic and with boring decor inside. But we would never do that, since we wanted luxury but also the authentic New Orleans experience. Would we stay at Soniat House again? Oh God, yes. There isn't a finer....B&B in New Orleans.

  • Liked — The elegance and the luxury - Iand all the antiques
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
38 hotel reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 20, 2007

We stayed at the Soniat House during the Thanksgiving holiday and were mostly impressed. Particularly loved the breakfast--it is served most elegantly, absolutely delicious and worth the extra money (although it really should be included in the rate). Our room was very traditional, had access to a verandah overlooking the French Quarter and the horse and buggies going by. BUT--there was very little light for reading and the bathroom really needs maintenance (tiles cracked etc). There is an embarrassing 15" tv which we never used. The staff was very accomodating. The whole place reeks of decadent N. Orleans atmosphere. If you want mod conveniences (i.e. a gym, flat screen) this is not the place, although there is free wireless service which we appreciated.

Not sure if we would return there, but it definitely is a place to try once.

  • Liked — location, atmosphere, breakfast
  • Disliked — bathroom, low lighting
  • Stayed November 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Chicago
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2007

My husband and I stayed in a jr. suite at the Soniat House in late October for the week of our wedding. It was beautiful and we didn't want to leave. The Soniat House truly captures old New Orleans elegance. If you go, take a deep breath and and slow down a bit. Follow the advice of the staff - it will make for a great trip. I'll take freshly brewed coffee and baked biscuits on a silver tray delivered with a smile over a plastic coffee maker on the bathroom counter any day!

  • Liked — the courtyard
  • Disliked — had to leave
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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Dunedin, Florida
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 36 cities Reviews in 36 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 15, 2007

I agree with the reviews I've read so far -- really loved some things about the Soniat -- location and staff are absolutely high points.

I really don't understand why there's not a free breakfast or a little coffee maker in the room or even a way to easily get ice.

I enjoyed our room - high ceilings and very comfy bed, but the TV's an eyesore and the AC is as loud as a landing jet.

I'm afraid the big, cheap hotel chains in the US have actually spoiled me. I want a cup of coffee before I leave my room in the AM, I want some local-color magazines to read and I want a free bite to eat before I carpe diem.

Adorable place, but it's neither fish nor fowl -- not a true homey generous bed and breakfast and not an efficient and cheap chain alternative.

  • Liked — staff
  • Disliked — total lack of self service amenities
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2007

This hotel tries to position itself as a high end hotel with a french flavor. I was able to get a $250 rate, the room was rather small, which is ok, but it was showing wear. It was clean, the staff was nice.
I was not too impressed with the courtyard, it needs some maintenance. Breakfast is served there at $11 per person. Coffee will be delivered to your room if you call, but don't drop into the lobby looking for coffee-not that kind of place.
They had a sitting area for serve your self drinks at night, it looked enticing but it never fit with our schedule.
The second night the ac broke and we asked for a new room in the morning. Thats when things went down hill, the room was very small, on the street, the ac was loud, the street had some noise, and there was another compressor that kicked in during the night, we did not get much sleep and when we complained, they apologized but we wanted an adjustment. which we did not get.
Overall not a bad hotel, but not a good value.

  • Liked — french charm
  • Disliked — over priced
  • Stayed October 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soniat House

Address: 1133 Chartres St., New Orleans, LA 70116
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Louisiana > New Orleans > French Quarter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#51 Family Hotel in New Orleans
#67 Romantic Hotel in New Orleans
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Soniat House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 33
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Soniat House Hotel New Orleans
Soniat Hotel New Orleans

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