Upon entering the hotel under the disco ball-like globes of light cascading from the entranceway and into the chic lobby, it’s clear that this W location, off of a pretty block of Chartres Street in the middle of the French Quarter, makes an effort to provide a funky, boutique experience that matches with its city and neighborhood.
YOU SHOULD KNOW Whether it’s festival goers, partiers, or conference attendees (or all three), the hotel is usually bustling, and, much like the French Quarter, can feel noisy and crowded. This probably isn’t the place for you if you are looking for pure tranquility during your stay.
Rooms are jazz and tarot-themed, with colorful art deco decor. Standard "Wonderful" rooms either have views of the French Quarter or the courtyard. All have quite large windows with plantation shutters, large desks, flat screened TVs and custom mini bars. The W Hotel brand boasts a "Whatever/Whenever" policy, where you can press a button (or text from your phone) at any hour, to get help with a long list of needs, from booking a fun show around town to finding a pair of nylons.
Rainfall showers are large, and guests rave about the Bliss products provided by the hotel.
The open floor plan of the W “Living Room” encourages guests to wander in and out, relaxing on sofas, ordering a cocktail from Sobou, lounging in the courtyard, or looking out onto the street to people watch.
In a section of the hotel's center courtyard separated by a wrought-iron gate, you'll find "Wet," the W's generously sized outdoor pool with a small cabana, towels, and plenty of lounge chairs. The whole courtyard has a European feel, with a well-manicured hedge garden and lush plant life framing the pool.
The fitness center is replete with new cardio machines, televisions, yoga mats, and other equipment. Upon request, the hotel can provide personal training appointments or reservations for a running tour of Nola.
Sobou ("South of Bourbon Street") offers surprisingly affordable small plates in a sleek and pleasant modern setting with top notch staff and bartenders. Like the design, the food is unique and intriguing, with options like a foie gras burger, and yellowfin tuna tacos dusted in homemade cracklins. Sobou offers brunch on Sundays, and breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
From the street or leading into the lobby through wide open doors, Sobou has atmosphere, craft cocktails, experienced bartenders, and an ample happy hour including $6 Sazeracs, a daily housemade punch, and $4 pulled pork tacos.
Tip: On Sundays from 11:30-1:30, catch “Legs and Eggs,” a boozy brunch party with a burlesque show and “hooch”—giant-sized flasks for the whole table.
Chartres street is a little tamer in terms of French Quarter traffic, and the hotel provides valet. There’s a $20 shuttle from the airport and easy access to the hotel from the Canal Streetcar. Many people choose Uber, taxi, or pedicab within the French Quarter.
A large, charmingly dilapidated building on the corner of St Louis and Chartres streets, Napoleon House (3-minute walk) is a great spot for ordering Creole staples while people watching or listening to the bow-tied waiters fill you in on the building’s history. Don’t be surprised if you hear locals recommend Sylvain (5-minute walk) again and again, a quaint, romantic restaurant inside an old carriage house, serving up some of the city’s finest contemporary pub dishes.
Chart Room (1-minute walk) is a friendly, popular neighborhood dive with surprisingly good Sazeracs and large open doors ideal for people watching. After Huey P. Long’s fond nickname, Kingfish (1-minute walk) is one of the original cocktail kings in the neighborhood and still a fine spot for a fancier spirit.
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s a lot of fun, architecturally and otherwise, and we like that it fits in with the spirit of the neighborhood while still providing some luxury comforts associated with its brand. The design is appealing, the staff friendly, and everything about this hotel seems in place to insure that you have a good time.