My Hubby and I just had the pleasure of sneaking away for a few days without the kids to N'awlins. We stayed at one of the newest hotels in the French Quarter, formerly the Hotel de La Poste, on Chartres Street. The W Hotels are is a new brand by the Starwood chain (Sheraton, Westin, St. Regis). The hotel chain is promoted as having a hip, minimalist décor, all the high-tech stuff we've come to rely on, very comfy beds, and attention to service.
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Since this was my first visit to a W Hotel, I wasn't quite sure what to expect and was anxious to see if the hotel would live up to the hype. I'm happy to say that we really enjoyed the stay. The hotel building itself is a typical french-quarter hotel - old building with a small lobby, and an interior courtyard. The location is great, convenient walking distance to Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and all the great restaurants in the French Quarter. The lobby is very striking, with black leather couches and chairs, a red velvet wall, and an oversized, modern tic-tac-toe game on the coffee table. The staff wears all black, introduces themselves by name and offers to help with anything you might need. There is an Italian restaurant on-site called Bacco, owned by one of the Brennan Clan, which services the hotel with room service as well. As there are only so many meals one can eat while in New Orleans, we didn't get a chance to try it. The courtyard features tables with umbrellas and a small pool, with some great music played by the pool.
The rooms? Wow. They're quite a contrast to the old architecture of the building, very modern, minimal furnishings in a purple, sage green, gray and black color scheme. The bed itself is billed as a "heavenly bed" and it sure was. There is a feather bed between the bottom sheet and mattress, as well as a fluffy down comforter, some huge pillows (4 on a king size bed) and a smaller neck pillow. The sheets are a luxurious cotton - the prices for the sheets, cotton bathrobes and down comforters are listed in the room guide if you find you absolutely can't live without them. The room has two phones(one cordless), high-speed data ports, a wireless keyboard to access the internet via the 27-inch TV ($9.95 an hour), and a CD player and VCR. The hotel has a CD library and Video library for guests. The minibar featured among the usual snacks moon-pies, voodoo dolls and condoms.....
The bathroom was larger than most, with a glass-stall shower, a separate vanity area with a lighted, magnified make-up mirror and lots of towels. Extra touches such as a chrome ice bucket, coffee maker, real glasses, wine glasses, cork screw and bottle opener round out the amenities, making this a very civilized and modern place to stay. The staff was quite accommodating, and was always quite happy to help with bringing towels to the pool, etc.
Our King-bedded room was on the street side and was somewhat noisy in the morning hours - I did notice that the king rooms seemed to face the street, while the double-double rooms seem to face the courtyard.
There is a second W hotel in New Orleans on Poydras in the Central Business District. This one is much larger at over 400 rooms, and has a beautiful bar called Whisky Blue, the rooms are very similar with those oh-so-comfy beds.
My husband commented that he would be happy to stay in a W hotel wherever we go on our next trip!
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