I've visited the French Quarter more times than I can count, as it's the closest place to home that actually feels like a vacation. Initially, I'd stay outside of town, drive in and then park in a lot on Decatur, walk around, do stuff and drive back to the hotel. Normally, it's an effective strategy - there's no reason you have to sleep in the midst of the action to enjoy a place, and getting a hotel a little further out is usually a big savings... but there are a few exceptions. The FQ (aka Vieux Carre or "voo kerr-ay") is definitely one of them. This is one of the best-preserved neighborhoods in the country, and even modernized as it is, still provides that immersive historical experience very few spots can. It is absolutely worth a little extra to stay here.
I'm not a partier and would never have planned to stay right on Bourbon, but this hotel was assigned as a blind choice on a discount travel website. Frankly, I was a little nervous when I saw where it was. Most people go to Bourbon to drink, and I was worried it would be shabby and loud. The other concern was from where I saw other reviews that mentioned inordinately high credit card holds, but it sounds like those were just glitches. If you have any question, just ask when you check in exactly what the hold amount will be - ours was minimal. We did not eat at the cafe, but it looked really nice, and the holiday decorations were beautiful. Our neighbors barreled in around midnight (on a weeknight), a group of adults with kids in two or three rooms total. They were carrying on, opening and slamming hallway doors repeatedly, and talking so loud I could hear every word of their conversations on the other side of the wall. They weren't drunk; just incredibly inconsiderate, so if you're unlucky enough to be in a room next to someone like this, don't hesitate to call the front desk. I waited a while for them to settle down and then finally called. They sent security up immediately, and that took care of it. (Important note: the room on the other side of us was also occupied, but there wasn't a peep from those folks, so it's not like this level of noise is standard.)
I honestly was not expecting much, but it was a fantastic experience, and I've never been so happy to be wrong. The hotel is immaculate, the lobby is elegant and well-kept, and the staff were great. Our room was on the 5th floor courtyard side (very important, if you don't want a lot of noise) and though small, it was perfectly kept and had all we needed. The beds were incredible, and something I'd expect at a hotel that cost several times as much - I've never seen linens and towels so white. The tiny bathroom was very well-planned, with a wide counter, narrow double doors to save space (such a clever option) and shampoo/conditioner/gel dispensers right on the shower wall. I still can't get over the ratio of what you get to what you spend. It was ridiculous. I have paid far more for much lower quality right here in the FQ, so if you're considering this hotel, definitely, click that reserve button. You'll be very happy you chose this place.
A few general things to bear in mind, to make your experience more enjoyable:
1. This area has been continuously occupied for over 300 years. Most of the buildings are 200+ years old.
2. Old buildings often have narrow halls, thin walls, slanted floors, curious layouts or small bathrooms. These traits are *not* flaws. Even the best restorations have to fit within existing architectural parameters. Quirks like this are part of the fun, so enjoy the adventure.
3. There are several high-rise hotels on the western edge, along Canal or right on the water. If you want the standard modern hotel experience, those may be a better choice for you. Just don't expect it right there on Royal, Bourbon or Chartres.
4. The roads in the FQ are tiny and all one-way. They were built for carriages, not SUVs, so be patient with traffic, keep an eye out for pedestrians and just enjoy being there.
5. Yes, parking is expensive. This is normal here. Almost every hotel charges for it, often around $30 per night, so factor that in to the cost of the hotel. We recommend tipping the valet about $5 every time they handle your car. These people work hard and are underpaid. You can also reserve 24 hour parking at a structure a block away (not sure if I can say the brand name in this review, but the company initials are PP, so just google "overnight parking french quarter" and make a reservation online). I liked not having to worry about getting the car by hotel checkout time, and we had a few more hours to walk around.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter hotel is ideally located nearby world renowned Jazz, parades, shopping, and Cajun food at the intersection of Bourbon and Toulouse Streets. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ramada Plaza Hotel
- Ramada New Orleans
- New Orleans Ramada