This was my 10th trip to the Crescent City. Most of my previous trips, I stayed at the W New Orleans on Poydras Street. I had always steered clear of the French Quarter location because I expected too much of the Bourbon Street party vibe (and smell) to spill over into my hotel experience. Upon my recent stay here, however, I now realize that this was far from the case!
First, the location is great. No, it's awesome! Everything in the French Quarter is within walking distance. We even ventured by foot past Canal Street and into the CBD. You literally are close to everything. Yet, it's just far enough from Bourbon Street (2 blocks) to escape its sights, sounds, and smells when we teetered to our room in the wee hours of the morning.
This location is what you would expect from The W--modern, but with a traditional New Orleans feel. Many rooms feature the balconies that are associated with The French Quarter. Our room had the swing-out casement windows that let us observe all the sights and passersby on Chartres Street. Beware: These windows don't have screens and if you leave them open while the room is unattended, you will have several flying, or crawling, visitors upon your return. You've been warned.
The rooms are way more spacious than the Poydras Street location as well. The beds were well dressed and really comfortable---the perfect combination of soft and firm. The lighting was more than adequate. Maybe they worked a little too well because we both remarked on our own previously un-noticed flaws under these fluorescent lights. I don't want those lights at home! All room lighting is controlled by a wall switch, of course. But, they are also controlled by another switch located at your bedside. I DO want this at home!
The rooms do not feature a microwave. This is such a shame because I felt the need to reheat leftovers in the middle of the night. Not a problem, though, thanks to The W's Whatever/Whenever service. Just one call to the front desk and voilà, a microwave was wheeled right up to our room! Cool!
I visited the Sweat Fitness Center during my stay, as well. The room was equipped with modern cardio machines and free weights. There were even mats and adequate space to do floor exercises. Water and entertainment is provided. Overall, a great place to work out on vacation.
The pool site was more than adequate, as well. Again, it's a nice mixture of traditional courtyard + modern W hotel amenities. Too bad it rained for much of our stay.
The only minor qualm I had with this location was with the housekeeping staff. They attempted to enter our room during the mid-morning on our first night's stay. We told them to come back and they agreed. An informational brochure located in the room mentioned that the staff "redesigns" our rooms between the hours of 9am-6pm. However, when we returned to our room later that evening, it had not been cleaned (or redesigned). We did not have that problem for the remaining days of our stay, but we often found that we were missing things that are normally replaced by the housekeeping staff. (Toilet paper, bath mats, clean towels and washcloths, etc.) Again, the Whatever/Whenever service promptly made up for any shortcomings of the housekeeping staff. I must point out that we visited during Essence Music Festival and I do realize this is a very busy time for New Orleans.
Overall, the stay was great and I'd definitely recommend this hotel to my friends and colleagues. If you have time, try SoBou, the hotel tapas restaurant. The plates run on the small side (duh, tapas), but it has a nice ambiance and friendly staff, who took time to converse with me while I waited for check-in. Oh, if you're lucky enough to arrive there on a Monday-Friday between 11:30 a.m-3pm, you must try the Two Bit Cocktails! You do realize that Two Bits=25¢, right? Limt 3, because that's enough. It actually says that on the menu!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- W New Orleans French Quarter is adjacent to historic Jackson Square and boutique shops, and is a short walk from galleries, the Riverwalk and Harrah's casino. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- w New Orleans - French Quarter Hotel New Orleans
- w Hotel New Orleans