Avenue Plaza Resort misses the mark when it comes to the detail and finer points of turning an average “hotel” vacation into a wonderful “resort” vacation.
The rooms are small and cramped with a spatial arrangement makes it very difficult to operate. Basically they have figured out how to cram two queens, a Television and a small table into a space that is suitable for one king bed. The kitchenette is nice and comes well stocked with appliances such as, blender, coffee maker, toaster, refrigerator and dish washer. As well as, an assortment of silverware, plates, bowls, pots and pans, but the counter space is very limited and you will find yourself constantly shuffling things around to make room for a small plate.
The bathroom comes with a nice spacious shower, but hardly any room to stand and dry off. Basically the shower takes up ½ of the bathroom area. The toilet and sink are quite cramped. There isn’t much room for a toothbrush and toothpaste on the counter and if you use makeup, forget it! You are better off going to another room. The toilet is almost an afterthought and is quite claustrophobic (stuck between the sink, wall and door).
The grounds are clean and well-manicured, but you have to zig zag through a maze of doors and mini courtyards to reach the pool area. In fact, you wouldn’t even know they had one unless they told you. The pool and hot tub are nice, but the pool was not heated so all your kids can do on a colder day is use the hot tub. The towels they provide are like sandpaper so bring one from the room.
Overall, most of the grounds are littered with empty areas where they have added a chair, table or a bench to fill space. Many of which are placed where it would make it uncomfortable or awkward to use. Basically the grounds lack the decor and decorations that go along with the more elegant hotels. Even the lobby is not very comfortable. All it takes is a few wall decorations, some nice sofas and a few plants. Makes you wonder if the groundskeeper handled the decorations.
They do have a business center with 3 computers, but the computer screens face the windows in the courtyard and offer little privacy for those who are working on confidential documents. So for confidential work, you might be better off bringing a laptop and working from your room.
The workout room on the 1st floor is nice with lots of newer equipment, but it can be difficult to find because it is tucked away from the elevator and down a hall in an area of the old beauty salon. Once again they have managed to cram a bunch of stuff in a small space.
Most of the things I mentioned above can be the trivial little things that were kind of an irritant, so here is where I go on about the stuff that stands out and borders on the ridiculous!
They will not service your room – at all! I think if you want it serviced once during the week it will run you about $50. Unheard of! My previous experience is that you can get one and maybe two per week at these resorts.
A towel exchange is offered on the 1st floor (I was on the 11th) every day between 8 am and 9 am. So you have to gather all of your used room towels up and drag them down to the 1st floor. Thus, trying to get a new towel outside the allotted time was impossible! I tried the front desk and was told “sorry”.
Soap, shampoo and conditioner were located at the front desk so when I ran out, I needed to remember to ask next time I was in the lobby. Thus, a special trip because the only time you are in the lobby is when you are leaving the hotel.
There was no channel guide in the room. I was at the hotel 3 days before I “guessed” that I needed to go down to the lobby “again” and ask.
Found out after the fact - they had a special meet and greet on Tuesday mornings where they offer donuts and coffee in the business center.
I called ahead and specifically requested a King Size Bed. When I arrived, they gave me a cramped room with two queens. When asked I was told that they wanted to keep me away from the elevators and ice machine, but found out they had several nicer rooms that were not next to the ice machine and elevators; however the manager would not approve the change.
In the courtyard they have some nice (new – was told) patio furniture with a propane fire pit. This is very pleasant to sit around after a dip in the pool or hot tub, but the fire pit was only lit 3 evenings during my stay because they ran out of propane. Not sure why they didn’t fix this problem during my stay.
Each night in the business center they offer coffee for the guests (another secret perk). Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I asked for tea or hot chocolate. The front desk said they ran out of tea the week before and the manager hadn’t purchased more (along with the propane). You can get hot chocolate for the kids, but you will need to beg for it at the front desk.
The maintenance issues were small, but irritating. The safe in my room was broken and would swing open, which would not allow me to close the closet door and when the closet door was open, then the room door would not open. The other problem was that the toilet paper holder fell off the wall, but because of the confined space in the bathroom, I found it was better to leave the roll on the floor.
One morning I was out of hot water for the shower and another morning there wasn’t any water at all. They never gave me a reason for this, but it took only about 15 minutes to fix the issue.
At one point during the week I received an invitation (slipped under the door) to visit the concierge desk for a chance to win a $50 AmEx card or a free Vacation. When I got to the concierge desk, I was told that it was a mistake. Gee offer me a free dinner or something for the inconvenience! It’s stuff like this that really wastes your time and is really cheesy.
Lastly….Valet parking is common at resorts located in big cities. Many times the parking lot / garage are located off site somewhere. Park Avenue charges about $20 per day to park the car. I received a discount and was charged about $11 per day (+ tax). Parking and retrieving your car at this resort can be kind of tricky. This resort is located on a busy street (St. Charles) so parking a car is quite the ordeal. Positioning your vehicle was much like playing the old game of Frogger. Basically you had to exit St. Charles doing about 50 mph and come to full stop curbside at the hotel and hope that there would be an available parking space so that it would not be necessary to circle the entire block again (actually 2 because I think one street is one way in the other direction). If you were lucky enough to find a spot, then you need to hope that you don’t get hit by a fast moving car coming down the street. If you have kids, make sure they exit the vehicle at curbside. This problem was greatly magnified because while I was there they started a 2.5 month construction project to “beautify” the entrance. Now you were down to 2 or 3 curbside parking spaces. Also, I found that calling ahead for your vehicle (as they suggest) does not work very well. Several times I called about 15 minutes ahead to have the car pulled around and it still took another 15 minutes for them to get my car. My guess it they don’t have a very good retrieval system in place. Realistically the parking lot borders a fence on the property so they should just add a gate and give you a transponder.
Over the years I’ve stayed a several Wyndham Resorts and have found this one to be one of the worst. Their endeavor for elegance is greatly overshadowed by the number of cost cutting measures taken to enhance their bottom line. Unfortunately this is all at the customer’s expense. It is hard to take Wyndham seriously when they are running such a monkey operation.
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- Also Known As:
- Avenue Plaza Hotel New Orleans
- Avenue Plaza New Orleans