Summary: I feel confident in recommending Inn on Ursulines and other properties run by French Quarter Guest Houses, but as in all older properties, if possible, I would request my room carefully.
A caveat before we begin We come down to New Orleans often and prefer to stay in older buildings like The Inn on Ursulines because one gets a better sense of this unique place and its history and charm. If you prefer predictable and generic hotel chains, stay elsewhere. With that in mind, like all hotels in old buildings in the Quarter, every room in the Inn on Ursulines is different and your experience will very greatly depending on the room. The Inn on Ursulines was not my first choice of the French Quarter Guest Houses, but I enjoyed my stay overall and it has a number of advantages and an interesting history as one of the oldest surviving"creole cottages" in the city, allegedly once owned by Marie Laveau, herself. The hotel was recently renovated, which is a plus and the furnishing are modern but not out of place.
1) Great Location: This location is what I am looking for in the Quarter. Ursulines is a relatively quiet street, close to the French market, the Square, Royal Street shopping, Bourbon Street’s quieter end *and* is only a short walk to the Marigny with its music clubs where I seem to end up many evenings. Major bonus: it is 2 minute walk to one the best and most charming bakeries/ breakfast spots in New Orleans, Croissant D’Or and to the late night/early morning sandwiches of Verti Marte.
2) Very Clean and Comfortable: we have found that many hotels in NOLA are pretty shabby and do a lousy job of cleaning (sorry, it is true, even the pricier ones) but the housekeeping staff at the Inn were great. They made us feel at home and welcome in true New Orleans style. We found the bed, linens and generous pillows to be very comfortable. No noticeable mold or traces of mildew. This is a significant plus, as mildew can be a big problem in NOLA.
3) Helpful and Friendly Staff. Booking and billing went smoothly. Made us feel especially welcome, and went out of their way to provide advice and answer our questions.
1) Noise can be an issue depending on your room (but not necessarily).
Noise is a given problem with older buildings in the Quarter. I am a light sleeper so I have realistic expectations and I bring a white noise machine. We stayed in room 3. Other rooms will be different. Ursulines is relatively quiet street and Room 3 is dark; it only has one window, facing the walkway, which is a plus for sleeping but can be gloomy if you plan on spending a bunch of time in the room. It faces the courtyard with no one directly above it. We slept really well the first night and it was very quiet even though it was the weekend. The other nights were more problematic.
The noise drawbacks in the room are several. 1) There is a connecting room and the noise can be really bad if the person in that room is inconsiderate or unaware of the issue. It sounds as if the person is in the room with you. 2) Noise from the narrow courtyard: If you have considerate fellow guests, no problem, but if not, their party is your party. Some of our fellow guests decided on a very late night party in the courtyard. Luckily, it did not last long enough for me to need to say something, but sleep was impossible at the time. 3) Noise from the street is pretty minimal but you will definitely hear certain really loud sounds (motorcycles, groups of people singing etc, this is true everywhere in the Quarter)
From talking to other guests and seeing the other rooms, my impression is that if you are a light sleeper like me: 1) avoid the ground level rooms facing the street 2) request upper floor, courtyard facing rooms at the ends.
2) Narrow shower
I am a big guy with pretty big shoulders and the amount of room to turn around or lift up an arm is minimal. A very minor negative , but a larger person might have an issue. This is not true for all rooms, as some have larger ones or tubs in addition to showers.
3) Rooms can be very dark or very light
There is a difference in room size and the amount of light in each. Several rooms have minimal to no windows. This is ether a good thing or a bad thing depending on your needs. I did not plan to spend much time in my room except to sleep, so the fact that it was dark was a plus. The upper floor rooms have French doors and much more light and would be better for reading and relaxing in the room during the day.
Despite these minor negatives and based on my otherwise largely positive experience with Inn on Ursulines, I would and will stay again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Originally constructed in the 1700's, the Inn on Ursulines is one of the oldest structures in the French Quarter. Located between the famed Royal and Bourbon streets, this traditional Creole Cottage was once owned by Marie Laveau, who operated it as a guest house for travelers to the city seeking her services.While the smallest of the French Quarter Guest Houses group of boutique hotels, the Inn on Ursulines, and each of its 15 guest rooms, has been carefully restored to showcase the property's everlasting charm.Engrossed in the property's rich history and architecture are guest rooms providing today's traveler the comfort and modern conveniences expected of a great hotel. Our inviting courtyard is your personal sanctuary from the ongoing thrill that is the New Orleans experience. With both location and comfort, the Inn on Ursulines is the perfect home base for your next authentic French Quarter adventure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ursuline Guest House Hotel New Orleans