Our stay here was for 2 nights and while it wasn't awful, I think there were better options available. Let me list the pros and cons:
Pro's: The lobby is beautiful, the location is nice for families since it is closer to Jackson Square than Bourbon Street. The aquarium is close by and you can easily cross the street and go to Harrah's if you aren't traveling with little kids. You can also get one of the better deals for parking than at other Canal area hotels. The valet parking is about the same price as everywhere else, but you can self park and possibly save money if you won't need your car several times a day. With valet, you'll get in and out privileges and if you self-park you will not. Also bear in mind that the validation from the hotel only helps if you leave after 12-24 hours. For shorter time frames, you would need to get your ticket validated at one of the stores or locations in the mall.
For example, on our second day we took our car out of the garage to drive to our lunch location and we paid $18 for the night with our validation from the hotel. When we returned we got a new ticket. I needed some Clinique lotion anyway so I bought one from Saks and got my ticket validated. In this way when we left for dinner 5 hours later I only paid $9 for 5 hours of parking instead of the $18 rate (remember the hotel validation wouldn't discount this rate). When we returned we got our ticket validated again by the hotel so when we left the next morning we only had to pay $18. That means that while we didn't have unlimited in and out privileges, we still only spent $27 for one day/night of parking ($18 plus $9) as opposed to the valet rate of $36 plus tax (and tips that would have had to be given).
If you do self-park, bear in mind that you need to park at the elevator that connects to the hotel and not just the shops. There is an elevator that is more situated in the corner and that one only connects to the mall and you'll have to walk across the mall to get to the other elevator. The lobby is on the 11th floor. The best elevator is the one that faces to the water and it is about half way between the corners. If it looks too full on the floors that you access when you come off of the spiral, then go down a few floors since it drops you closer to the top and those get filled more quickly. We found that the parking spaces tended to be more full during the business hours of the mall and then after 6 or so it empties out pretty quickly and it is easy to get a parking place on one of the floors close to the right elevator. You'll know the elevator is the right one if it has a button that goes to the eleventh floor (the other one only goes to 9). Once you go up this elevator, you'll still have to walk across the lobby to get to the ones that go to the rooms but it is relatively close by.To get to the check in desk, just walk straight ahead when you get off the elevators and after you pass the bar you'll see the check in desks around the corner on the left.
As a tip, for a nice and inexpensive breakfast there is a food court area on level 3 of the mall and you can get a breakfast croissant filled with eggs, meat, and cheese for about $3.50. There is also a little store that sells bottled cokes for under $2 (the hotel has them in their own store for around $3).
Cons: The hotel gives complimentary internet but it is *very* slow. You can pay $10 to upgrade to 2 mb (expires at noon everyday) or $13 for 5 mb that lasts for 24 hours. However, if you pay it is per device and since our family travels with many different electronics, this isn't always feasible (we usually have 2 computers, an I-Pad, Kindle, and a Sony Vita).
Not sure if we had a fluke, but it took until 7:30 at night to have our room cleaned on our second day. And this was after we had spoken to the maid service in the afternoon to make sure we weren't missed, and called the front desk three times from 6pm on after we realized we were still skipped. On the third call, I seemed to reach someone who cared and she quickly got us taken care of. The first girl acted like I was stupid and wouldn't have realized if I had put a "do not disturb" tag on the door (I didn't) or put something on the bed saying we wanted to go "green" and not have our room cleaned (I didn't). On the second call, I offered to change rooms if it would be easier than trying to have a cleaning crew come so late, but I was told the hotel was "completely booked". I have to say that I kind of doubt this since the parking garage was almost a ghost town when we checked out at 6am the next morning. I can't believe that they would be that full and not have at least a few more cars.
Lastly, I would note that the room wasn't really that comfortable (besides the bed which was very comfortable). This was our last stay at the end of a 2 week long 4600 mile road trip and most of our other rooms at other hotels had mini fridges and sometimes microwaves (and better free wi-fi). This room had neither though there was a space that looked like it could accommodate a mini-fridge so maybe they are available at an extra charge. There was also no other chair other than the one at the desk. Usually there is at least one other sitting chair but there was no place to sit other than the beds. I should mention that we booked the room through Hotwire so I think I got such a good rate because they were doing maintenance on one of the four elevators and the guys were on our floor only a couple rooms away so we could here the banging off and on in the morning and afternoon. It is possible that we might have had a room that was not renovated yet. I would at least recommend that you ask the hotel if the room you are booking has more than the desk chair since maybe they have realized that a place to sit down when there is more than one person in the room is a nice amenity.
When we return to New Orleans we'll probably arrange to stay somewhere else. We've previously stayed at the Sheraton (also on Canal) and had a much better experience (I wrote a review on that a year ago). I guess I was just expecting a better experience since this was a Westin. We travel pretty frequently and I've stayed in many hotels and this is the first time my room wasn't cleaned automatically without me having to call the front desk repeatedly.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Westin New Orleans Canal Place is perched high above the city on the upper floors of Canal Place, which also features upscale retail such as Saks Fifth Avenue, LuluLemon, and Tiffany & Co. Guests enjoy spectacular views of the river and French Quarter from our lobby, River 127 restaurant, guestrooms, and meeting spaces in a relaxing environment where they experience our Six Pillars of Well-Being. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Westin New Orleans Canal Place Hotel New Orleans
- New Orleans Westin
- Westin Canal Place
- Westin Hotel New Orleans