I was here for a meeting at the Conference Center. There are a number of hotels close to there, plus many more in the French Quarter. However, I decided to take a chance and book a stay at a well-reviewed B&B, the Royal St Courtyard. I don't mind corporate, chain-type hotels but I've found in many cities that B&Bs are less expensive, more hospitable, and more interesting.
From the airport, the hotel shuttle dropped me off right at the door. If the driver won't go there, ask for the Frenchmen hotel which is several blocks away but walkable. Phillip greeted me at the door and gave me an overview of the neighborhood, places to eat, things to see, etc.
My room was upstairs at the front with a balcony. I sat outside for a bit one afternoon but it was quite hot. The window A/C unit in the room kept everything cool indoors. I found the bed comfortable and the furnishings quite nice - not exactly antiques but better than standard hotel-issue. The bathroom was updated and contained a small refrigerator (!) which served double duty as a shelf for bathroom items and a shower stall.
I missed breakfast most days as I had to be at the conference early. The one day I ate there I had toast, peanut butter, and banana. It was continental style, self-serve. I wouldn't stay here if you're expecting a chef serving hot breakfasts. :)
The main issue is whether the location is appropriate for visiting New Orleans. I would say yes if you don't mind a mile or so walk. Royal St goes directly into the French Quarter, so if you start walking from this B&B you'll soon run into all the usual touristy areas. Or if you walk a few blocks, you can pick up the trolley which is inexpensive and takes you directly to the convention center. Or you can transfer and go to other areas. I ended up walking back and forth quite a few times which is good exercise, and there are various streets you can try for variety.
Is the neighborhood safe? I think so, although one cab driver warned me not to walk around at night. I saw quite a few people walking dogs or pushing strollers with babies, so it can't be that bad. In walking back after dark, I encountered inebriated people in the streets but no one who looked scary. In fact, people continue partying until morning. When I got up early to walk into town, there were a handful of people stumbling around figuring out how to get home. :)
New Orleans is a unique place to visit. Staying at a B&B makes it all the more memorable. Plus you get the advantage of knowledgeable hosts to offer advice and guidance. I've stayed at different hotels in NO on 4 other occasions, but I'll remember the Courtyard much more than the others. Give it a try!
- Also Known As:
- Royal Street Courtyard Hotel
- Royal Street Courtyard Hotel New Orleans
- Courtyard New Orleans
- New Orleans Courtyard