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“Charming stay”
Review of Columns Hotel

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Columns Hotel
Ranked #120 of 167 Hotels in New Orleans
Reviewed December 17, 2007

We stayed at The Columns in November 2007. If you want historic and charming…this is the perfect place for you! It’s the quintessential New Orleans mansion. However, please realize that with historic and charming come some inconveniences and quirks. If you need new and modern and slick…look elsewhere.

We arrived at night and the bar was busy. A lot of people out on the front veranda enjoying the beautiful weather. You have to bring your own bags up the walk…so it is kind of funny lugging your baggage past all the bar patrons, but once again, this is just the quirkiness of the place.

The front desk staff was personable and helpful. Very friendly. Our room was on the 2nd floor (#10) and was quite pretty....the room was reflected very well in the photos on the hotel’s website. Full of antiques and character. We heard that the noise from the bar could be a problem when staying on the 2nd floor. However, it wasn’t a problem for us… it was more of a hum and the noise winds down when the bar closes, I believe around 2 am. If you are sensitive to noise and like to go to bed early, be aware of this and try for the 3rd floor rooms. However, if you are the type of person who will be up until 2 am anyway and out and about… this will be perfect for you.

Our room was clean and large....very interesting decor. However, if you cannot handle the quirkiness of an old historic place, as I said, this is not for you. But I think that should be pretty obvious when you are booking a room here! Quirky elements include: our bathroom sink had one tap for cold water and one tap for (very) hot water on opposite sides of the sink. So you can’t mix the water together to get warm water...it’s one or the other. The ceilings were very high in our room…and high above the door to the bathroom was an open window. So, this put a damper on bathroom privacy as far as noise goes. There is some creakiness, etc, but that is to be expected in such a place.

Anyway, aside from these minor quirks, The Columns delivered. It is what it says it is, a historic and charming inn with a lot of character. It’s for people who like something more unique and adventurous.

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank ymak37
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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150 - 156 of 173 reviews

Reviewed November 11, 2007

In new olreans last weekend for the saints game.
Went to the columns for happy hour the place was the tops, the band was great and the people were very kind. We got there early and got a table on the front porch, while the service was slow it was very busy....so i understand..mostly locals some tourist.......just take a cab. its worth the fare.......I'll be back...
i know what it means to miss NEW ORLEANS........

  • Stayed: November 2007, traveled with friends
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1  Thank kysaintfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 26, 2007

The Columns is a grand old hotel, lovely and conveniently located. My daughter attends Tulane, so I'm often in New Orleans, and I wanted to experience this beautiful place while down with several friends. The rooms are very comfortable and clean. Breakfast is sit-down and wonderful, and we had a terrific server. People-watching is fantastic on the porch, and the bar served great drinks in fine fashion. We did have some trouble finding a place to park along the street, particularly in the evenings when the bar was in full swing, and there was no one to help us in with our bags when we got there. We had to lug them ourselves up the front steps. We took it in good humor, though, and thoroughly enjoyed our 3-night stay UNTIL we were checking out. We were standing in the gorgeous center hallway with our suitcases and a very kind maid came over to us and asked us if we needed help with our bags, that she would find someone for us. She was particularly concerned because they were heavy and it was raining outside. We gratefully accepted her offer, and she went over to the very, very soft-spoken elderly man who had been at the desk for most of our stay and asked for help in locating someone to carry our bags. He looked down his nose at her and said, "What about you, why don't you do it?" We were shocked, and it was a very upsetting end to our stay there. His manner toward her, and subsequently toward us, was discourteous and it smacked of even less-pleasant things. The maid simply turned away and went into the bar, where she found a helpful young man working. He was very sweet, took our bags out into the rain and made sure we could get them into the trunk. I would say to the owners of The Columns that they have a beautiful place and gracious, friendly employees .... EXCEPT for that one older man who apparently hasn't realized we're not in the "old south" anymore.

Stayed: October 2007
3  Thank TheShrink
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 21, 2007

We stayed at the Columns Hotel in New Orleans for 4 nights with our 2 children (5 and 8).

We are research hounds. This hotel met all the criteria: located in the Garden District, old-style accommodation without sacrifice, queen beds (you try sleeping well with your spouse in a double for four nights!), and the ability to have adult hang-out time.
We found the Columns online and used the site to select our room (3rd floor with 2Q beds). I called the hotel directly and spoke with Jeanie, who was lovely and efficient. No problems.

When we arrived, we found our room to be very clean and nicely decorated. They've updated the interiors recently, apparently. The beds were absolutely some of the most comfortable hotel beds I've ever slept on (and I've stayed in some very nice places around the world).

The bathroom was basic, but clean. The sink wouldn't drain one night and they fixed it while we were out the next morning (I notified the front desk at breakfast). Not a big deal.

There are three fantastic highlights of the Columns:
1. The main floor lounge with sweeping veranda. There was a live jazz band playing on the veranda during the early evenings (5-7pm). Then the bar picked up--it was Columbus Day long weekend. It was busy and noisy late. But, as hotel guests, we had exclusive access to the large second floor balcony. We ordered drinks and appies from the bar and brought them up to lounge outside. It was furnished with comfy wicker and wrought iron furniture (plenty of cushions), and there was a very large fan turning overhead. We watched the comings and goings of the bar, without the noise. Our kids joined us to colour and nibble (we were 2 hours off our normal time zone). It was perfect!

2. The interior. The bar ceiling is painted in the most exquisite design--it looks like a silk tabriz rug. The rooms on either side of the main hall were beautifully decorated in an old southern style with european tall narrow doorways, high ceilings (24', we guess), gorgeous moldings, etc. Walking up the majestic staircase (I know I'm sounding like a PR person, but it's all true) the walls were painted with a landscape mural and the ceiling had a massive and quite intricate stained glass skylight (original, I'm sure). It was built in 1883 and lots of original detail has been maintained.

3. The breakfast. My relatives stayed at the Hampton Inn a block away and had breakfast included--some fruit, some pastries, etc. available in the lobby. We had a breakfast room with nice sit down service. Fruit (freshly cut for you), a great selection of juices, pancakes and french toast, and bacon, sausages and eggs (omelettes--to your specifications--and poached and other). Relaxing. Hot. Fresh. Tasty. Served 7-10am. All included in the room rate.

When we went to bed each night, the bar was still humming, but we couldn't hear anything in our room. It was so quiet.
The room was cool when we wanted it to be--i.e. the air conditioning worked perfectly and wasn't loud.

The hotel is in a great location, by the way. The Garden District is beautiful, with tree-lined streets and wide boulevards. It's also close the the boutique shopping on Magazine Street (just south-ish) and downtown/French Quarter (both a quick cab ride--be prepared, though, cabs are a bit pricey in NOLA).

By the way, our stay at the Columns was during the second portion of our 8 night trip.

We highly recommend the following restaurants:
Dick and Jenny's (menu on the web), which was absolutely delicious creole food. They don't take reservations so go before 7pm. Relaxed atmosphere.

Liborio (321 Magazine St--Central Business District)--a Cuban restaurant with bistro style interior. It looks a bit basic, but the food is OUTSTANDING! We went back twice it was so good. Try the grilled grouper, tuna salad. Very kind service.

Luke (a John Besh restaurant) is located at the Hilton in the business district. It's like a French brasserie. Try the duck/venison pate--OMG! We had great service too.

If you need to shop...
Rubenstein's (on the web) on Canal at St. Charles is the place to go. Individual service as soon as you step through the door, with a good selection of high end clothing. We were dressed unimpressively and were given professional attention with southern hospitality thrown in. They rushed the tailoring on my husband's sport coat and slacks and my children were treated kindly too. The epitome of a satisfying shopping experience.

The best swamp tour (my cousin lives in NOLA and recommended this one): Dr. Wagner's Honey Island Swamp Tour.

Go to the Audobon Aquarium. Watch the Hurricane on the Bayou film at the IMAX theatre beside the aquarium--it's riveting. New Orleans lost 80% of its city/population. It hasn't recovered. Most of the city, outside the original "crescent", is ghost town territory. It's unnerving and overwhelming. We were worried about safety. But, we were fine and never felt threatened in any way--we used common sense, though.

Our last day (Oct 9 2007) they were running the St. Charles Street Trolley for the first time since Katrina. The city had to replace 13miles of copper line that was stolen for scrap metal after the hurricanes and flooding. Read about the trolleys: (wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Charles_Avenue_Streetcar)

I've written too much, probably. But, we had a relaxing, interesting, and fun visit to New Orleans. We will be going back for Mardi Gras in the future!

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled with family
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6  Thank Gwaaygirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 18, 2007

We stayed at the Columns because of it being conveniently located near a meeting to be attended on St. Charles Avenue. The hotel has no parking lot, thus you have to park on the street in adjacent neighborhoods and walk with your luggage to the hotel. Upon arrival, the desk clerk was very cordial. Our room was on the second floor and the only elevator was what appeared to be an old freight elevator. Upon entering the room, we found it to be large, but in need of repair. The crown molding was missing on several sections of the ceiling. The armoire was old and the door would not remain closed. The king sized head board was loose and when you turned in the bed, it rattled against the bed frame and the wall. The chair in the room was also old and worn. It was covered with an old drop cover. The hotel has a very popular bar and the noise from the bar area and the front porch, which was frequented by bar patrons, was very loud. The noise continued from early evening until 4:00 a.m. and then you could hear the staff cleaning up after the patrons departed. Around 5:00 a.m., you could hear the staff making breakfast preparations. There did not seem to be many people actually staying at the hotel for lodging and most of the activity centered around the bar. It was very difficult to sleep due to the noise. We stayed in one of the most expensive rooms at the hotel and our final loging costs were over $250.00 for the one night. In retrospect, this hotel is conveniently located for any activities on St. Charles Avenue. However, due to the run down condition of the rooms, we feel that the rooms are vastly over priced. The noisy bar crowd also detracts from the lodging stay.

  • Stayed: October 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank drsyn2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2007

i stayed at the columns hotel in june,2007 for a short business trip.
from the minute i walked up the stairs to the front porch i was in love. the whole atmosphere was old new orleans in the 1800's. the decor, the kindness of the staff. the music in the bar( monday and tuesday night), my room(#19). everything was perfect. i did not try the breakfast(i don't eat it) so i can not comment on that. i felt safe as a single woman, though i did park my rent-a-car on the surface streets and wasn't sure about that.. i would recommend this hotel to anyone unless you are a modern hotel person, then there are plenty to pick from in the central business district. the st. charles
street car will be back up and running soon, adding to the allure of this hotel.

  • Stayed: June 2007, traveled on business
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1  Thank katieinla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 5, 2007

I don't know how the Columns was pre-Katrina, but it is a fabulous place w/incredible staff. We were the very first guests after Katrina and the staff was amazing (recommending great restaurants, etc) and our room was perfect.
I had never been to N.O. before and the Columns Hotel was the perfect place to stay. It had a great, historic bar and was convenient to the park for running. It is close to Magazine Street for great dining & shopping. And also close to the French Quarter and Garden District. Two thumbs up for the friendly staff and great accomodations.

Stayed: March 2006
Thank soprissimon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Columns Hotel

Address: 3811 Saint Charles Ave, New Orleans, LA 70115-4681
Location: United States > Louisiana > New Orleans
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #120 of 167 Hotels in New Orleans
Price Range: $161 - $219 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:1 star — Columns Hotel 1*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Historic Boutique Hotel featuring Louisiana Dining & Craft Cocktails Wedding Venue, Catering and Meeting Planning Services also available ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Columns Hotel New Orleans

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