I’m a huge foodie, and New Orleans has always been a city I’ve wanted to visit. Finally, after not being able to travel for most of 2020, we’ve started venturing out. We started our post-COVID traveling by visiting Marco Island, FL, and then headed to the DR to relax at the Secrets Cap Cana. We also sprinkled in a few Chicago trips, including a stay at the new Nobu hotel, another Florida trip, and a visit to New Orleans. Keep reading if you are curious about our stay in New Orleans and my Roosevelt Hotel- Waldorf Astoria New Orleans review.
The hotel has a great location, about a 20-minute drive from the airport. It sits a block off Canal Street and is within walking distance to the French Quarter, Walgreens, a liquor store, and many other spots. During our entire 4 day trip, we walked to most places, usually anywhere between a 5-15 minute walk. A rental car was definitely not needed unless you plan to travel outside of the main areas. We used uber and Lyft a few times, either when it was sweltering, and we were tired or when it started raining. One of the Uber rides we took was to explore Magazine Street because it was a bit farther out.
There are several other hotels around the Roosevelt, but most are directly off Canal Street, including chains like the Marriott, the Sheraton, the Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott. There are also some charming notable boutique hotels in the French Quarter, including the Royal Sonesta and Hotel Monteleone. Canal Street is basically the divider between the French Quarter and the “newer American Sector,” so you can’t go wrong either way.
Out of all of the surrounding hotels, the Roosevelt has such luxurious curb appeal: red carpet rolled steps and gold columns. Inside, you walk straight into a lobby filled with extravagant chandeliers and magnificent marble floors. It makes you feel like you stepped into the 1940s! The historic hotel was originally built in 1863. It underwent many renovations, with the most recent bringing back the old 40s/50s vibes. The Roosevelt is also regarded as one of the best hotels in the world to visit for the holidays!
Unfortunately, our flight into New Orleans was several hours delayed, so we didn’t actually get to the hotel until 2 a.m. Since the Roosevelt is a Hilton property, we could check-in (and out) using the Hilton app. Once we landed, my husband opened the Hilton app on his phone and checked in within a minute. Once we arrived at the property, all we had to do was pop into the elevator and head up to our room. The Hilton app has a key feature, so you get into your room using your phone! We never had any issues accessing our room but did have a few glitches with the app on the elevator, as you can’t access floors without swiping your “room key.” The app was such a cool addition, allowing you to chat with the front desk and have access to a hotel map. However, we felt it would be nice to have the ability to order room service and book spa services using the app. Overall, such an easy check-in process and experience at the hotel thanks to the Hilton app, especially with our initial delay.
We initially booked a standard king room but were upgraded to a king 1 bedroom suite as AMEX platinum customers. Basically, it’s a 2 room suite. When you walk in, there is a large seating area, a table, and a TV with a full drawer of coffee, tea, water, and snack options. The sofa is on the shorter side but pulls out to a full/queen sleeper. The room has a door that opens up to a king bedroom, equipped with another TV, a full-size mirror, a huge walk-in closet, and a tiny bathroom. The bathroom was honestly the smallest bathroom I’ve ever experienced at a hotel. I mean, it was tiny. 1 sink, and a toilet so close, you hit it as you brush your teeth. The shower is an okay size, but the entire bathroom layout was a huge downfall. Between the door, toilet, and sink area, there is no way to comfortably fit 2 adults in the bathroom at the same time. There is a lack of counter space and an overall lack of room. They could have made the closet a bit smaller and invested some more space into the bathroom.
Our room upgrade was nice, but we probably would have been more comfortable in a regular room, in all honesty. We never used the sitting area, and it just ended up making the part of the room we did use much smaller. I think this room is best used for a family with a small child, and even then, I have a hard time understanding how that would work with how small the bathroom is.
I also read a few reviews on this hotel before booking. Many said the rooms lacked a coffee machine, which I thought was weird, but rest assured, ours had a full Nespresso machine, coffee, tea, and other goodies, including complimentary daily water bottles.
The hotel has a “rooftop” pool, fitness center, a restaurant/bar, a cafe, and a spa. The pool was one of the reasons we booked the hotel, but we were slightly disappointed. The pool is on the 4th floor of the hotel; although not a high rooftop pool, it still has pretty views. The pool itself is fairly small, and on our first day, it was filthy, and the water was warm. It was a bit gross. I’m not sure if it was just a busy day, and we came too late in the day (around 3/4 p.m), but the second day the pool was cool and cleaner.
With all the walking we did, I didn’t even get a chance to use the fitness center, but we did enjoy massages at the Spa. Although they were good, it was nothing amazing. The spa seemed very cluttered with clothing and trinkets to purchase, not what I would have imagined for a Waldorf Astoria Spa property.
The cafe in the main lobby served coffee and tea and other refreshments and breakfast to-go options. We had breakfast there one morning and enjoyed some beignets, but the options were much better when we had a buffet breakfast in the main restaurant the next day.
Besides the main restaurant, the hotel also has a connecting Italian restaurant; however, the two are not affiliated. Based on the reviews online, Domenica is supposedly a fantastic restaurant. Some even described it as the best Italian in the city, but we weren’t impressed. In fact, I actually felt sick that night after eating the squid ink pasta.
Overall, I would rate this hotel a 3 out of 5 but would not stay here again. The property itself has a lot of charm and old-fashioned beauty, but the room layout for us was a big loss. We also felt like the food options were lacking and limited. The pool wasn’t anything special. Next time we come to the city, we would most likely try the Sheraton on Canal or the Royal Sonesta in the French Quarters.