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.
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- Also Known As:
- Soniat House Hotel New Orleans
- Soniat Hotel New Orleans