I travel all around the USA assessing dog parks for DogParksUSA (http://www.DogParksUSA.org) and take my dog with me; we stay in dog-friendly hotels on these trips.
I have spent the past two nights in the LaQuinta on Camp Street in New Orleans, Louisiana (NOLA). This LaQuinta is located just one block from Canal Street, which is the diving line between the Central Business District (where the hotel is located) and the French Quarter. It is located just a block from Magazine Street, loaded with antique shops. It is located just two blocks from the St. Charles Streetcar line and the Riverfront Streetcar line. It is located just three blocks from the NOLA RiverWalk and Harrah's Casino. All of them are an easy walk from the hotel, if you enjoy walking. Yet, it is quiet where the hotel is, if sleeping is important to you (like it is for me).
LaQuinta is a dog-friendly hotel chain, and this location is one of the really nice LaQuinta's. While I was there, a lot of guests staying there had their dogs with them. This LaQuinta is a multi-story hotel building, not a motel, so there are no ground floor rooms or exterior doors on the rooms or parking outside your door. It has two elevators. Most of the guests staying with dogs get placed on the 8th floor, so everyone there has to play nice to keep their own neighbors on the same floor happy. I giggled when I walked off the elevator for the first time on the 8th floor and was greeted (in some cases suspiciously) by a dog behind every single one of the 9 doors I passed on our way to our room. Despite the floor being loaded with pooches, they are quiet until someone walks down the hallway and quiet down again quickly enough once you get into your room.
The room itself is very nice (check out the photos I uploaded). My room had a king bed, a 42 or 50-inch flatscreen HDTV with plenty of cable channels, a computer or business desk, a corner cabinet that contained a mini fridge and a microwave, along with a coffeepot. The bathroom has a tub with shower and a wall-mounted hair dryer. The closet had an ironing board and an iron. The hotel offers its guests free wi-fi access.
The hotel serves continental breakfast every morning (earlier during the week, and later during the weekend). Dogs are not allowed in the breakfast room.
This is the big city, and there is hardly any parking downtown -- certainly none that is free. There is extremely limited legal on-street parking outside the hotel and that little bit is highly restricted; don't count on it for your stay unless you are just running into the hotel for a second. The hotel offers valet parking for $25 per night. For those people who don't like someone else driving their car (me, for one, plus valets don't seem to know how to drive stick shifts like mine well anymore, either), self-parking is available in a privately owned but open to the public garage next door to the LaQuinta, called the Whitney Parking Garage for $30 per night. It is open 24/7.
There are no grocery stores nearby for that microwave and fridge in your room, but there are liquor stores that have meager selections of food; and about 5 blocks away on Canal is a CVS that has a better selection of frozen foods; another 2 blocks more is a Walgreens with a similar selection of frozen foods. Fast food places and restaurants line Canal Street, can be found in the RiverWalk, and are all over the French Quarter. Expect to pay more to eat here, stay here, park here; this part of NOLA is not cheap.
For dog owners, I found a strips of grass (well, not grass, but a planter bed with plantings in it and mulch that dogs seemed interested in doing their business in, rather than on the sidewalk) that permits dogs doing their business, because it offers poop bags and trash barrels for the bags. It is in the alley on Commercial about a block and a half from the hotel. Please, please scoop the poop, so that hotel guests with dogs don't lose this privilege (this property is not owned by LaQuinta but by the Intercontinental Hotel) because there is nowhere else nearby with grass or anything resembling grass. I did go looking, and no luck.
NOLA has three dog parks; none are within a dog's walking distance of the hotel. The best dog park, which charges an admission fee, is NOLA City Bark located inside City Park. It is one of the best dog parks in the country (remember: I assess dog parks for a living, so I know what I am talking about.) If you know you are coming to this hotel with your dog, you can purchase your pass online in advance (http://www.nolacitybark.org/cb_about.html).
I enjoyed my stay here, and would come back here again if traveling with my dog. Maybe even without my dog.
I do have three gripes about this LaQuinta, though:
(1) No freezer in the mini fridge. It is apparently a beverage fridge only, because it has no freezer compartment at all. The hotel provides you with microwaves, so don't you think they would assume you might want to put something frozen on ice so you can nuke it later? If you have anything that needs to stay frozen, like ice cream, or are going to be there a few days before cooking frozen uncooked food, forget it; it will be cool, but definitely not frozen. Come on!
(2) Shower has no water pressure. The tub faucet and sink faucets provide plenty of water pressure, but when the shower is turned on, the water pressure is shockingly anemic. I played with the shower head to see if it was on some whimpy setting, but it didn't appear to have any different shower patterns whatsoever -- the water was limper than, well, you know what. Hot, yes, but I could hardly rinse the shampoo out of my hair. What's up with that?
(3) No discount on self-parking. I know LaQuinta offers valet parking, but that is the only parking option they offer their guests. It is unreasonable to expect every guest to want someone else to drive their car. More importantly, LaQuinta posts all over the place that they are not responsible for anything that happens to your car or to its contents while in the valets' hands. So if you don't want to unload your car's entire contents and hoof it up to your room (where it is also not safe from housekeeping staff), you are subject to theft either way of your valuables, items which you may not necessarily need cluttering up your hotel room but don't want stolen out of your car either. While there is no guarantee my car won't get broken into in the self park garage, at least I know I locked all the doors and set the alarm when I leave it, and I know where the keys are and who has them. And I know how to drive a stick-shift, too. LaQuinta should work out a deal with Whitney Parking Garage where guests get at least $5 off on the overnight rate of $30 to bring it down to at least the same $25 LaQuinta charges for valet parking (even better, give your guests a $10 discount on self-park), with ticket validation by the front desk. That's just cheap on this LaQuinta's part.
So, other than my three gripes, this LaQuinta was a good place to stay. I had no view other than the self-park garage (handy, because I parked on the top 7th floor and could actually watch my self-parked car from my 8th floor room), but then again, who is coming here to spend all their time in their room looking out the window?
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- Also Known As:
- La Quinta Inn And Suites New Orleans French Quarter Hotel New Orleans
- La Quinta New Orleans
- New Orleans La Quinta