Where Does NolaintheSoula Stay in New Orleans?
Valentino Hotels is a group which owns and manages five small boutique hotels in New Orleans. I have stayed at three hotels including Prince Conti, Place d’Armes, and St. Marie. These hotels are a perfect marriage of price and location. One of the things that I learned from my first trip to New Orleans is that I spend very little time in my hotel room. I would rather save the money that I would have spent on a luxury hotel and use it for food and drinks. The three hotels I have stayed are in a great location, have clean comfortable rooms, and a courteous staff.
The Prince Conti is the most basic of the three. It has no pool, no balconies, no courtyard, just rooms. It also sports the lowest rates. I have stayed in a double room, and a junior suite. The double room was a nice size. The only complaint that I have is the bathroom. There is only a single pedestal sink with no room to put your toiletries. I found it challenging getting ready in the mornings. I ended up having to set my make-up bag on the toilet, which is less than ideal. The junior suite was spacious, with a queen-sized bed and a small sitting area. There was also a micro-fridge. On the downside, the room had problems. The heat broke constantly. Each time, the issue was fixed promptly once we reported it to the front desk, only to be broken again by the next day. The room was also very damp. I had to keep my shoes on to keep my socks from getting wet. I don’t know what was happening on this particular visit, but based on my previous stays at the hotel I believe this to be an isolated incident, and it will not detour me from future visits, or recommending this hotel as a place to stay.
The Place de Armes is the most centrally located of the three. I have stayed at this hotel twice, both times in an interior room, which boast lower rates. Many people are apprehensive about an interior room because it has no windows. The room was spacious, and had a row of mirrors along one wall that created a more open feel. In summation, I wasn’t bothered by the lack of windows. The downside was the small bathroom. There is barely enough room to shut the door. Speaking of the door…It is not solid, but has slats, similar to a shutter. This may bother some couples, or friends rooming together. Luckily, me and my husband are very comfortable with each other so this wasn’t an issue. I did like that there is a separate sink/vanity area. The Place d’Armes location can’t be beat. There is also a large courtyard, and a wonderful shared balcony which looks over Chartres just off of Jackson Square. Place d’Armes is a wonderful place to stay especially for first timers.
I have stayed at the Hotel St. Marie more than any other hotel in New Orleans. Rates are slightly higher than Prince Conti, but lower than Place d’Armes. I have stayed in a suite, junior suite, street-side balcony, courtyard balcony, and a double room. Yeah, I’ve stayed here a lot. This might be my favorite hotel in New Orleans for many reasons. No, it’s not a luxury hotel. The rooms are basic. The location is great, located a half block from Bourbon St. and close to many attractions in the French Quarter. The St. Marie has balcony rooms available, a nice courtyard with a pool, and a good restaurant called Vacherie. The hotel is only two blocks in to the French Quarter, so it’s super-easy to get to. You don’t have to worry about navigating the narrow one-way streets of the Quarter. Most of the time, I just go for the basic double. I mean, you’re in New Orleans, what are you doing in your hotel room anyway? If you spring for a balcony room, I highly recommend going for the street-side as the courtyard can be quite boring. The suite was spacious, with a separate sitting area. The bathroom in the suite was small with no separate vanity area. And again, the slat doors on the bathroom is a downer, but to me this is nothing compared to everything else the St. Marie has to offer. For many reasons, the St. Marie is my choice when visiting New Orleans.
After many trips to New Orleans, I have concluded that my ideal hotel has to be both budget-friendly and centrally located. New Orleans is a city full of things to do, see, eat and drink at all times of the day and night. In all, I want a comfortable, clean place to sleep. For me, you can’t go wrong with The Prince Conti, Place d’Armes, or my favorite, The Hotel St. Marie.