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Finding chain hotels within the French Quarter can be a challenge, but the W New Orleans – French Quarter masters location and a stylish, intimate appeal.
The W has found the perfect location in New Orleans’ French Quarter. It’s just one block from Royal, two from Bourbon Street (a short walk), Café Du Monde (opposite direction but just as close), and just ten brisk minutes from the cruise port on foot.
Address: 316 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: +1 504-581-1200
Due to the unique layout of the property, the lobby is little more than a reception desk. However, the entrance to the property and the parking garage from the French Quarter walks guests into the unique style of W properties with hanging blue-lit globes.
Through the blue globe entrance from the French Quarter, guests will encounter a communal courtyard with rooms surrounding it. Rooms either look out to the street or onto the courtyard.
Outdoor furniture, cabanas and fire pits greet guests as they return to their rooms and invite them to socialize outside. New Orleans near year-round comfortable temperatures make it possible to enjoy this area almost any season.
Candle-lit stairs with an ornate Catholic relic lead guests upstairs for those with a room on the second level.
The hotel offers an outdoor swimming pool, though during the colder winter months, this may not be comfortable. Wrought iron bars secure the pool from those without a room key; lounge chairs for about ten await swimmers.
Utilizing a converted guestroom, the gym offers free weights and cardio equipment as well as a TV. Access is on the second floor.
At the time, I held Marriott Bonvoy Titanium status and was not automatically upgraded. The hotel had suites available for sale at the time of my visit so I inquired. I was upgraded to a “Fabulous” suite, though I wouldn’t class it as a suite. It fit the model of the “Standard Rectangle” with a bathroom to the right of the entrance and a long rectangle with the bed opposite a desk and mini-fridge. The star of the room was the balcony at the far wall.
Style points are where W Hotels shine. This room had many unique design elements including the headboard and accompanying bench and seating. High thread-count sheets provided a comforting rest on a true king-size bed.
The desk was important as I had intended to work upon my arrival. A cordless phone and creative plugs in a wooden box helped me get some work done right away. The desk was not an afterthought which is refreshing for a stylish, leisure-focused property.
The theme of the property was bow ties and these could be found embedded as a light into the mirror, and if the guest is tall enough, adds a formalness to getting ready in the morning. As I am not sufficiently tall enough, the bow tie was more of a headband.
A very soft robe allows guests to relax and make themselves at home, premium toiletries and a fashion-forward orange tile completed the bathroom with a glass shower.
While creative, its orange color could be a little full-on for some guests.
The pièce de résistance was the balcony overlooking a side street of the French Quarter. Space for a table and chairs and lack of a covering above, gave a sense of vast space in an otherwise constrained neighborhood. It also allows smokers a place to go that does not require them to fully exit the hotel.
Vital to the balcony, the outdoor space is close enough to hear the revelry but not so close that guests can’t leave the Bourbon Street party behind when they choose. Properties directly on Bourbon Street don’t have that same luxury.
Marriott Bonvoy’s Service and Benefits
Titanium or Ambassador are treated to benefits like free breakfast, lounge/club access, late checkout, and the additional bonus points. Holding one of the Marriott Bonvoy credit cards that provide entry-level status or status acceleration also make those guests eligible for an upgrade to a suite or more advantageous room, though the “Fabulous” room was certainly well-equipped.
All W Hotels offer use of the mini-fridge with some items complimentary and some items available for an additional cost.
For more information on the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program, see this post.
While rates understandably increase for Mardi Gras, business travelers who prefer to be in the French Quarter for their stay will find excellent value over Convention Center properties with a boutique feel. The rates range from $200-300/nt (Mardi Grad excluded.) Business hotels outside the French Quarter range from $150-250 so the W can easily replace a stay somewhere less adventurous.
For Marriott Bonvoy members, prices start at 50,000/nt for a standard room. This provides a value of 0.4¢ to 0.6¢/point, right at or slightly above Suites and Lobbies valuation of 0.45¢/point. Given that 50,000 points are worth up to $225, Suites & Lobbies recommended Bonvoy members pay with either points and cash as they see fit. For those considering other Marriott properties in New Orleans, there are many options, some of which present a greater value for Bonvoy points.
What do you think? Have you stayed at the W New Orleans – French Quarter? How was your experience?