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Travel Blogs from New Orleans
Ok, so I'm now more than half way through my first real tour...Got off my last cruise on a Sunday, went to the office and was told my next tour was starting a couple of days later so really only had time to do my laundry and then head out again. Flew into Victoria on a float plane to meet and greet my passengers at the Empress hotel as they arrived …
Tuesday, August 2 - Today was a whale of a day! We headed down to the Bellingham harbor where we arrived at 8:15am, checked in at the boat terminal and picked up our tickets. We had about 15 minutes to spare so found a little gift shop where we heard the story on plank cooking and even bought a plank cookbook. It will be fun to try it out with some …
Why New Orleans, Louisiana?
#1: It's right next to Texas. (duh.)
#2: It's been recovering since the Katrina incident.
#3: Culturally enriched--- French/ Spanish colonization reflected in architecture, original voodoo history (story of Marie Lavuea, voodoo queen), historically grand cathedral, Jazz Blues...etc.)
#4: Cheap travel …
... creole courtyard. I thoroughly appreciated the staff accommodating our request. Beyond that, our servers were perfectly visible, yet discreet, never rushing our enjoyment of the dining experience, yet always meeting our needs.
For lunch, I began with the famous turtle soup, rich, hearty, a little sweet, with a lot of tang. Satiating! To follow, I savored a delicate Gulf Shrimp Salad. The shrimp were plump, ...
... evening in town I wanted to go to the Frenchmen again and therefore was wandering through the French Quater, when I noticed a yet closed music store. Nevertheless I went closer to have a look through the windows at the instruments inside, when suddenly a deep voice asked me:
- Hey man, what are you looking at?
I turned around (again!) and saw an old street musician sitting in a dark niche next to the store. I wondered why I ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Empress Hotel New Orleans
Give 'er a try
The people writing bad reviews have obviously never been in a Euro-style hotel before. If you're expecting a "hotel-hotel", you're going to be disappointed....its just a bed in a really small, musty, room, and a really small bathroom...it really should be called a motel, or a boarding house I think. I have stayed in many a hotel like the Empress, so I kind of knew what to expect...the price should give it away....my fiance on the other hand, was a bit shocked and afraid....however, to my surprise, after a couple of days, she really warmed up to the place. She realized what a great deal we were getting for just a place to sleep....that's all it is, a place to sleep....if you're looking for a hotel where you can hang out at, find a place downtown and towards the riverfront...this place is the ultimate travelers' hotel.....don't be fazed by the neighborhood, its not as bad as it looks....sure if u head in the direction opposite of the quarter it gets kind of bad, but that direction is really not anywhere a tourist would go anyways...we had no problem walking anywhere, from the entire quarter all the way to the Garden District (yeah that's a bit far away, but after a week of walking around, you really won't care)...ok, ok so I'm rambling on, but here's my point....give the empress a chance, you'll find there's no place near the quarter that will give u safety and as good a deal as the empress...they'll even watch your luggage if there's a lull between your check out time and your fly out time...and they still invite you to hang out on the balcony until your cab gets there.....Friendly, Friendly....i'll stay there again, hope to see y'all there
Better than a cardboard box!
I have stayed at many New Orleans hotels through the years and this was probably the worst hotel by far. The double room was about 8x8 with the double bed taking up most of the room. We ended up paying over a hundred dollars for the room, after they charged 15 dollars for every guest over two people. Ended up getting in around 3 in the morning and left for home at 6 in the morning because it was such a horrible nights sleep. I don't know what was worst the mattress you were sleeping on or the excersize mat we were given to sleep on.
Well, as the airport shuttle guy was driving us to this hotel, I asked him if this "hotel" was a good place (the price and location seemed too good to be true!). The driver looked me straight in the face and started laughing! All he said was, "Well, man, you get what you pay for!"
I checked in behind two creepy looking guys who apparently had garbage bags for luggage. I was told by the guy in the lobby (and I use that word hesitantly...more like a hallway) that visitors weren't allowed in the rooms. If I had a "visitor" I had to bring them outside on the balcony of the building! You can take that for what it's worth...
So I get into my room and this is what I see: yellow stained, cracked and dirty walls with some holes in the plaster; a bed that was more like a cot, a TV with 3 or 4 fuzzy channels; and a bathroom that wasn't too appealing. The toliet clogged upon the first flushing (although it was fixed quickly). Alarm clocks cost 5 bucks at the desk. When I asked for one (the rooms had to clocks), the guy said they were all out of alarm clocks! However, he was nice enough to have the morning desk clerk knock on my door the following morning for my "wake-up call," because the rooms had no phones!
Oh, and that guy who posted the first message wasn't joking: The doors have no handles! Just locks!
The neighborhood seemed poor. To be honest, I didn't walk out there at night, either!
So...while the price was good, you get what you pay for! Personally, I would rather pay an inflated price and stay in a place that doesn't remind me of the setting of a William Burroughs story.
I support this place and will always stay here
We drive to New Orleans a lot for vacations, and we always stay at the Empress. You can't beat the price. I've stayed in hotels in Europe that were far dirtier with far smaller rooms, where you didn't even get your own private bathroom, and they charged over three times as much as the Empress.
The neighborhood is a little older and more worn out -- but the whole French Quarter is a little bit that way. Everyone says it's "shady" or dangerous, but I don't agree. When walking from the hotel to the Vieux Carre, many of the local residents were just relaxing on their front porches, and they all greeted me very warmly. Everyone seemed safe and friendly.
I will confess that the accomodations are not five-star. But for the money, it's a real steal. After all, how much time do YOU spend in your hotel room?? I go there to sleep, that's about it. I don't have to feel pampered or privileged.
Most people get annoyed because the hotel is five blocks from Bourbon (two blocks from the edge of the Vieux Carre proper). Honestly, it is an easy and pleasant walk. Get used to walking; that's a huge part of what you'll be doing in the Quarter anyway. If you're planning to drive around in the French Quarter, you've got the wrong idea. Go somewhere else. And five blocks is not a long walk. Besides, are you really going to go all the way to Bourbon and then just stay there the entire time? Explore the rest of the Quarter! Enjoy the walking as part of the tourism! There's lots more to the Quarter then just the flippin' clubs on Bourbon.
Overall, this place really is great. The staff has always been super-friendly and very accomodating and helpful.
But if you really have problems with slightly skanky hotel rooms and are willing to spend a little more money, call the French Quarter Courtyard Hotel. It's right on the edge of the Quarter, it has BEAUTIFUL rooms with hard-wood floors, four-poster beds, and private balconies -- and it's still only $99 a night on non-holidays.
Place is awesome with a captial A. I cant say enough about this place. They were so nice they gave us excersice mats and a luxorius futon to sleep on and let us sleep 5 to a room, even though it can probaly only fit a 210 pound man. The big screen had over 3 channels on it and a remote with no battery to match. The recliner was something out of MTV cribs and could easily fit in the bathroom. The skin was the color of rust and granite! The bed gave you a thereputic feel with the springs jamming your back. All the mirrors in the hall and room gave it a vegas feel to it. But teh best was the Breakfast buffet, with eggs, pancakes, toast, sausage, bacon,grits, OJ, milk, beer and malt liqour. For $73 you cant beat it, if you have more to spend try The Cresent on Canal!!!
A great place
I thought the Empress was great it's on the outskirts of the French Quarter, next to armstrong park, and did'nt feel that it was much different than the rest of the french quarter. It's neighborhood was being totally renovated and while there were still some run down homes most of them were beautifully redone. It is a very real view of new orleans as opposed to other sections that have been disneyed up to quintessential french quarter life. And THE best deal around. would stay again
Great for the price!
Don't listen to the naysayers. I'll stay at the Hotel Empress any and every time I go to N.O. Why? Every other place is just plain outrageous. Here the price is around $45 - $70 a night. It is in a so so part of town but so is the ENTIRE FRENCH QUARTER when you think about it. It is blocks away from the French Quarter as well. Only a moron too afraid of their own shadow would take a cab (which by the way the staff of the hotel would be happy to arrange for you.). I don't know why that other person thought it was 5 blocks. Even if their particular destination was 5 blocks away; WALK! What were those other people expecting for so little $ in New Orleans. Even the Motel 6 is pricey. Granted, the Empress Hotel is cheap and looks cheap. That's perfect b/c I'd rather spend my money other more important things when I'm in New Orleans ;)
that's why i booked it. i found it on the chamber of commerce web site and was offered $50.00 off per night that sounded good too.
the room was clean and dirty at the same time. some things just need paint, and new rugs you know? no bugs in site, i stayed for 5 days. don't want to open a window anyway, it's too hot. and the old air conditioner worked fine.
the bed was 10 years old. the t.v. worked, but i was afraid to touch the remote controll with my hands, something sticky on it. had to wash it well.
it sure did seem like a bad neighbor hood, but everyone i met was pretty friendly. whether it had something to do with my two big dogs i walked around the neighborhoo with me, i have no idea. i believe in the benifit of doubt here, they were nice people, i talked to many in length. yes there were some down and outers' there but i saw upper middle class too and wondered why. thought maybe it was nicer upstairs where the non dog owners stayed.
i have to say the staff was very nice, helpful and friendly. answering truthfully which way to walk to ensure safety and very accomidating if you have a good attitude too.
in closing, if you're strapped for money, get a discount for staying there, very open minded and don't plan on spending your vacation in the hotel but to sleep and change and walk your dogs three times a day in between site seeing. then what's the harm?
live and let live. you pay MUCH more elsewhere, even the motel 6 was more expensive and not as close to everything as the empress. i took the 2 block walk to the French Quarter. it does start in two blocks, but the touristy part of it requires another 3 block walk. you're on vacation, relax!
Just plain dirty!
Not clean, in a very bad location.
To begin I wouldn't have stayed here but they were going to charge me for the first night any way so I did. First, Of all the website should just say, "Cheap & dirty rooms w/ drug dealers next door". But it was diffently not worth $57 a night. This hotel was extremely dirty and in a very bad side of town. The first room they tried to give us smelled like pet urine. There was no air circulation and it was quite dusty. The second room smelled a bit better but, the bed was very old that you could feel every spring in it. And it was stained with dirt and other unknown objects. As if they only bought beds form a salvation army or a thrift store of used beds. We didn't even sleep under the blankets for fear of what might be in the sheets. The walls were stained as well but you could only see it during the daylight. The TV didn't work. And by the way it is not 2 Block form the French Quarter. It is more like 5 blocks. And it was only safe to walk during the day. At night you needed a cab. The bathroom was kind of clean but you didn't want to walk on the floor of the room it was quite dirty. The room door did not have a handle. You had to lock yourself in which would not have been safe if a fire were to start. There was only one window and only a size 6 woman could fit through. To end, the hotel should have been condemn long ago. I don't know why anyone would want to stay in a place like that. And any reviews you find the says clean room, Lies. It was far from clean. So pay the extra money and get a clean room.