Le Méridien, New Orleans


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Hotel Group: Starwood Hotels (a subsidiary of Marriott International)

Hotel Category: Category 4

Hotel Status: Gold

Booking Type: AAA Rate

Room Type: Superior King

Date of Stay: December 2017



Hotel

The hotel was originally constructed as a Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza for the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition. Throughout its history it has been a Four Points by Sheraton, W New Orleans, Hotel New Orleans Downtown, and finally, after a $30 million renovation, it became Le Méridien in late 2014.

The hotel consists of 423 rooms and suites with a rooftop pool, fitness center, three restaurants, and bicycle rentals for a fee. Overnight valet parking is $45+tax.

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Booking

I booked an ADA accessible King room for a AAA rate of $144.94. During check-in, I was upgraded to a Superior King room per my gold status. Something I should have done and I recommend you do, if you hold the AmEx Platinum charge card, is book through AmEx Fine Hotels Resorts. I would have ended up getting a $100 food credit along with free breakfast for the same price. Another way to book this property is using 10,000 Starpoints since this is a category 4.

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Check-in

I arrived at the hotel late after a long flight back from Montréal and, surprisingly, the reception area was buzzing with a ton of people waiting to be checked in. After standing in line for few minutes I was greeted by a friendly front desk agent. I inquired about an upgrade to a corner room which he said they were out of, but instead offered a Superior King room which I was happy to accept. The whole process took less than four minutes.

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The lobby area is what they call the Hub. In the hotel’s own words, they describe the Hub as transcending the traditional lobby into a place where creative minds can gather, converse, debate, and cultivate a new perspective. Take that for what you will. I personally did none of these things, but the seating was quite comfortable.

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Room

Superior rooms range from 275 to 301 square ft. I was in room 2208 on the 22nd floor. The door leading to the room was in a corner space next to the corner rooms. It was like a little nook with four doorways right next to each other. It’s really a poor design considering every time one of the other three people in the other rooms left you can easily hear their door slam. Here’s the floor plan to give you a better idea.

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The room itself was small but felt very comfortable. The two things I loved most about the room was the 55in TV and the couch under the window. The couch was such a relaxing place to rest because the AC was blowing directly on the couch and it rained the whole stay so I could just lay there and listen to the rain pat on the window.

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The bed was outstanding, with a pillow top mattress wrapped in 250 thread count sheets. Both nightstands had easy access to outlets. I did find it a bit odd that the nightstands didn’t match each other but I suppose that’s the eccentric look Le Mérdien goes for.

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The minibar was beside the dresser with an extra mini refrigerator in the dresser below the TV. The prices were high. $4 for a 12oz can of soda and $4.50 for a Kit-Kat bar that’s not even king size is shocking. There are times when these prices are ok, for example, when you are on a small island in the middle of nowhere or perhaps in a $1000-a-night hotel in a major city. I can justify the prices then.

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The work desk was on the opposite side of the dresser with easy access to outlets along with the Mr. Coffee machine. They want to charge a premium for the minibar but hey can’t offer me a better in-room coffee machine than this? I’ve seen better in 2.5 star hotels.

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The premium in-room wi-fi was decent. It’s certainly not worth the $15 per day they are asking.

The views were overlooking the Warehouse District, also known as the Arts District. I know it’s not the best view but something about New Orleans just does it for me. If you are in search of the best views in the city, I suggest going to Hot Tin rooftop bar at the Pontchartrain Hotel.

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Bathroom

The shower was a bad design where you had to get half way in the shower to turn the water on subsequently dousing your body or whole arm in cold water. On a good note, the robe was comfortable.

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The toiletries were Malin+Goetz, the same as Delta Airlines. The hairdryer was a ConAir 1875 without any attachments. I love the toiletries but the hairdryer needs to be upgraded.

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Pool

The outdoor pool is on the 4th floor. The lounge chairs are on a first come, first serve basis but the Cabanas require reservations. I’m not sure how much they are during off months but during the hotter months, starting in April, they are $350 for up to six people and come with one bottle of liquor, mixers, water, fresh fruit, and chips and salsa. Locals can also come to the pool for a small fee. I’d much prefer hotels limit pool access to hotel guests, especially considering the size of this pool. I’m sure it can get crowded quite easily.

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Fitness

The 24-hour fitness center is also on the 4th floor but in a separate building behind the pool. This is one of the more spacious and attractive hotel gyms I’ve seen in a while. All the equipment is state-of-the-art with plenty of weight and cardio machines.

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Restaurant

There are three restaurants inside the hotel; LMNO, Longitude 90, and Marche. The only place I dined was in the bar at the Hub. I started with the Bloody Mary deviled eggs. I’m usually a big fan of deviled eggs, but these were not for me. 6/10. Then I ordered one mini sandwich, the details of which I can’t remember, but I know it wasn’t very good. 6/10. And lastly I had the drunken wings. They were supposed to be whiskey smoked with a crystal hot sauce and brown sugar glaze, but I can tell you from the lack of flavor they couldn’t possibly have been. They tasted like your plain bar wings with little to no sauce. The best advice I can give you is go out to eat. New Orleans is arguably the best food town in the U.S. in my expert opinion.  😉

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Here is a sample of the room service menus.

Service

I’ll give service a 7/10. The service at the bar was pretty weak. I ended up not getting my last beer because of slow service, but the real problem was getting my final bill corrected after I had checked out. I checked my bill before I left, and everything was fine but a few days later they sent an updated version with two minibar items on it. I had nothing from the minibar, so I called to have it corrected, and I was told it would be taken care of. Five days later, it wasn’t. I called again and accounting was gone for the day so I had to call a third time. This time I spoke with a front-desk supervisor who said he would take care of it. Five or six days later, I had still not received a refund on the charges, so I asked SPG on Twitter if they could assist. After all that, I finally received my money back. I do want to reiterate that all this took place around Christmas time, so I know things take a little longer during this period. Nonetheless, housekeeping should have never put the charges on the bill in the first place.

Overall

There are a lot of good hotels in New Orleans and this one probably doesn’t crack the top 10 but if the price is right, I would stay here again. The room was comfortable, the gym is one of the best in the city, and the pool is decent. I would just recommend keeping an eye on your bill a few days after checking out to make sure they got it right.

What are some of you favorite hotels in New Orleans?

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Categories: HotelsTags: , , , ,

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