First off, let me preface this by saying that I visit NOLA a couple times a year to see family and friends and pretty much always stay in the French Quarter because of the food, shops, and entertainment value. This particular trip was special in that I proposed this past weekend and wanted to pick a romantic venue to spend the weekend with my fiancee'. We actually just checked out yesterday and have some thoughts on Hotel Royal. That being said, I'd like to break this down into pros and cons so I can give as unbiased of a response as possible.
- The hotel is an amazingly restored townhome/manse style building and the aesthetics that were chosen are a very nice, modern approach
- The location is pretty great (during the weekend, more on that in a second) because of the proximity to all the festivities of the French Quarter and Jackson Square while still being far enough away not to hear drunken antics all night long
- The gentlemen that helped us with our luggage were amazingly helpful and eager to assist
- I mentioned the location earlier and said I'd get back to it. Friday night and Saturday night are a breeze, but this hotel is right next to an elementary school that gets very noisy between 7-8:30am on weekdays. If you get a room with a balcony overlooking Royal St., you don't need an alarm clock. Wasn't much in the way of sleeping in on our final day there.
- I booked our room through the Hotel Royal website, rather than Expedia because I typically try to go straight through the company so they don't have to pay a commission to a booking site. This tactic backfired on me this time because of these two sentences:
"Hotel Royal provides limited on-site parking for our guests, which is available on a first come, first serve basis. If parking is unavailable upon your arrival at the hotel, several paid parking lots and garages are located within walking distance, as an alternative."
Awesome right? Only, it's never discussed on the actual website that this luxury will cost you 26$ a night. Now, I'm used to having to pay for parking as I travel a lot for work and realize this kind of comes with the territory, but to not list this on your main site and to only list it on your Expedia page seems a bit misleading.
- Here's my biggest complaint. As I mentioned before, I drove in to town with my fiancee' to celebrate our weekend together and so when we got to the hotel, all of our luggage was in our car. We parked across the street at the school's parking lot for a few minutes while my fiancee' ran across to check us into the hotel and find out where the parking lot was. She came back a few minutes later and told me that the woman at the front counter seemed pretty dismissive and was borderline rude to her and that no parking was available. I'd stayed in the car since that's where all of our luggage was and I wasn't sure I was in the right lot and wanted to avoid getting towed. We drove around to the front of the hotel and parked briefly in their designated zone while we unloaded the luggage and I went in to find out what the issue was with the parking lot as we were doing early check-in (this is another positive, was able to get us in two hours early at 2pm instead of 4pm) on a Saturday and I suspected they had to have at least one spot open.
As I'm walking in, I asked the doorman where the nearest public lot was and he said there was one off Decatur, about five blocks away. Upon checking in, the lady made the effort to actually check and see if they had a spot available (which they did, so I'm not sure why my fiancee' was told otherwise) and was still not made aware of the daily charge.
- We shared a balcony with another room that was right next to us. I understand that this is fairly typical of the French Quarter lodgings, but there should be some kind of optional divider that allows this with limitations. I couldn't get it out of my head the potential nightmare that could occur after coming back to the hotel only to find your neighbors are extremely drunk (which can be likely) and want to be social and there isn't a way to keep those interactions to a minimum.
- I read a review before coming here about there not being an elevator and the manager responded that they were working on a way to incorporate one but it certainly hasn't come to fruition yet. Just know that it's possible you'll be stuck on the top floor and it can be a long way up if you've been walking all day. (Might be possible to request a lower room though and they can't be faulted TOO much for not having an elevator since it's working with existing infrastructure)
So, the hotel is amazing and the location is near perfect, so why won't I be back? Well, the schoolyard full of children sucked. The feeling that my fiancee' was just fed an answer without someone taking the time to check the information about the parking lot was another issue and the idea that had I not lucked out with parking, the nearest lot was five blocks away was a huge turn off. Though I can't verify that the woman at the front counter was being rude, because tone can always be misinterprited, I can say that when entering a hotel anything short of "She was really helpful" is a poor start to the stay. Not only did I get charged nearly 50$ for my car to be stored in an unguarded lot around the corner, but now the charges hitting my bank account are getting interesting. Currently there's a reversal pending, but a 180$ charge still on hold, so I will just have to wait for the dust to settle to figure out what the hell is going on with my account.
The short version is, with as many amazing places that there are to stay at in the French Quarter, little things actually count and make the difference to me whether I visit there again.
- Also Known As:
- Royal Hotel New Orleans
- Royal New Orleans
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hotel Royal has completed 100% renovations of all sleeping rooms and suites as of September 2011. We are also currently under new management and working diligently to correct all challenges faced in the past. Our new staff is here to serve you and ensure that your stay with the Hotel Royal is a wonderful experience! Located in the heart of the French Quarter on the corner of Royal St. and St. Phillips, Hotel Royal is the perfect location for leisure and business travelers alike. All 42 contemporary rooms and suites are surrounded by brick walls, high ceilings, fan windows and comfortable furnishings in the antebellum style. Accommodations range from courtyard rooms to large balcony suites with Jacuzzi, complete with private bath and wet bar. All guest rooms feature:-300 thread-count linens & duvet covers-Welcome Amenities upon arrival-All-marble bathrooms with spa tub or shower/tub combo-Suites with iron-laced balconies-Recessed Lighting -Wi-Fi access-Flat screen LCD TVs-Irons and ironing boards-Individual air conditioner controls-Ipod clock radios ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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