First the pros: the setting is wonderful, right in the heart of the Garden District. The communal spaces of the hotel, inner rooms and patio, are quite beautiful, I can see why it is a popular place to have weddings.
Just don't plan to spend your honeymoon here.
The cons: I came hoping to experience some southern hospitality. Instead, our very first interaction involved being required to pay $50, in cash, because the late arrival of our plane brought us in later than the proprietors' bedtime. Sorry to interrupt your beauty sleep, but aren't you running a hotel? Nothing like a little graft to get my 2nd anniversary vacation off on to a good start. Upon leaving, a friend was taking over our room and she was treated very rudely and wasn't allowed into the hotel, and I have yet to receive an explanation for her poor treatment.
That this place bills itself a bed and breakfast is an insult to the word breakfast. Your stay includes the same "breakfast" supplied at your typical Super 8: toast with little plastic packets of jelly, bagels with foil packets of cream cheese, unpeeled fruit. I can understand that not every bed and breakfast can make homemade pastries, but if you must buy them from the corner 7-11, at least take them out of the plastic wrapper and put them on a serving tray and pretend that you care. The low quality food and complete lack of class is quite a contrast to the surroundings of the hotel.
At least while you're staying there you can borrow from and enjoy their fine selection of VHS tapes to watch in your dimly lit room. I'll be returning to New Orleans for a week in November, but I will never return to the Magnolia Mansion.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We want to thank you for posting this review on behalf of you & your traveling companion. I’m glad that the area and the communal spaces were appreciated, as it is a great location for travelers, as well as a beautiful venue for weddings and receptions. However, there are many Honeymoon couples who have stayed at Magnolia Mansion may seriously disagree with his Honeymoon comment based on their personal experience.
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Tim remembers this couple very well and made notes in their reservations due to several uncomfortable issues that he experienced with them on several encounters, as they arrived to check in at 2am in the morning. The next morning Tim made tour reservations for them to do a city tour. They were very business & not very talkative or pleasant to Tim during this process.
These reservations through an online 3rd party popular reservation site, as many people do in today’s online world. We always contact the reservation system that each guest books through to request all of their contact information, so that we can get in touch with them to send them an email & call them prior to their arrival to confirm that all is in order, their arrival time, also that they have no children or pets, as all of our guests must be 21 years or older, and to see if they are celebrating anything special. Sometimes, we do not receive this information from the 3rd party reservation source until the day of the guest arrival…and then it’s too late to contact them as they are in transit. Sometimes, we never receive the information at all. It is the traveler’s responsibility to contact the property they have chosen and personally confirm all details of their reservation, stay & desired information.
My advice to everyone who also books anything online is the following! Always, always, always visit the property’s official website and do your homework, read their policies and restrictions to see if this is the right choice for you personally. In addition to this, call and contact the property directly (Bed & Breakfast, Inn, Motel or Hotel) and to let them know if you are celebrating something special, give them the cell number you are traveling with, confirm their Check In & Check Out times (arrange prior should you need an early or late Check In) and confirm details of anything that is really important to you as a traveler and guest. All Bed & Breakfasts, Inns, Motels or Hotels have different policies and this is their right to do so. Smaller B&B’s & Inn’s, as well as larger Hotels, have Check In Restrictions. This is not unusual at all, neither is the age restriction, all properties have their reasons for doing this. Magnolia Mansion has our hours of office operation & check in policies posted very clearly on our website.
Magnolia Mansion is not for everyone, as it is a unique Historic property and is for those 21 years or older that are looking for a hauntingly romantic, private and peaceful experience. Our Check In time is between 2pm & 6:30pm. We arrange early Check Ins without any additional fees or costs, provided we have been contacted and have been properly informed, in order to have their room & paperwork ready upon their arrival. If a room is not ready for Check In yet, then we gladly hold luggage, and give the earliest possible time for Guest’s to return and get settled. We always suggest a nearby eatery for them to wait & enjoy themselves or, if they prefer just go for a nice walk through the Garden District or on a walking tour, or they can sit and wait in parlors and read through coffee table books provided.
However, all arrivals after 6:30pm are subject to a $25 cash late fee (per reservation) upon Check In, and special arrangements must be made in advance. Also, all arrivals after 10pm are subject to a $50 cash late Check In fee. Magnolia Mansion has these policies in place for several reasons. Because we are a small property and operate with a very small staff, we do not have 24/7 office/front desk hours and we are up very early each day to set out the complimentary Continental Breakfast (I will address this further on), as clearly shown on our website.
Also, Magnolia Mansion maintains a very peaceful quiet and romantic atmosphere and late arrivals can sometimes be very disruptive, as some folks like to go to Bourbon St. and celebrate their arrival into the Big Easy, if you know what I mean… before Checking In. It is best always Check In before you start toasting the night away.
The last reason is a safety issue. Many B&B’s, Inn’s, Motels, & even some Hotels, have limited Check In times. Some will not allow anyone to Check In after 7pm or 8pm period. This policy is becoming more popular with hospitality properties around the country, due to crime and staffing cutbacks. Many Hotels & other accommodations in Palm Springs, for example, and other cities that have smaller properties have started this policy. I know, because I’ve stayed at some several times. I always like to see what someone else is doing that I may or may not consider implementing as a procedure or policy at Magnolia Mansion. Also, be aware that some accommodation properties will not hold your reservation after a certain time, if you have not checked in by then. You could show up & they may have given your room to someone else because you were considered a “No Show”. So again, do your homework and take personal responsibility for contacting & confirming details directly with the property of your choice. Make sure your reservation in order and you have are completely informed of all of the properties policies, & give them your cell phone to contact you if needed, etc.
Now as far as the comment about their friend, which was …“Upon leaving, a friend was taking over our room and she was treated very rudely and wasn't allowed into the hotel, and I have yet to receive an explanation for her poor treatment.”
This will be a very detailed explanation that will hopefully answer his question as well as educate others. First of all this couple checked in on a Friday and the gentleman left on Sunday, while the lady remained. Over the weekend that they were both here, neither of them mentioned anything about him leaving or a friend arriving to stay here, at any time. It was only when this couple was rushing out the door on Sunday to take him to the Airport, that the woman informs Tim that she would be having a friend come and stay with her. Our guests did not give him the name of her friend, nor a time we were to expect her, nor a contact number to reach her friend. Because our Guest was aware of our Check In procedures and other Mansion Policies, it sounded to Tim and as he understood it, our Guest would be personally be bringing the friend back with her, so she could Check In and sign all of the required registration paperwork.
As it turned out, this was a clear lack of communication between Tim and our Guest, and therefore it lead to an uncomfortable situation for all concerned. The friend of our Guest arrived after 6:30 pm on a Sunday (By the way, Tim did not ask for nor collect the $25 late fee from the friend). Because her friends name was not given to us by our Guest, and she was not on the property at her friends time of arrival, nor had our Guests notified her 3rd party reservation source that we were to expect another guest under her reservation details, by law and our agreements with the 3rd party reservation party and our understanding of this, we are not allowed to give a key to someone’s room or let them check in.
When the friend of our Guest arrived, she was very tired. Tim invited her in to sit down. She chose to wait in the parlors and common areas until our (registered) Guest could be reached by phone, which took approximately an hour. Once this was done she was properly Checked In and given a Key. She was very nice and was not treated rudely by Tim in any way. Tim simply could not give her a key to a room that was not in her registered in her name. Due to the fact that we never received any documentation in writing from our registered Guest nor from the source of her original reservation. Upon Check Out, Tim held the bags for the ladies while they went out walking around. They later came back to Magnolia Mansion to pick up their bags. Tim carried their luggage down to the Taxi Cab and both Ladies headed off to the airport. Upon departure, the friend of our Guest was very nice to Tim. However, the original Guest remained very businesslike and extremely distant.
As for our infamous Continental Breakfast…again, this information is on detailed on our website & one of the things we have been heavily criticized for previously, in some online reviews. We are not known for having a fabulous Breakfast. It is however, a substantial Self-Serve Complimentary Continental Breakfast served between 8:30am & 10:30am consisting of the following: A Choice of…Coffee, A Selection of Hot Teas, Low Fat Milk, Orange Juice, Fresh Fruit (Apples, Oranges, Banana’s), Assorted Wrapped Pastries, Assorted Wrapped Breakfast Bars, Assorted Packaged Oatmeal, Three Types of Cereal, Assorted Bagels & English Muffins ( 3 types of breads) & also available upon request are Hot Jimmy Dean Breakfast Grab & Go Sandwiches (2 choices). Either an Egg, Cheese, & Sausage on Croissant, or an Egg Whites (only), Cheese & Turkey Sausage on a Wheat English Muffin.
Now, having described in detail our Breakfast selections and to be very clear, we do not run down to a convenience store to buy our wrapped pastry! I go to Sam’s & buy in bulk like most small businesses. The pastries are to remain wrapped (as are the jellies, butter, & cream cheese), as this is required by our health department (as in most cities), when self-serve meals are provided, as we are not a restaurant and do not have a restaurant license. Again, this is a health and safety issue (& just common sense). If breakfast is high on your list for what you want included in your traveling experience, then I suggest a standard hotel with a restaurant license or a Bed & Breakfast that is highly praised for their full hot breakfast. We all have different priorities when choosing a place to stay. So, if you want your fruit peeled for you, your cream cheese placed on a plate for you & pastries fresh from the oven…then Magnolia Mansion is not for you. At least you know your fruit is fresh when you peel it yourself…Just a thought!
If these travelers had researched this property, and what we provide and are known & not known for, and had they read all of the information that is provided in so many areas on line for them to see. They would have known this and made another choice regarding accommodations.
NOTE: Another reason we don’t provide full hot breakfast, is that most people come to town to go to New Orleans gourmet restaurants for a Jazz Brunch, Lunch or Dinner. They stay out late, sleep in & only want a little something to lite to eat to hold them over till they get to their restaurant of choice. Most people are out late at night having a good time & like a good quiet night’s sleep so they can go on tours & have fun eating & playing through this wonderful city called New Orleans
Magnolia Mansion is appreciated for its beautiful ambiance, privacy, tranquil & romantic atmosphere, great location and historic architecture. Not so much, because our Continental Breakfast! I hope this helps others make a better choice, when considering their stay somewhere, so they will make a choice that is just the right experience for them. Safe & Happy Traveling to All!!!
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.