Intercontinental New Orleans


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Hotel

Located at 444 Saint Charles ave it’s in the heart of downtown and two blocks from The French Quarter. Needless to say, you’ll have plenty of dining and shopping if that’s your thing.

overnight valet parking is $42.

The wifi was the worst I’ve experienced at a hotel in a while. It was frustratingly slow in the room, restaurant and pool. I checked the speed several times and it was always around the same. It’s unacceptable for a hotel of this quality to offer such slow wifi. Sure you can purchase a higher speed of internet but a hotels basic wifi should be good enough to load twitter and load a webpage in a timely manner.

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Booking

I was put up in the Intercontinental by Wyndham Hotels and Resorts. Last September I was on the phone with Wyndham and at the end of the call he asked if I was interested in a three night stay for $200, all I had to do was sit through a 90 minute timeshare presentation during the stay. After I completed the stay Wyndham would send me 15k points. 15k Wyndham points are worth 1 free night in any of their hotels. There was a wide arrange of cities that I could choose from so I said sure. As much as I travel I didn’t think this would be a problem.

Here’s a list of all the cities you could redeem at.

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Fast track to August this year and I still hadn’t redeemed my nights and they were about to expire. Just so happen’s Marianna and I were free over labor day weekend and she was having her house painted so what a better time to redeem for our stay.

I was expecting them to put us in the Wyndham New Orleans French quarter hotel but for some reason they chose The Intercontinental. I was surprised because Intercontinental’s are not even a Wyndham brand hotel, they belong to the IHG hotel group. I’ve stayed in some great Intercontinental’s before so I was delighted to see how this one stacked up against the others I’ve stayed in.

Also, come to find out after I sat through the timeshare presentation I was given a $200 American Express gift card. So basically, I received three free nights in downtown New Orleans on labor day weekend and 15k points worth around $250. I value those points at $250 because that’s a good median on the price of the room I will redeem for. The 90 minute timeshare presentation wasn’t the most exciting time of my life but it was worth it, no doubt.

 Check-in

The reception desk is located just to the right as soon as you walk into the lobby.

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The receptionist was fine. There was no “welcome or how are you doing?” He just said checking in? last name? He then asked for ID and a credit card. I gave him my IHG credit card. I had to ask him if he would put my IHG number on the reservation as he never asked if we were members. When I mention that he said “are you a base member?” I already had my IHG credit card on the counter so he should have known I was a Platinum member. If you hold the IHG credit card one of the perks is you get bumped up to Platinum status. Overall check-in was ok. He certainly didn’t make us feel welcome but at least he was efficient and didn’t make us stand there too long.

Lobby

The lobby is beautiful with several lounging options.

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The concierge desk is located beside the reception desk. There’s a small store just behind the concierge with anything you might have forgotten at home and also offers snacks and beverages.

The elevators were about halfway down the lobby just in front of Pete’s.

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The entrance to their restaurants can be found here. Trenasse was located in the front of the lobby and Pete’s was their breakfast/lunch spot in the back of the lobby.

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Trenasse (Restaurant)

One of the highlights of the hotel.  You can enter through the outside doors or through the main lobby of the hotel.

They have an excellent happy hour from 3pm-6pm.

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We went in for a late lunch one day at the bar. $0.75 cent raw oysters is a no brainer but I also had popcorn catfish (I have a soft spot for fried catfish) and Unca Duke’s BBQ Shrimp. BBQ shrimp is a staple in Louisiana.

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We had dinner plans at other restaurants every night so we didn’t have a chance to dine here but the main dining room was gorgeous.

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Room

Room 905 was just a few steps from the elevators to the left.

The room was your standard King. Bathroom on the right, closet on the left then it opens up to the rest or the room.

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The closet is where the safe was located. I was a little disappointed the room didn’t come stocked with a robe.

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The bed was on the firm side but the pillows were some of the best I’ve slept on. They were firm but soft at the same time and actually we’re trying to find out what pillows they use so we can buy them.

Nightstands on both sides with two outlets on each lamp. Did come stock with ear-plugs.

The TV and dresser was in front of the bed. I was excited about College Football starting up that weekend but I missed a few good games cause I couldn’t get a signal on ABC.

The mini-bar was housed in the left side of the dresser just below the TV.

If you’re into paying $4 for a can of coke you’d love the prices. They really should be embarrassed asking that much for a can of soda.

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The ice bucket and Keurig machine was tucked away in the right side of the dresser.

The work desk had plenty of space and outlets.

The view from the room was decent.

They also delivered a New York Times every morning.

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Here’s the In-Room Dining menu.

Breakfast menu

Bathroom

Standard procedure bathroom. Sink was in its own room. Shower and toilette right of the sink. The vanity room didn’t have a door but the toilette and shower room did.

Shower was great. I loved the huge shower head and the water was hot almost immediate.

Toiletries were by Agraria. Heavy on the lemon scent but were still desirable.

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Pool

I was disappointed in the pool. It looks much nicer in pictures than in real life.

It seemed like the water level was down about 6 inches, paint was chipping off the side and the bottom of the pool floor you could feel machines vibrating just below. Intercontinental’s are supposed to be IHG’s luxury hotel brand but it felt more like a Motel 6 pool.

Apparently they lock the pool doors when they think it’s raining. This is the first time I’ve noticed a hotel with this kind of policy. What’s strange is on our second day it was actually storming, heavy rain at times and thunder constantly for 2 hours. They kept the pool open. On our last morning, I went up to use the pool and it was locked. I know it had rained a little that morning but nothing major. It’s New Orleans, it rains everyday at some point somewhere in the city. The picture above is from that morning, as you can see it’s not raining, no thunder just cloudy.

It’s disappointing they don’t follow their own hotel policies cause I would have loved to use the pool on my last day.

Pool is open seasonally from 7am-10pm. Unless of course they think it’s raining then who knows what the hours are.

Service

I’ll give service a 6/10. If the hotel was labeled a Holiday Inn I’d rank service higher cause you don’t expect much from a service standpoint, but since this is supposed to be IHG’s luxury hotel brand you expect a higher level of service. They failed to meet those standards at this location.

The receptionist during check-in wasn’t friendly, receptionist during check-out failed to ask if we enjoyed our stay. Certainly not a big deal but I was ready to tell her we had a lousy stay but since she didn’t bother asking, I just let it go. I figured complaining to someone who didn’t care was pretty worthless.

One evening we were leaving the hotel to go out for dinner and ask an associate in the lobby if he’d take our picture. We knew he was taking an awful picture as he was putting  the camera right in our face so we asked him to stand back a little. He shrugged us off and said no it’s fine, you’ll love it. After that, he quickly handed us the camera and walked away. He was kinda an asshole about it, and yes the photo was awful.

Our second morning at the hotel we had 5 different housekeepers come by the room all in a couple of hours of each other. 5! One to clean the room, second to check the mini-bar, third to check and see if housekeeping cleaned the room, fourth to bring us hand towels and the fifth and final one came by to offer us water. I no doubt appreciate housekeeping doing a good job on the room but to be bothered by 5 different people in one afternoon is ridiculous.

The bartenders on the few occasions we stopped in at the Trenasse bar were both good. Friendly and fast service. On each occasion I had a requested a cocktail off the menu and they were more than happy to make them. Without the bartenders I probably would have ranked service around a 4.

I did reach out to IHG on twitter and told them about my experience. As always, they were quick to respond and listen to my complaints. I never asked for anything in return for my bad experience but they ended up giving me 10k IHG rewards club points which was a nice gesture.

Overall

I would not recommend this hotel unless it came with a steep discount. I kept thinking to myself, am I being to harsh? But there’s an abundance of great hotels in New Orleans for the same price, so there’s no reason to waste your time or money on one that doesn’t deliver every time.

Big thanks to Marianna Massey for shooting the room pictures. Best Photographer ever. I hope I can be as half as good as you are some day.

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Categories: HotelsTags: , , , ,

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