We have stayed at the Ritz Carlton club level before; in Laguna Nigel specifically the club service was impeccable and I thought hard to beat.
The Ritz Carlton New Orleans, Maison Orleans is comparable in service, quality and overall pampering.
We arrived late in the day on a Monday evening, around 5:30PM. Our travel companions had arrived at noon. We were a bit tired after the trip and I was frazzled, not enjoying flying all that much! I truly needed a cocktail to de-stress.
We entered the porte corchere of the Ritz Carlton, off of Canal Street, and found a bevy of valets at our service. Our bags were unloaded and trollied, our car whisked away and we were greeted with genuine smiles and warm welcomes. The bellhops were knowledgeable and directed us aptly through the maze of hallways to the registration desk. The attendant there had us registered in under a minute and had another attendant escort us further on our journey to our room level.
The Maison Orleans is the Ritz Carlton Concierge Level for their New Orleans hotel. It was once a separate hotel and so to navigate to it is a bit of a trust walk. We were glad for the attendant guiding us.
When we arrived at the lounge on the club level, our concierge, Ryan greeted us. After he noticed that we had found our friends seated in the cozy, fireplaced living space of the club, with cocktails in hand, he suggested the bellhop could go ahead and bring our bags to our room while he retrieved us our own libations. We were relieved and thrilled to be nestled in so quickly.
For those familiar with club level service, the Ritz wrote the book on how it should be done.
Well chilled Champagne, Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Grigio wine were available on a side board with plenty of glasses. Hand mixed cocktails could be retrieved by the wait staff circulating. The center board in the main lounge had an amusing array of light bites: roast breast of duck with a wine reduction on grilled french bread, chicken with a cilantro sauce, puffs of carmalized onions and grilled mushrooms. Along with these, were an array of cheeses, with toasts and crackers, marmalade and salted nuts, as well as a platter of crudites and dips. Yum!!
As we relaxed, Ryan returned with drinks and asked about our plans, offering his assistance. He made many difficult dinner reservations easy, we even challenged him with quite a few changes and he didn't drop the ball, not even once! His recommendation and reservations for Louisiana Bistro, on Rue Dauphine, as well as his encouragement to allow the chef to cook for us off menu, was spectacular.
After we revived ourselves enough to ready ourselves for dinner at 9PM at Cochon, we retired to our room for baths and a short nap.
The room was stunning, spacious and well appointed. The lights were on in the room, music playing, slippers out for turn down. One small detail, maybe not so small, was the lack of bed coverlet and decorative pillows on our bed in our arrival. We questioned Ryan on this later in the evening, he stated it might have been de-feathered (which we had requested), and he asked what I would like done about it. I would have preferred he make a recommendation and attend to it immediately, so his request took be back a bit. But I simply asked for additional blankets to compensate and the request was fulfilled before we arrived home that evening.
The bathroom is large, with a separate oversize tub, candles, lighted shave/makeup mirror on the vanity wall, and a closeted space for the loo. Of course the robes were terry warmth goodness and the slippers soft. we immediately felt the pressure of the travel week and our life melt away, lol!
Toiletries were numerous, as expected, including nail files, combs, ear swabs, makeup remover sheets, mouth wash, shave kit, and multiple soaps and lotions.
The room is equipped with a small wooden box, that upon inspection, revealed a tea cozy, coffee maker and assorted condiments.
The closet was sufficient, not as large as expected, but we travel light. Iron and board available for touch up, although pressing service would be the way to go if things really need help.
We were on the seventh floor of the Maison Orleans, room 789 (not to be confused with the 7th floor of the Ritz Carlton main hotel, which we learned through our hotel hallway travelling mistakes doesn't even exist!). Our friends were on the fourth floor, on the level of the club lounge and den. Although the fourth was convenient, we discovered their room to be much smaller than the one we had on the level higher up. So the journey up the elevator, despite a short wait, for us was worth the trade off.
The club lounge offers experienced and knowledgeable wait staff and plenty of them. We saw no less than five people on duty each day, and some days there were only four guests in the lounge. This meant the food offerings were always fresh, our dishes and glasses cleared quickly and questions answered right away.
Breakfast each morning was fresh cut up melon and pineapple, whole fruits of banana's, apples and oranges. Smoked salmon with creme fraiche and capers, hard boiled eggs, muesli, cold cereals with berries, breads, bagels, muffins, english muffins and croissants. Grapefruit, orange, tomato and apple juice were always available as were bottled water, sodas and ice. A side board held urns of coffe and hot water for tea. But my personal favorite was the espresso maker! Espresso, double espresso, cafe machiatto, lattes, wow! I could have had them all!
Offerings were refreshed for lunch around 11AM. We were not around for this serving, but heard from others it was sufficient to warrant no further meal needed. And the quality of the courses were on par with any 5 star restaurant. However it is New Orleans people, and the restaurants are amazing!
Beside the cocktail hour, there were always cordials and desserts of mousse, creme brulee, tortes, lemon bars, mini cheesecakes, etc to end the evening up through 10PM. And since this is New Orleans and we rarely returned 'home' before 1 or 2, a midnight offering might be nice, lol! They will however make you an amazing kir royal or bloody mary in the AM for that morning after :)
We also made use of the spa treatments while there. A Swedish Massage and a Ritz classic pedicure, set us back more than other spa services I have received elsewhere, but they were both worth every penny. We were not rushed through, we were treated to a variety of waters and refreshments and the spa staff were all very engaging. My masseuse was clinically expert, and helped to relieve a long standing shoulder muscle pain, providing me personal tips on permanently avoiding it in the future.
The attention to detail and most important to us, that six sense the Ritz staff are trained in, to anticipate what you need as it becomes apparent to even you, is remarkable. It is a skill that costs little in the end, and that all business could learn from, imagine a world trained to run by the Ritz?
Retrieving our car was simple and quick. Retrieving a taxi was made easier by our doorman, they were always available.
We realize that our visit was during a very, very slow time for NOLA. So minimal registered guests may have accounted for the efficiency factor in some cases. but the smiles were genuine.
On our last night we stayed in, visited the Davenport Lounge in the Ritz main lobby for some jazz and then headed up to our room for a movie. The TV service is inconsistent at best, as it appears to be satellite and prone to wind and weather. Our movie cut out twice on us and had to be rebooted. And on our third day there, our bed coverlet and decorative pillows (non feather brand) suddenly appeared, which aesthetically made the room nicer and our nights warmer.
Turn down service each evening was also inconsistent, sometimes happening sometimes not. But it was not an irritant.
Internet is charged on an hourly fee. They must change that, its so 90's. Wifi should be the norm in all fine hotels.
Check out was smooth, with our bellhop even helping to check the room one last time for things left behind.
I am so pleased we booked a stay in another club level of a Ritz in Philly for February. I don't know I will go anywhere else, with the rates offers they\y often have. I highly recommend you try this hotel.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.