After two visits to New Orleans last year, this issue we take a look at what others were saying about the city’s hotel scene, and we found considerable disagreement.
In this issue, we’ve highlighted the best, according to Forbes Travel Guide, Travel + Leisure, Conde Nast Traveler, and luxury travel agency group, Virtuoso. We’ve added the best suites and each and links to more as well.
1. Windsor Court Hotel
If there was one hotel where there was a consensus in terms of being at the top of each list, it was the Windsor Court Hotel.
Conde Nast Traveler says, “There’s an immediate sense of exclusivity as you step into the hotel forecourt, secluded away as it is from the surrounding downtown. Entering into the lobby, the huge oil paintings and floral arrangements deliver an elegant, almost regal ambiance that stands out in this otherwise casual city.”
It describes the scene as, “Local doyens of society in colorful hats and seersucker suits brush past you as they meet for the afternoon tea service at Le Salon just off the main lobby.”
Meanwhile, Forbes Travel Guide rates Windsor Court as one of only two hotels in the city to earn 4 stars. There are no 5-star rated properties.
Forbes reports, “Thanks to a recent $15 million refresh, the traditional retreat now offers a more modern vibe without sacrificing its Old World-inspired roots. All 316 guest rooms and suites boast a lighter, sky-blue and cream color palette, while the newly debuted Waterman Poolside Bar offers a chic spot to unwind after a day of sightseeing in the Crescent City.”
It adds, “This full-service hotel also includes a pool, a Four-Star spa, and business and fitness centers. In a city hailed for its works of culinary genius, Windsor Court is no exception. The Grill Room is one of the hottest tables in town, while the Polo Club Lounge is ideal for cocktails.”
Travel + Leisure says, “Jazz bands serenade crowds in the Polo Club Lounge and museum-worthy sculptures, paintings, and tapestries line the lobby and halls, making the hotel easy on the ears, the eyes, and, thanks to the elegant Grill Room, the stomach.”
James J. Coleman Presidential Suite
At 2,780 sq. ft. the two-bedroom James J. Coleman Suite is located on the 22nd floor with secluded terraces overlooking the city skyline and the Mississippi River.
After a total restoration, you will find exquisite furnishings, original museum-quality artwork and wood, and Italian marble floors. There are a library, oversized butler’s pantry, and a dining room. The living area includes a full entertainment center and a baby grand piano.
If you like, access the Club Lounge, including expanded European breakfast, afternoon tea service and evening happy hour
2. The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
The other 4-star hotel, according to Forbes Travel Guide, is The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans.
Forbes says the experience begins with your nose, “As you step into the grand, marble-clad lob Poised on Canal at the edge of the bustling French Quarter, the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is an oasis of cool, calm leisure mixed with Southern hospitality. The owners spared little expense in the refurbishment of the Beaux-Arts Maison Blanch (1908) and Art Nouveau Kress (1913) buildings, incorporating design elements like cypress elevator cabs and a $3.5 million art collection. You’ll notice a sweet fragrance that blankets the air. No, it’s not the towering flower display, it’s actually the intoxicating aroma of Southern magnolia, the hotel’s signature scent that welcomes you with an air of fragrant refinery.”
Ranked 4th in the city by T+L, the magazine writes, “Poised on Canal at the edge of the bustling French Quarter, the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is an oasis of cool, calm leisure mixed with Southern hospitality. The owners spared little expense in the refurbishment of the Beaux-Arts Maison Blanch (1908) and Art Nouveau Kress (1913) buildings, incorporating design elements like cypress elevator cabs and a $3.5 million art collection.”
The Ritz-Carlton Suite
The 2,800 sq. ft. The Ritz-Carlton Suite features a 1880s-era Billiards table, separate dining room (seating up to 10) and butler’s pantry, large terrace with views of the French Quarter (pictured above), and access to The Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge. There’s a fireplace in the living room and yes – the floor to ceiling window is soundproof so you won’t hear revelers out all night.
3. Hotel Monteleone
Forbes Travel Guide says, “Since 1886, the venerable Hotel Monteleone has stood at its fashionable Royal Street address in New Orleans’ French Quarter. It’s one of the last family-run hotels in America, with the fifth-generation Monteleones overseeing operations.
Forbes continues, “It is said that the French Quarter begins in the lobby of the Hotel Monteleone because one step into the bustling lobby — with its pristine marble floors, ornate chandeliers, and intricate brass appointments — and the Old World grandeur of the French Quarter come to life.”
T+L writes, “The romance of NOLA’s bygone eras prevails in the historic Hotel Monteleone’s white-marble lobby, where the chimes of a 1909 hand-carved mahogany grandfather clock have kept time for the century’s most notable politicians, writers, and actors. The Beaux Arts-inspired building’s gold-tinged rooms offer a touch of Southern hospitality with antique furniture, gilded mirrors, and ornamental moldings. But to truly feel at home, order a Sazerac at the revolving Carousel Bar (pictured above)—a 25-seat den that has hosted the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Truman Capote—and listen as regulars spin tales of voodoo priestesses, haunted alleys, and jilted lovers.”
FJ Monteleone Suite
The 1,045 sq. ft. FJ Monteleone Suite offers a king bedroom and granite bath with Jacuzzi tub and glass shower. From the parlor, there are panoramic views of the Mississippi River. The suite also has a sofa bed, plasma television, and a wet bar.
4. The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel
This hotel long traded under the Fairmont flag and is now part of Hilton’s Waldorf Astoria luxury brand.
Forbes writes, “One of the South’s first luxury hotels, The Roosevelt New Orleans’ legendary past dates back to 1893. Numerous iconic celebrities, athletes, presidents, and royalty from around the world have all graced the property.”
T+L notes, “The 2009-renovated hotel features restored 1920s geometric mosaic floors in the whisper-quiet lobby, which is also adorned with monumental crystal chandeliers, potted palms, and an 1867 gilt clock. As part of the renovation, the hotel expanded the size of its rooms, turning what was once 700 rooms into 504 (including 135 suites).”
If you want to cocoon for a bit after a long night in the French Quarter T+L recommends, “Downstairs, the 12,500-square-foot Guerlain Spa has 10 treatment rooms outfitted in soothing bamboo-inspired neutrals, and the in-house Italian restaurant, Domenica, run by local celebrity (and Iron Chef America winner) John Besh, brings in a young, coiffed crowd to the stark black-and-glass dining room.”
There are three Presidential Suites, the largest at 1,900 sq. ft. Is the Louis Armstrong Presidential Suite, which has a grand piano, however, it has interior courtyard views. Conversely, the Huey B. Long and Teddy Roosevelt Presidential Suites have exterior views but are about 1,500 sq. ft.
Each of the top suites is one-bedroom, and you can’t reserve a specific suite, but it is assigned by the hotel. However, if more than one is available when you check-in, the hotel says it will let you choose the one you prefer.
5. W New Orleans, French Quarter
Virtuoso, the luxury travel agency group, says of the 97-room hotel, “Located in the heart of the French Quarter, W New Orleans – French Quarter has guestrooms offering a unique New Orleans experience through artistic and innovative design.”
T+L adds, “Just a short walk from historic Jackson Square and a host of boutique shops and art galleries, this romantic boutique hotel is installed in the heart of the French Quarter. The lobby, designed to serve as a living room, features contemporary furnishings and libraries of books and games; however, the palatial courtyard space, with its tree-canopied couch seating, wrought-iron gates, outdoor pool, and fountain centerpiece, justifies the hotel’s billing as an urban oasis.”
Fantastic One-Bedroom Suite
At 300 sq. ft., this is a very small suite, however, we selected it as a sleek alternative to the many traditional options in the city. You get a balcony overlooking the French Quarter and an ultra-chic living area (pictured.)
6. Pontchartrain Hotel
Named #1 Hotel in New Orleans by Condé Nast Traveler’s 2019 Reader’s Choice Awards in 2018 and 2019 and to the 2020 Fodor’s Travel 100 best hotels in the world, the Garden District located Pontchartrain Hotel also boasts the #1“Best Hotel Restaurant” in the country according to 2019 USA TODAY 10BEST Readers’ Choice list.
Conde Nast writes, “There’s a timeless elegance to the exterior, a style that hadn’t changed since the 1940s. This carries through to the lobby, with its crimson and emerald overtones, defiantly analog elevators, and gilded mirrors and gold leaf accents…It’s a more refined New Orleans experience. Expect a well-attired crowd rather than the casual party crowd.”
Melpomene Two-Bedroom Suite
The 600 sq. ft. two-bedroom suite features a living room with sofa, seating and entertainment area, as well as a desk. Connected to the living area are a dining table and a wet bar.