New Orleans is a city steeped in historic homes, cemetaries and stories. It is a city exploding with jazz, food and fun and for the most part, much of that happens in the French Quarter. My visit to New Orleans was not a proper vacation to explore the city and surrounding suburbs but rather a quick in/out for a conference at the (massive) convention center. Booking last minute meant that the conference hotels were sold out and I needed to find an alternative. New Orleans has two W Hotels in the city that I could choose from – the W New Orleans or the W French Quarter. As this was my first visit to the city, I thought staying in the French Quarter was a good idea so I could walk everywhere. With the small boutique like property (only 97 rooms over 5 floors), I thought that it would fit my inner hotel girl quite well.
W French Quarter – Great Location
Perfectly situated in my opinion – three blocks from the street cars on Canal Street, two blocks from the madness that is Bourbon Street, five blocks from Cafe Du Monde (famous for beignets) and one block from Royal street which is lined with art galleries.
Not your normal W Hotel – I’ve stayed in a few W Hotels over the years and a handful have a unique character to them (W Istanbul comes to mind), the W French Quarter joins my list of charming, unique, boutique W Hotels. Located in the middle of the street of shops and restaurants, there is a driveway that leads into the hotel and this, being a W, has an funky light fixture and blue lights at night. I felt immediately at ease with the design.
With the living room check in area to the right connected to the SoBou restaurant, it reminded me of checking into a shore motel of my youth (that’s a good thing) but with a much cooler and trendy vibe. The candlelights were everywhere during the stay to provide a soft lighting and mood.
The hotel driveway leads to the courtyard area, a small pool on the right and seating areas/beds to the left which at night was illuminated making you feel like you were in a secluded world far from the excitement of the areas only a few blocks away.
I had fingers crossed that I could check in a bit early (2pm) vs. normal 3 pm. However, given that Jazz Fest was checking out today and many had extended to late checkout (who could blame them), I wasn’t able to immediately check-in early, nor was an upgrade available for my stay. I gave my mobile number to the front desk to call me when the room was ready and went to the ladies room near the gym to freshen up from the flight – change clothes, shoes, etc. My mobile rang about ten minutes later as I was ready to explore the city – my room was ready.
The hotel has five floors so it immediately is evident that this different layout. I did not have a room on the second floor (those have balconies facing the street or courtyard), but rather the fourth floor with a view of the courtyard and windows that opened out.
The King Room
The elevators were rarely busy so it was quick to the fourth floor. As I exited, I walked straight, made a right, went down to the end of the long hall, made another right and realized that my room, was in fact, at the end of the hallway (I like to be away from the elevators so almost always end up in the last room at the end of the hallway. If nothing else, it’s good exercise and many steps).
When I opened the door, the door almost hit the corner of the bed (ok, it didn’t really but felt like it would), I thought “oh no super small room with thoughts of my NYC Room 409” but then I turned to see the space to the bathroom with a large wardrobe along the wall. It was a good sized King Room with a bit of an odd rectangular shape. The colors of orange, yellow and a King in the corner were all so very W.
Room amenties: Flat screen tv (never turned on), a desk with numerous outlets, Minibar (not used), Chair, seating areas, two drawers for clothes and a very large wardrobe (safe, ironing board, iron, robes, etc).
Orange and more Orange in a compact space – this took a bit to get used to. With stainless steel, frosted surfaces and glass, this is definitely a challenging cleaning assignment. The toiletries are Bliss which I love.
The hotel’s restaurant (and room service provider) is SoBou, a spirited restaurant. The bar area has a self service wine kiosk and tables with a beer tap (what fun). The restaurant serves small plates with many tempting food and interesting wine choices. Look for my post “Dining Solo – SoBou” this Friday to see inside.
W French Quarter Staff
Each staff person I interacted with was friendly and helpful. Each time I left and returned, the bell staff acknowledged me in the driveway. When I forgot to remove the “Do Not Disturb” sign, I called housekeeping and they quickly brought me new towels. When I needed more conditioner (there really should be a 2:1 ratio conditioner to shampoo for guests with long hair), I asked staff on the floor who offered me the bucket of toiletries (so tempted to dump the Bliss products in my bag) but only took one that I needed. The only ding (my hotel pet peeve) was a few room service trays in the hall for a few hours on my arrival day. I questioned the front desk many times for restaurant suggestions, tour suggestions as the concierge had the day off due to the end of Jazz Fest. A cab to the airport was ordered the night before as the hotel does not have a taxi stand.
W French Quarter Concierge
I emailed the concierge a week before arrival and did not get a reply which I chalked up to the hectic nature of Jazz Fest. When I questioned the front desk about concierge items, the general manager, Staci, came out to help me and we had a fantastic conversation about the hotel, the area and Starwood hotels we love. She booked me on a Garden District walking tour, printed out restaurant menus and offered suggestions for my visit. I met the concierge, Elijah, at the front desk the next day, after he emailed me all of his favorite suggestions for the city and apologized for not responding sooner. His favorite restaurant, Sylvain, is now one of my favorites too!
The W French Quarter is a gem of a hotel. The small, intimate, hotel is served by a wonderful team who added to the relaxing feeling I had throughout my stay. When I turned into the driveway entrance each day after the conference, I was met with a genuine smile, a “Welcome Back” greeting and the soothing blue lights. I walked into the courtyard, felt the sun on my face and thought “I don’t want to leave” but alas the city’s music and food were calling me away.
Want to stay here? Contact me to book you and you’ll get added amenities for your stay – free breakfast for two each day, a hotel credit for food/beverage, free internet and an upgraded room at check-in (if available).