Le Richelieu -- good value for your money
The Saints were playing at home when I went looking for what otherwise would have been great Papa Noel rates at higher-end properties like the Fairmont; I chose Le Richelieu for two reasons: the price ($115/night -- far less of a price gouging than other FQ hotels that weekend) and the location (quiet and relatively tourist-free part of town, but an easy walk to everything else). The staff provided me with a warm greeting each time I approached. Really great customer service in general. I had a large room on the third floor. The bed was large and comfortable, the writing desk/drawers/TV were garden-variety hotel amenities. I liked the wall color but not the mirrors on one wall that were there, I'm assuming, to make the room look larger. (I tend to appreciate the coziness of a smaller room; I guess some folks like to feel they are in a suite when they aren't.) There was an immense walk-in closet with a mini-fridge. Next to that, and immediately to the right upon entry to the room, was the very clean bathroom. Unlike other people who have posted here, I didn't find the room to be dirty or smelly or otherwise unpleasant. But then, it's really my view that "smells" and cleanliness or lack thereof are much more "tomato/tomahto" individual things, rather than tangible "the TV didn't work" problems.
Great Hotel, Staff and Location
We stayed at the Le Richelieu in February and had a great stay. There were twelve of us on a long weekend and everyone had a wonderful stay.
The staff was the best! Very helpful and friendly. They arranged tours and made very good recommendations for places to visit and eat. We extended for two additional days and moved to a suite. The location worked very well as we walked to the "busy" end of the French Quarter to offset the great food available in N O. We will return to Le Richelieu.
Great location, not frillls hotel
We spent 4 nights at Le Richelieu - 2 days pre and post cruise late January/early February of this year. I would give this hotel a so-so rating. The price and location were great! However, this is definitely a no-frills hotel. A coffee maker in the room would have been a very welcome addition! The worst part was the cigarete smoke smell in everything - the lobby, the towels, bed linens - yuck! However, we did not change hotels on our return from the cruise, so it was something we just put up with. I don't think we could have got a better hotel for the price and location. I would recommend this hotel only to those who are very price - conscious.
dark and smelly!
After spending a wonderful night at a Fairmont hotel in another city, let me just say that this was a major leap down! The hotel smells bad.
Our room smelled heavily of mold and cigarette smoke. We stayed there for well over a week yet we were put into a tiny sub-par room on the second floor. The door to the room didn't seem to lock securely and we didn't like the fact that we had to turn over our key to the hotel staff everytime we wanted to leave the hotel. The cleaning staff didn't do a great job and it looks like certain parts of the room (behind all pieces of furniture) hadn't been cleaned in a year. The rooms are in a severe need of FULL renovations. I had a difficult time charging my cell phone because the power outlets were not polarized, or were extremely worn out so the plug would not stay in. The hotel staff members weren't the friendliest.. I think people mistake their snooty attitudes for friendliness. The only good thing about this hotel (giving it 2 points, instead of 1) was the location. It was quiet, yet near many major attractions.
A perfect time
We stayed in a 2 bedroom suite in December, 2004 for a family trip - The Mom, 2 Daughters and a Son - A celebration for our Mom's 80th birthday. The hotel staff was wonderful. The rooms were perfect for a family. Lots of room and especially closet room. And a full size refrigerator. And having the self parking so convenient was a real plus! Would definitely stay here again!
Okay -- but
I would love to have given this hotel five stars, but there were so many little things that were disappointing. First of all, the staff was great. The on-site, free parking is wonderful. The location of the hotel is perfect -- at the quiet end of the French Quarter, yet near many overlooked and fascinating sights, such as the Ursuline Convent, the old restaurants on Decatur (Tujaque's, Cafe Sbisa, Central Grocery, etc.), the French Market, and Irene's Cuisine (our favorite).
We were in town on a quiet weekend, and were upgraded to the Paul McCartney Suite, which was quite nice. Very spacious, a full kitchen, decent bathroom, separate bedroom, and a full balcony that overlooked Chartres Street. We paid $175, which is about half of the normal charge for that suite.
However, Paul McCartney must have stayed there many years ago, because the room hasn't been upgraded in over a decade. There is no place to plug in a laptop and get online, except by perching on the side of the bed and balancing it on one knee. The carpeting was too dingy for us to walk around barefoot or in socks, and there was no microwave, coffee maker, or any utensils at all in the kitchen, which made it rather useless. Room service was fast and reasonably priced, but the food was limited to breakfast and sandwiches. The bar downstairs was nice and cozy, but the bartender seemed more interested in flirting with the single women than in serving the boring old married couple at the bar.
While the balcony was great, we had to climb through a window to get to it, and there were no chairs or anything out there, so it wasn't much of a perk.
For the same price, we could have gotten a full suite at the Windsor Court, and I'm sure many other hotels. We weren't unhappy, but I was really hoping for much more, and with so many choices in New Orleans, I doubt that we'll go back here again.
French Quarter Hotels/Motels with FREE Parking and Access to My Bicycle
So far, after reading some posts here, I've seen only Le Richelieu Hotel (1234 Chartres) that offers FREE parking for its customers. I also want to have access to my bicycle (which I carry along on all out-of-town trips) and hope to have daily access to the bike as my old knees are not so good for walking too far any more.
Do any of you good folks have some advice/tips/suggested hotels for me? I hope to stay for a few days and, if things go well, come back more often.