My family and I lived in the region (Diamondhead, MS for people who know the area) for a short time and always enjoy visiting NOLA. We usually visit NOLA 2 times a year and (unless it's sold out) always stayed at Place d'Armes. We almost always stayed here when we would visit growing up so it feels weird to visit and not stay there.
The biggest plus to Place d'Armes is, simply put, its location. You will be hard pressed to find a better location, right next door to Jackson Square, 2 blocks (if you want to call it that) from Bourbon Street, 1 block from Royal Street, 1 block from Cafe Du Monde and the French Market and very convenient to the rest of the French Quarter, Fauborg Marigny (where Frenchmen Street is location), the Central Business District and the Warehouse District. With that said, while it is right in the middle of the action, it is a very secluded hotel. You are very close to Bourbon Street but while you are in the hotel you would never know it, so it is a great choice for those who want to be in the middle of everything but yet still have a relaxing atmosphere.
The hotel is very unique in that it is composed of several old buildings that use to be a school (the hotel is supposedly one of the most haunted in New Orleans but I've never seen anything weird), so you get a variety of rooms. Some rooms have balconies with views of Jackson Square and Chartres Street, some rooms face some of the various courtyards and/or the pool area, and other rooms are interior rooms. All of them are nice but have a different room layout and feel to them. I have stayed in all three types and enjoy all of them. The Interior Rooms are good if you are looking to save money, the Balcony rooms make you feel like you are right in the middle of the action and let you see the French Quarter (well a few blocks in each direction, lol) without leaving your room (these rooms would be great during Carnival season), and the Courtyard rooms simply have a nice relaxed atmosphere and great views.
That takes me to the next point of the hotel, the courtyards, Place d'Armes has 2 courtyard areas (the main courtyard and a side courtyard) and they are some of the most beautiful courtyards in New Orleans. It is simply great to be outside in the morning enjoying your breakfast or having some beignets listening to the fountains and the church bell of St. Louis Cathedral. The pool area is small but has a quaint and very tropical feel to it (it's a pool area you would most likely find at a boutique hotel). I will warm adults with small kids that the pool does go very deep on one end (around 7 feet if I remember correctly), deeper than most chain hotel pools, but the other end is very kid friendly.
The hotel does offer a basic breakfast with free USA Today and Times Picayune newspapers. The breakfast consists of crouissants, bagels, a variety of pastries, milk and orange juice. It's nothing spectacular but it can still save you some costs for breakfast, if you want to eat breakfast again you are right in the middle of the French Quarter so there are plenty of places to eat. The staff is very good and are more than ready to help you with recommendations regarding attractions and dining in New Orleans. We have always had great service from the bell staff getting our bags to and from our room as well. The only very minor negative aspect of the hotel is that check in is at 4 p.m. and they pretty much mean it. I think the earliest our room has ever been ready is at 2:30 p.m. or 3 p.m. Now this isn't a complaint because the rooms are not guaranteed until 4 p.m., but it's not like most hotels where they can usually get you in by Noon or 1 p.m. if you get there at that time. If you do arrive to the hotel early just be prepared to put your bags in storage and have fun taking in the sites until your room is ready.
The best thing for most people about Place d'Armes is that despite its location you can pretty decent rates during non-event weekends and in the off season. During Carnival, Jazz Fest and other events this hotel is always sold out or ridiculously expensive. If you go in late spring or summer though I have seen rates for interior rooms go down as low as $75 and Courtyard rooms as low as $95, so the hotel is very affordable despite the location.
To sum it all up, if you want a hotel that truly embodies the spirit of New Orleans this is a great hotel to consider. This hotel is by no means a Ritz Carlton, Westin or JW Marriott, and if that is what you are looking for do not book this hotel. But if you are looking for an affordable non-chain hotel that is very convenient to most of the tourist spots and has a New Orleans feel to it, Place d'Armes is definitely a place you should consider.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Historic Hotel situated in center of French Quarter & comprised of 9 restored 18th century buildings. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Place d Armes Hotel
- Hotel Place d Armes