Le Richelieu remains “my hotel” in New Orleans. Since discovering this quaint hotel near the northeast corner of the French Quarter in 2007, I have returned to this friendly, family-owned hotel on repeated visits.
A few changes were in evidence on the occasion of my recent visit. An electronically controlled gate now marks the parking lot entrance. Free parking is no more. The family ownership remains, but the hotel is now run by different members of the previous owning family. Otherwise, the hotel seems to be the same place I’ve known with fondness these past years.
The Le Richelieu has some definite advantages. These include reasonable room rates; convenience to the Frenchman Street-Marigny area, the French Market, and Jackson Square; helpful, knowledgeable, and friendly front desk personnel; parking security; and an intimate, home-like setting. The hotel further possesses a special uniqueness, a look back at an earlier New Orleans era. It is also close to the French Market (Esplanade) streetcar station—a definite advantage for those wishing to expand travels beyond the immediate hotel area.
The hotel is relatively disadvantaged for some purposes. If your interests lie geographically closer to the Central Business District, Canal Street, or some of the Bourbon Street commercial establishments you are in for a bit of a walk. If your idea of fun is to hear reveling drunks on nearby streets, you are in the wrong place. The area around Chartres and Barracks streets is not honky-tonk Bourbon Street! The area surrounding the hotel is more residential than commercial.
The hotel, itself, is not a new property and it isn’t the latest thing in luxury with all the latest bells and whistles. I don’t often need those things; the more traditional—even dated--furnishings suit my needs quite well. The heating/cooling system is showing its age, but, heck, I’m not spending much time in the room anyway.
My only criticism on this specific visit is that the hotel is a bit behind the curve on dealing with ADA handicap issues. We had need of a wheelchair on this trip, and we knew in advance that the hotel would be something of a challenge at times. Basically, the front desk, lobby, bar, and restaurant are not wheelchair accessible. We were prepared for these circumstances, but this could be a problem for other guests who arrive unaware of the situation.
The good news is that management seems well aware of handicap problems and they seem to be sincerely interested in getting the problems resolved. I am optimistic that this problem will soon be satisfactorily addressed.
Upon arrival I was slightly apprehensive about the new parking lot gate and the ability to easily access the parking lot prior to check-in. My concerns were unwarranted. I checked with the front desk in advance of leaving home and learned I could notify the front desk to open gate by cell phone call from car or by simply getting out of the car and talking into the speaker next to the gate. I did the latter and gate promptly opened.
I remain convinced that Le Richelieu will serve my lodging needs for years to come. I look forward to my next visit.