Let me start by saying, this was not our first choice and we booked this place due to it's proximity to Tulane ...we happened to snag the last and only room available, The Napoleon Room. The pros: the room and property were clean, Tim, the manager was nothing but nice and courtious. There was plenty of on street parking and location was good.
Now to the not so good...on first impression for a property in the Garden District, you were greeted with scruby grounds and a front door flanked by fake plants faded to a sickly unnatural color. Hello, isn't this supposed to be the Garden District! The style and decor was a bad rendition of the victorian period with a collection of dusty artificial flowers, gold spray paint, uncomfortable reproduction furniture and a garrish red grand hallway that literally took your breath away in a bad way. I didn't know you could get that much bright red in one room. I understand this might be alot of people's cup of tea and idea of "fancy", no problem. You can tell this mansion has beautiful bones and architecture with so much potential but just fell flat on so many points and has clearly seen better days. The place feels and smells like an old funeral home that has seen better days and I don't understand who would find this place "romantic". To be honest, from the pictures, I kind of expected this and because we really just needed a room, I was willing to accept all that, had it not been for the fact how poorly thought out and uncomfortable our room turned out to be. We stayed here for 2 nights and I would have complained or asked to move to another room, but the few times we happened to see Tim, there were other people around and out of respect I would not want to do so publicly. Nor were there any open rooms. If you come here, think twice about settling for the Napoleon Room. First, the bathroom was just dismal, especially for a place that bills itself as romantic. The whole room and bathroom had such poor and unappealing lighting that I had to sit outside on the front veranda if I wanted to put on makeup. Forget about taking a bath or shower here. It takes minimum of 10 minutes to produce any hot water and the hand held "shower" that is part of the bathtub faucet produces only a small TRICKLE of water. After you soaped up with the cold water, plan on another 10 minutes to try to rinse it off. My husband wanted to kill me. I resorted to showering in my daughter's dorm. They thoughtfully provided a wall mounted makeup mirror, but it was not operable. The small pedestal sink provided barely enough room to put down your toothbrush. The good thing is that the bathroom was large enough to make it more comfortable for a traveler should they want to make improvements. On to the room...It was a small room (that's ok) but not laid out or furnished with a traveler in mind. Every square inch was crowded by useless furniture....2 stiff formal type parlor chairs (the only place to put your suitcases), a small dresser with no usualbe surface because it was covered with an old TV, folddown desk that served no purpose and took up precious space, a useless stand up valet where they should have left space for a luggage rack and tiny nighttables barely able to hold a cell phone. Again, it did not have to be this way and I wonder who looks at this and thinks this is good. As an interior designer and space planner, again, I could have made this room so much more comfortable in 5 minutes. You get the picture. There was barely a surface in the room for your personal things. The bed springs squeeked and the bedding was just a worn, "bed in the bag" type collection of dated polyester, not at all hospitality or hotel quality. We did not have a good nights sleep. I will say the cable TV,fan and air conditioning worked very well. There is nothing here that can't be easily fixed should the management take to heart my comments and desire to give the guest a much better experience.
Stay away from the Napoleon Room
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
We are thankful that this guest appreciated our location, parking, A/C, Cable TV, Fan and our Host. We are located right at the gateway to the Garden District, just off St. Charles Avenue & Mardi Gras Parade Route. Yes…this is the Garden District and our courtyards are surrounded by 150 year old living Oaks, Hedges of Holly and Camellias, and our garden is filled with Magnolia Trees, Azaleas, Gardenias, Night Blooming Jasmine, etc. However, I choose not to have living plants flanking our entry doors as I consider this décor and the gets changed seasonally, as well as for weddings. The faux plants do need replacing at least once a year after a hot summer, as they have faded some by the end of summer. I usually wait and replace them with faux silk Poinsettias for the Christmas Holidays for cost effective reasons and so they last through the entire season & do not drop their leaves. I then buy new faux silk plants at the beginning of the year. Regarding the comment about our grounds being scrubby…these guests stayed here August 24th & 25th, four days before Hurricane Isaac hit New Orleans. We had nonstop rain for weeks prior to the Hurricane landfall. Our grounds are serviced and manicured each and every Thursday or Friday (depending on weather and guest arrivals). However, if it is pouring down rain, service must be delayed until weather permits.
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Having addressed the above, may I say that anyone traveling anywhere, should carefully research the place they ultimately choose to stay by visiting the properties official website in order to view all available photos, and most importantly, to read the properties complete description, room descriptions, amenities, location and policies. I strongly suggest that all travelers personally contact the property they are considering, so they can ask questions if they are extremely particular about specific details and amenities for their accommodations. Regardless, when booking a room, no matter if it is a traveler’s first, second or third choice… if one is disappointed in their choice, could it be that it is possible they did not take the time to fully research before booking… or they booked solely on availability or pricing. If these travelers “kind of expected this from the photos” and because they just needed a room, I don’t really understand their emotionally charged complaints and/or criticisms. The decor is simply a matter of taste and a difference of opinion of what is visually appealing and what is not. They made the wrong choice for what their aesthetic needs desire and/or and comfort require… it is as simple as that. Decisions are usually made based on something that altered one’s final decision, whether it was availability, location, pricing, or policies etc. Perhaps these guests did not visit our official website properties, which clearly show photos of each unique guestroom and give a complete detailed description of each unique bathroom; some have photos of the pedestal sinks and tubs etc. These same photos are available on other sites to view as well, however the complete description may not always be available on other sites. This traveler booked online over an extremely busy hot rainy August weekend. Note: Only when booking directly with Magnolia Mansion are you guaranteed the exact room description, floor, bathroom & themed room type of your choice. Otherwise, only the room type is available through 3rd party reservation systems. For example, we have 2 Queen Standard Rooms, 2 Queen Deluxe Rooms, 3 Premier Plus King/Queen, and 2 Luxury Kings (the Lux Kings are not available through any online reservation system at this time).
As far as the funeral home comparison…I don’t know where this traveler has attended previous funerals; however they must have been over the top and very opulent. Personally, the funeral homes I have been to look nothing like this property, as they are usually beige & brown décor. Magnolia Mansion has a bold beautiful red grand hallway, white parlors, butter yellow dining room and golden back foyer. However, here is a point of interest…the history of this property shows that there were two funerals held at this property (prior to decorating as it is shown today). The first was held in 1869, for the man who built this home, Alexander Harris. The 2nd was held in 1887 for homes 2nd owner, John Henry Maginnis, who was struck by lightning on July 4th. Another fact travelers & history lovers may find interesting is that this building also served as the American Red Cross Headquarters in World War II from 1939 to 1954. It has also served as a wedding venue for hundreds of brides over the years. Both wedding venues and funeral homes use faux silk flower arrangements for décor when attempting to stay within restricted budgets. When budgets permit, real flowers are used. If travelers don’t mind having a few extra hundred dollars added to their stay, we would be glad to provide fresh flowers upon request. However, our décor is strictly to provide the illusion of a time gone by.
My Mother & I bought this property in 2001, right after 9/11. At the time of purchase, this building was in a deplorable blighted condition, and we are given credit by many in the historic / preservation community for saving this beautiful piece of architecture and history. It has truly been a labor of love. Soon after a complete renovation, I opened Magnolia Mansion, a licensed hotel that operates more as a B&B and Wedding & Special Event Venue. I am solely responsible for decorating it as it looks today. This Victorian Décor is not for everyone’s taste and I understand and can appreciate that. However, the Victorian Décor, furniture and colors were researched in depth to recreate the atmosphere so visitors could step back in time. The furnishings are a combination of authentic antiques and well-made reproductions, all bought here in New Orleans. As I type this, I notice that our parlors have people visiting after breakfast and sitting in our parlor chairs and couches. They seem quite comfortable; otherwise I don’t think they would remain there.
I’m sorry that this traveler did not like the décor or sleep well in Napoleons Rendezvous. They did not mention any of this during their stay. One of the first things we ask our guest each morning is “How did you sleep”? We give them an opportunity to let us know if there is anything we can do for them. This traveler is one of the few who has not slept well here in over our 10 years in service. We can’t please everyone; however we do try our best to make our guests as comfortable as possible…if at all possible. . As for the night tables in this room, they are of French Design and hold a lamp, a clock radio, and can easily hold a glass of water, a book, reading glasses and a cell phone. Regarding the hot water, the water pressure, and shower/tub functions, they all work well in all bathrooms. That is provided the user is familiar with how to operate the hardware to switch from the tub to shower function, or from the wall mount shower to Jacuzzi tubs. There are some travelers that are not used to operating certain plumbing hardware, and it is up to the traveler to ask for staff assistance in operating or to immediately notify the staff if they have an issue or complaint. If we are not notified at the time of stay, then we cannot assist in resolving their issue. We are reported to be haunted here at Magnolia Mansion, however we are not known to be able to read minds…yet. As for the pedestal sink…it is fully described (photos too) as such on our website for that room, and/or other rooms that may have the same old fashioned sink. There is a 3 tiered brass amenities table in each bathroom for the purpose of putting grooming products /makeup, as well as hooks on the bathroom door for makeup travel bags. Regarding the bathroom lighting, there is a 5 light horizontal bar above the old fashion oval decorator mirror as well as a ceiling light. The magnified makeup mirror is attached to the wall next to the Oval Decorator Mirror over the sink (under the light bar), and has a hinged arm with witch to adjust for use.
Again, I’m disappointed that this Guest was so unhappy with their choice. Hopefully this review will help others to decide what is right for their travels when searching for a place to stay. Happy & safe travels to all.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.