Room 603, arriving Saturday 20th April 2013 - on arrival, the size of the room, bathroom and bed (collectively, all massive) was soured by the fact that the bed had been made up with dirty covers. I'm not talking a smudge on the edge, but a whacking in-your-face series of marks on the main body, completely obvious on cursory glance. This suggests slipshod servicing which is not a good way to start.
Fortunately - it got better. Front desk sorted the cover without quibble and, indeed, front desk and the staff throughout were happy, helpful and everything you would hope for but rarely find at a hotel. It was my birthday on the Sunday 21st and the staff arranged for some balloons and 2 free drink vouchers to be put into the room, all without actually asking me to prove it was my birthday which was very trusting of them (and - if they are reading this - it was indeed my birthday on 21st April so thanks for making the effort).
The room and bathroom is massive, although our bathroom was shower only. This was a little odd given that the space could easily accommodate bath and separate shower - I don't really mind, but I do know that some people do prefer that choice. There was a persistent fault throughout our stay with the water which was on/off night and day several times, if only for half an hour or so each time (and 4 hours overnight). In addition, the hot supply was very hot and the cold supply was hot too - not warm or tepid but actually running hot, no matter how long you left it. Somewhere, during the conversion process, some dozy plumber has clearly crossed the hot and cold feeds and they are still trying to sort this out - one of the kinks mentioned in the title.
Another kink involves the coffee machine. It is plugged in next to the TV and needs its little in-built reservoir to be filled in order to work which it then passes over a single-use coffee bag. However, there is no way to fill it without making a huge mess - the reservoir mouth is tiny and if you use a coffee mug to transport the water from the bathroom then most of it will splash happily down the side of the machine as you try and pour it in. You cannot unplug the coffee machine to take it to the tap and so a jug is urgently required to overcome this!
A third kink again involves the coffee machine. This is also provided with teabags and the idea is that you run the water through the coffee machine to heat it up and then dunk a tea bag in it. This does not work - coffee needs hot water (which this machine provides) and tea needs BOILING WATER, which this machine does not provide. Sorry to shout but this is not an option for making tea, its a requirement for making tea. If you are going to provide tea, you HAVE to provide a kettle. Oh, and milk, coffee mate doesn't work in tea at all. Oh, and finally, Earl Grey is perfumed poison - its what people who don't drink tea buy because they know no better.
The hotel is in a great location next to the streetcar, 10 minutes out of the main centre in the garden district. Hotels in the main part of town can be small and, depending on location, noisy as well (especially Bourbon Street). People who book the Royal Sonnesta will be in for a real shock! The streetcar offers a day pass for $3 a day and, although it is a hard ride, is clean and frequent throughout the day and night. The garden district generally is quieter, greener and just airier overall. The Blue Plate Cafe - a must for breakfast (far far better and cheaper than the Indigo equivalent) - is 15 minutes walk away and one of the graveyards for which New Orleans is so famous is 10 minutes away, in the other direction from the Cafe.
Positives - a good quiet location, easy access to transport (including hotel pickup for any tours), all still shiny new in the rooms, free internet access (and in-room wi-fi).
Negatives - kinks to work out. They'll fix the water eventually, hopefully the tea facilities too!
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