On a CBD corner just a few minutes’ walk to the French Quarter, this 1913 building was originally a train station headquarters (the Queen and Crescent, Q&C, were the two New Orleans-bound railway lines of the time). Now a part of Marriott's Autograph Collection, the property recently underwent a massive renovation. The result is a newly outfitted hotel that strives for originality and sense of place (all furniture and decor are specific to this property, and early 1900s architectural features abound throughout), so you can forget you’re at a chain hotel while still receiving the perks of a Marriott location.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Don’t be discouraged by the dark, somewhat narrow hallways of the upper floors: rooms themselves are bright, with large windows letting in plenty of natural light, and a standard queen is roomier than average.
Rooms here feature the best of the original building (hardwood floors, exposed brick) and of the recent renovation (modern amenities, soft beds). Standard rooms include wide wooden desks, reading lamps, small fridges, Keurig coffee makers, and refillable glass water bottles (you'll find water stations on every floor). King rooms have a lounge chair or chaise.
In lieu of adjoining rooms, most pairs of adjacent rooms offer the option to close off an outside door to the hallway, creating a small foyer, and added privacy for families or small parties.
Bathrooms stick to the train theme, with white subway tiles lining the large walk-in showers, vanities, and sliding train-car doors closing off the bathroom from the bedroom. Toiletries are from Molton Brown in London.
There are two lobbies here (one in the main building facing Camp St., and a second in the building across Natchez St.), with appealing reasons to visit both. The main lobby is where you’ll check in, meet up with friends, and visit the comfy bar for a happy hour cocktail and snack. Across the street and accessed only by a guest key card, the ground floor provides a quiet, guests-only hangout in a wide, multi-room space. The leather furniture, shuffle board table, board games and leisurely reading material give this lobby the feeling of a chic rec room, while a separate back room with a large table can be used for private meetings.
In the second building, you’ll find a small, fairly standard gym (offers fruit and water), with a few treadmills and cardio machines, free weights, and a stretching area.
The open kitchen at the Q&C Bar boasts a wood-fired oven, utilized throughout its menu of familiar and local comforts. Specialty pizzas and small plates are perfect for a quick bite before heading out on the town or a late night snack. The bar also serves breakfast and lunch.
The bar prides itself on a generous happy hour from 4-7 daily, featuring classic and specialty cocktails, local beers on tap, and snacks from the kitchen. Comfy bar stools, high tables and a “whiskey room” with leather chairs, small tables, and a sophisticated clubhouse feel, leave plenty of room for guests to imbibe.
The happy hour French75 special, a play on the classic NOLA drink (gin or cognac, lemon, sugar and bubbly), includes a French75 cocktail and plate of french fries for $7.
The hotel offers valet, and there are many (more affordable) parking lots or garages, and some street parking in the vicinity. This close to the Quarter, and with street car lines on Canal Street and St. Charles, you will rarely need a car while staying at this property.
You’ll find two iconic New Orleans restaurants within a few minutes’ walk from the hotel: there's Mother's, for po' boys and greasy Southern comforts, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, John Besh’s consistently praised August, for a fine dining experience of ultimate luxury.
Loa (2-minute walk) is one of the most romantic cocktail bars in the city, where knowledgeable, friendly bartenders serve craft cocktails from happy hour till the wee hours of the morning. Three Keys at the Ace Hotel (6-minute walk) has live, local (and usually free) music Wednesday through Sunday evenings.
WHY WE LIKE IT
The lobby bar, with its vaulted ceilings and original floors, really gives this place its character and sets it apart from a chain hotel. It's a good choice for those looking for a quiet place to stay, still conveniently close to the Quarter, with both Marriott standards of service and its own sense of uniqueness.