We were concerned about a few of the reviews on here, most specifically about the cleanliness and upkeep of the hotel. After staying here for 3 nights, all I can say is - if you're looking for a Hilton, go stay at the one down the road! This hotel is a typically quaint and charming New Orleans style accommodation. There are cracks in the tiles and creaks in the floors such as is to be expected from an old building. But the areas are kept clean, the bathroom in our room was newly renovated with clean grout, tub and sink area. The bed was a little saggy so I'd recommend that the hotel invest in some type of mattress covering to update the comfort level a bit, but overall we would stay here again without hesitation. We were lodged in room 21 which was perfect - between two rooms so we didn't have any noise from the street or the stairway, and on the second floor away from front entrance foot traffic. A small fireplace (non working) added to the charm of the room, as did the very tall windows. The room came with a mini fridge, TV, hair dryer and organic toiletries. No phone, which was perfect for a getaway! Don't expect an elevator to any of the 3 floors. WiFi was offered and we had to request the password from the front desk.
There is a lovely little courtyard where we enjoyed our morning continental breakfast, as well as a well furnished seating area in the building itself. Surrounding that seating area are rooms 15 through 18 which I would not recommend as I anticipate there would be quite a bit of noise from rowdy guests hanging out in this seating area (just my impression).
The best part of this hotel is its location and ease of access to major areas. The St Charles Avenue streetcar (think: trolley) stops right in front of this hotel and hopping on that will get you to the French Quarter and Bourbon, Decatur or Canal Streets in less than 10 minutes. At this time, the street car prices are $1.25 for a ride or $3 all day hop on/hop off - totally recommend the latter option as the ticket is also good for buses. We also enjoyed the double decker hop on/hop off option with guided tour - not included in that $3 but this "tour" has stops about 15 blocks from the hotel and is great for first time NOLA visitors.
Two things were really lacking in this hotel, though. First, we stayed here during Jazz Fest, which means we paid 3 times the normal price of rooms in this hotel. That's the nature of the beast during festivals, but with a tiny bit of effort on the hotel's part, we would have felt a little more cared for and a little less like we were being gouged. When we checked in, the front desk staff person had no clue how to get to the festival grounds, no idea where to locate a schedule of which artist was playing the Fest, etc. Seriously? We headed next door to a restaurant and found a free magazine put out by the city with every bit of information we needed about Jazz Fest. A bit of effort from the hotel with a Jazz Fest packet sitting in our room would have guaranteed that this would have been our hotel of choice when we return for the Fest next year. Interestingly enough, on our last day we discovered festival ground maps and the city magazine tucked away in a corner of the hotel - as this was not made readily available to guests in their room it simply showed a lack of desire to go above and beyond.
Secondly, the hotel staff was friendly, but expounding on my first issue above, they don't know the area at all. On our first day heading into Jazz Fest, they actually sent us in the wrong direction. When we asked for how to get the street car to a bus, they printed us a driving map which was completely useless since we weren't using our car. When we wanted to find an intersection, they had never even heard of the street we were looking for, which ended up being just a few blocks up the road. Again, having the staff be knowledgeable about what is happening around the city, including the basics of how to navigate the public transportation, would ensure guests felt they were getting a good overall experience rather than just being charge an exorbitant amount for a bed to sleep in.
We would stay here again, but we would first look elsewhere just to see if we could get a better customer service type experience at another hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Historic Streetcar Inn (formerly the Avenue Garden Hotel) is located on the historic St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line. Step out of the hotel's front door and walk out to the car stop, which is located just in front of the hotel. The French Quarter and Downtown are only minutes away via the streetcar, which drops you off at Canal and Bourbon Street! Travel in the opposite direction and go back in time as you take in the majesty of St. Charles Avenue's mansions. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Avenue Garden New Orleans
- Hotel Avenue Garden