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“Needs a renovation”
Review of Soniat House

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Soniat House
Ranked #93 of 167 Hotels in New Orleans
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed May 9, 2013

I recently stayed at Soniat for the 6th time in the last 5yrs, and I'm so sorry to have to give it an average rating, but it's due (I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could).
In many ways Soniat is analogous to NOLA itself - in both the good and the bad. The aesthetics here are gorgeous, from the beautifully and uniquely decorated rooms (all are filled with antiques and different from one another) to the darling courtyards with fountains and candles. No where looks or feels like this place, just like NOLA. As many have said the location is absolutely perfect.
But on the this last stay the negatives really started to outweigh the positives. The place needs a facelift. The bathrooms in particular are feeling shabby, with chipped paint and fixtures, threadbare towels, ripped low quality shower curtains and low water pressure.
There was a pervasive smell of mildew and mustiness throughout our rooms that was so strong that we had to wash our clothes twice upon our return home to remove it. In fairness, it did pour for days while we were there - perhaps the smell is unavoidable in an old structure when it pours, but regardless it's very unpleasant. Facilities are in desperate need of new a new HVAC system (which might help with the smell) - it's loud and unreliable.
The service was charming if a bit slow and confused (NOLA). Acquiring their famous and delicious biscuits within an hour or housekeeping within a 3hrs was a serious challenge.
I so wish the place were up to the standards of years past, when it was pretty close to perfect. It's still a magical and special place, but a lot of the luxury and comfort have faded. I sure hope they invest in some upkeep. In the meantime, I'm sadly going to start exploring other options.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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2  Thank eh555
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
soniat1133, Owner at Soniat House, responded to this reviewResponded July 11, 2013

It breaks my heart when I read a negative review from a regular guest. Judging from the time frame and the mention of rain I suspect that you were with us for Jazz Fest. That was some rain!
We are in the midst of our annual refurbishment now. Hopefully you will come back to New Orleans soon. I think that you will be pleased.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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195 - 201 of 331 reviews

Reviewed April 13, 2013

There could not be a more perfect location in the French Quarter. This is not a cookie-cutter chain hotel. Each room is unique and cozy. The staff is friendly, but professional. Every request was accommodated, from arranging a swamp tour to making dinner reservations, to canceling dinner reservations, to providing an early morning breakfast of freshly baked biscuits. I simply cannot imagine staying anywhere else.

Room Tip: The rooms in the back are very quiet, but I understand that rooms in the front allow you to hear the...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank teamfur
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013 via mobile

If you want to try something different, away from the big hotels that tend to look pretty much the same, I would definitely recommend Soniat house in the French quarter of New Orleans.
It is situated not exactly in the centre of the French quarter which makes it quieter than other hotels but still close enough to walk everywhere.

The rooms are lovely, they look like old colonial houses conversions. The stay was a bit like Downton Abby vacation. The rooms had queen beds with tall pillars and our room also had a balcony facing the street. At night you can hear the horse carriage go by and it transports you to a different era. Breakfast can be ordered and hot scones will come in hot baskets heated by hot stones. Rather quaint the whole experience!
No actual meal room service, but that was ok as we explored Irene's just around the corner. Irene's is an establishment, we dined there and had take away with all the silverware 4 out of 5 nights. Friendly staff, authentic atmosphere, amazing food, what more could you ask for.


  • Stayed: May 2012
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Thank Nicky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2013

We just stayed at the Soniat for 4 nights. The location was absolutely great- 3 blocks from Frenchmen Street with is where you'll find a ton of great local music, usually for the price of one drink. a few blocks from Jackson Square. Quiet area away from the crowds. The rooms were clean and the beds were excellent, with soft, downlike pillows.

The service is also great- they will take care of anything you need and all of the front desk folks are trained concierges. They will provide breaakfast in your room for $12 per person, but we didn't try that. There's an excellent coffee and bakery place around the corner.

The only downside for us was guest noise- we started on the first floor, and you can hear every step of the guests above you because your wooden ceiling is their floor. We are noise-sensitive and this was a problem. Our first room also had a musty odor which they controlled with a dehumidifier in the room.

Also, our room had almost no natural light, because it faced onto the courtyard (it didn't help that the weather was overcast for most of our stay). This seems like it shouldn't be a problem since you're going to be out all day anyway, but that's just us- we really wanted natural light in the morning.

These things can't be helped as this property, along with most others in the French Quarter, are historic buildings with the limitations that brings. The rooms were dark by design to keep the hot sun out in the summer. First floor rooms sometimes have to deal with humidity leaching out of the ground.

That said, they went out of their way to accomodate us- first moving us to another first-floor room which had no odor but was even noisier. Then when we were going to check out early, the owner moved us to an amazing suite up on the 3rd floor where we had lots of light and no noise above us- for the same price we'd been paying. There are lots of 2nd floor rooms which might have been fine but they were all occupied.

So if you want a hotel room in the ugly, noisy southern part of the French Quarter, stay at the Monteleone. But if you want to be where all the good stuff is (except good oyster bars- they are near the Monteleone but still walking distance from Soniat), stay here! I would definitely stay again- I'll just be more careful about my room preferences.

Room Tip: Stay off the first floor if you can. But if you can't, Room 17 had a strong musty odor. Room 10...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank mbernhardt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

This is a charming place in the quiet end of the French Quarter. Formerly two homes and now a breakfast only hotel, the front of the house service is excellent especially if you are lucky enough to meet Bill. While we were there, we saw a MAJOR movie star who shall remained unnamed until later since we don't wish to undermine his privacy. The owner, Mr. Smith has some lovely antiques for sale across the street. All in all pleasant experience but if you like the amenities of a full service hotel this is not for you. The one major negative is the beds...not king sized and it is time to buy new firmer mattresses. Minor negatives, noise and room size, but if you are not prepared for both inthe French Quarter then consider a chain in downtown.

Room Tip: If you want a balcony on a street, then this will be one of the quieter options in the French Quarte...
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  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank ProfD81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Staying at the Soniat House is a special treat. Great hospitality and beautiful rooms; Fabulous coffee and homemade biscuits for breakfast; Romantic setting in the heart of the French Quarter. Everything you'd want in a small, luxurious hotel.

Room Tip: Any room in the hotel is special and unique!
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  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Bbjones123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 8, 2013

If you appreciate the French Quarter for all that it is.... and not just the drinking on Bourbon Street (which we all love), but the true historic appeal and charm of the old buildings, the uneven walkways, the hospitality and genteel manner and the relaxed poise of graceful imperfection, then this is a MUST stay. This is how I imagine living in the Quarter feels.

This was less a hotel stay and more like staying with friends.... I know others have written the same, but it's all true so it bears repeating.

Bill at the front desk was awesome and more than helpful, the porters were absolute gentlemen. My room was immaculate and appointed well.

A few words to those who actually read these reviews when looking for a place....

This place was built in 1830. And it's meant to show it. I saw some reviewer complain that there was no elevator and the cobblestone courtyard was uneven.... Seriously?

I like the crisp, modern, and perfect hotels too - and the barrage of modern amenities & electronics, lobby bars and pools, and glitz etc. as much as the next guy. And I stay in places like that when I choose to. And if that's really what you are after when booking, (not trying to be snarky) do yourself a favor and don't stay at a place like the Soniat, as you will not be satisfied. And in particular, if this isn't your cup of tea but you stay here anyways and then write unflattering reviews, that is patently unfair.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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1  Thank island-time-ny
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Soniat House

Address: 1133 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70116-2593
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Louisiana > New Orleans > French Quarter
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#50 Romantic Hotel in New Orleans
#68 Family Hotel in New Orleans
#70 Business Hotel in New Orleans
Price Range: $313 - $675 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Soniat House 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A historic small inn in the quiet residential section of the French Quarter. Three townhouses built in 1830 by the Soniat family now operated as a hotel. Exquisitely furnished. Lush tropical courtyards. The hotel has 20 suites and 10 rooms. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Soniat House Hotel New Orleans
Soniat Hotel New Orleans

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