Being a single mom on a budget I decided to break the rules and visit this beautiful city with little money and the inconvenience of my adorable terrible two-er. Villa Convento offered the most affordable rate as one of the French Quarter's most historically colorful original homes.
On the shuttle ride from the airport to the hotel I watched everyone else get off at massive remodeled hotels on noisy bourbon street and other high traffic corners. I was among the last stops. As the bus turned the corner onto Ursuline Street the sounds of tourists instantly diminished and it was although I had just went through a time capsule.
To my right was the Ursuline convent lined by picturesque historic homes with just enough wear to confirm their authenticity. The shuttle parked in front of Croissant D' Or (a favorite among locals for pastries other than beignets and coffee). Directly across the street was the Old Creole townhome with 25 rooms (Villa Convento).
My point is- everything about this hotel including it's location is AUTHENTIC to the soul of New Orleans that entices most us wandering from less romanticized places. The courtyard was eerily tranquil other than birds chirping above the old water fountain chipped in several places. I was worried my son would be a nuisance to this place- not so. I wouldn't scare anyone away by suggesting this place has troubled ghosts or anything... but the place DEFINITELY has a spirit... or two about it; hard to describe. Whatever it was it had an unusually calming effect on both my son and I.
I am someone that NEVER stays in my hotel room even for a minute when I go anywhere- and I have stayed at some really nice places. This place was unlike any others; exceptionally unique. I truly could have stayed in my room and in the courtyard the entire time and still felt like I had absorbed a substantial part of New Orleans' spirit. This place is a MUST try for anyone that is really into history and especially the more colorful history of the Vieux Carre. This place is also a "make possible" option for anyone who wants to have a memorable experience without spending loads of money.
That said the staff here is PHENOMENAL. Loved every one of them. Warren, Erin, Casey... And one other girl who was also a total sweetheart (I feel bad forgetting her name) were all totally welcoming, knowledgeable, and honest. Very very impressive staff.
In a nutshell if you want a place with all the bells and whistles of enormous commercial complexes and massive hotels- this place is NOT for you. If you want somewhere that tempts you to hold your ear to the wall with the suspicion that you'll hear whispers from the past- this place is PERFECT. If you want to escape to somewhere peaceful and quiet with the all the historical charms of New Orleans being unobstructed by drunk and/or frenzied tourists- this place is TOP NOTCH. I loved it and will be back again for sure. Miss it so bad I delayed writing this because I was in denial about being home. lol.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located by the French Market and Mississippi River in the heart of the French Quarter, the Hotel Villa Convento is a warm and cozy guest house, offering guests the personal service of seventh-generation New Orleanians, the Campos. Rumored to be the legendary House of the Rising Sun, this building is a Creole townhouse dating back to the 1830s. Here you can encapsulated by the sounds and smells of the French Quarter. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Convento Hotel New Orleans
- Convento New Orleans