During a business trip to the Big Easy, I stayed at the Le Méridien New Orleans, upgraded to a corner suite. It was one of the best experiences I have had as a Platinum SPG member and an excellent value.
I didn’t fully appreciate the beneficial location of Le Méridien New Orleans until it was time to leave. Located on Poydras, the hotel is about one mile from the city to the interstate. Coming and going at high traffic periods, it was easy to get in and out avoiding the tourist traffic altogether. I would call the location CBD or Central Business District through the outer edge of the French Quarter is just a couple short blocks away. For another point of reference, the property is next to Harrah’s casino.
333 Poydras St, New Orleans, LA 70130
+1 (504) 525-9444
Parking through the hotel Valet can be expensive ($44/nt plus $5.62 in local parking taxes). The cost is on par with other major cities throughout the country (New York City, Washington DC, Chicago) but is certainly high for this market. Surface options nearby are not ideal due to the distance, minimal security and nighttime access.
While the lobby was packed at the time, checkin was a breeze. My front desk agent was training a new associate and she was an absolute pro, her trainee was green and when the agent stepped away I took the time to quiz the trainee (which I am sure he certainly appreciated). We covered the upgrade policies, points/breakfast tradeoff, and why I chose the hotel (because of the loyalty program as the determining factor).
The lobby was stunning in this property. At the time I arrived, a small group in residence was filling the lobby and made it seem like the place to be. Couches, tables, and chairs tucked away in corners near and away from the bar make it a welcoming entrance to the hotel.
I asked for a suite and while the hotel was rather full, the helpful agent at Reception was able to locate one for me. It was a true suite, unlike their SPG compatriots at the W French Quarter who outright lied to me about the availability and granting of a suite upgrade. I would also add that unlike the Magnolia Houston which suggested that a “studio suite” was a real thing, this was a true suite. I walked into the room greeted by split hallways, to the left a Living Room and guest bathroom, to the right the bedroom and master bathroom.
The bedroom at the end of the right hallway in the corner room was huge and provided a lot of privacy and personal space. If I were hosting others on this trip, I would have liked the separation of living quarters from a more public area. While the living room held an empty fridge, the bedroom had the mini bar and I found this far more convenient than walking out to the other room for a little snack. The bed was comfortable and at the bedside, a number of outlets (a mix of full outlets and USB ports) made charging easy. The desk was unremarkable.
I’m not a marijuana smoker but I certainly know what it smells like and this bathroom smelled like someone had smoked in it, specifically a joint. I get it, we are in New Orleans and whether it’s for fun or medicine, people smoke pot. But that doesn’t mean I want to smell like it after getting ready in the morning. In my profession, it’s not just a big no-no, it’s cause for an on the spot urinary analysis and speculation which is inconvenient an annoying. If you want to smoke, cigarette or pot, I am not going to judge you – just don’t do it in the bathroom of my hotel room.
The shower was great, the toiletries (Malin+Goetz) were a little weak. I had tried them at Le Méridien Charlotte and was no more impressed this time around. They aren’t bad, they just aren’t awesome which was what originally made us so impressed with Le Méridien (LM01 and Le Labo). Overall, the bathroom was beautiful, just a shame about the scent.
I chose the complimentary breakfast over the bonus SPG points as I would have just a little bit of time in the morning and a long day following. I was really glad I had. One little complaint: The breakfast benefit requires you to bring the coupon to the table to use. Most hotels have certain top-tier elite status charges that they wipe off at checkout, high-speed internet and breakfast among them along with water bottles given to guests that normally incur charges for non-elite customers. I left my coupon in the room, admittedly my fault, but had already had my stuff with me and would not return. Most of the time, the hotel just wipes the charge off anyway so it’s a moot point. This was not the case this time. I incurred the charge that was said to be wiped off and still several weeks later has not been returned to my card.
The breakfast selection was really quite good, and I requested it to be brought out quickly if possible. I was accommodated and suggestions were provided, I loved my selection – eggs Benedict with crab cakes instead of English muffins. Service was excellent, the food was awesome and if it’s all the same to you, choose breakfast over the points.
Reader (and fellow former Upgrd.com blogger, Sriram) commented on a previous post regarding hotel value in New Orleans that $150-200/nt was high for off-season. As a business traveler in a decent-sized market, even after adding the $50/nt for valet it still seemed reasonable for a full-service hotel close to businesses and attractions. Breakfast is excellent, the suite was a true upgrade and very luxurious, for the price and location it was an excellent value.
Have you stayed in this property? Do you have a favorite in New Orleans I should try next time instead?