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Travel Blogs from New Orleans
... uh oh. Police and marathon runners started to pass and we immediately knew our car would be locked into the parking space until the marathon was over. Since there were 14,000 runners and it took a couple of hours to even get this horde over the starting line we knew we were locked in for a long wait.
Changing plans on the fly, we walked 1½ miles to the National World War II ...
... seconds doing a **** job then told me it was $20 each, he wanted me to pay $40 for a 30 second ****** job, he looked pretty intimidating but luckily I only had $9 in my wallet which I said he can have, he seemed ****** but we got out of there quickly. A man just down the path told us we just got hustled by what they call the New Orleans shoe shine, they are a family who prey on tourists, swinging some bet about shoes then they clean them poorly and intimidate you into ...
... it wasn't very crowded and, to be honest, the band leader seemed a little drunk (though he was still blowing his horn just fine). I was feeling a bit disappointed and tired but when the 2nd set started he seemed to have pulled it together. The crowd really filled in and we ended up having a great time!
After the 2nd set ended, we picked up our last beignet fix at Cafe Du Monde (and first table service!). Au Revoir NOLA...we're off to Cajun country ...
... I recognised the accent, so I start chatting to the guy. Get this… He’s South African, he studied at my university – which is a coincidence – and more than that, he studied the same as me, but a few years after me! Him and his friend were really nice, so we chatted to them for a while before heading to bed – another incredible day in the bag!!
With sore heads we wake up in the morning. Time to check out of our plush ...
... and pleasant!
Kristin pointed out a store up ahead named Lush. She was excited because she'd only been to the one in Chicago, so we decided to look around. They sell organic beauty products, and everything smells DELICIOUS! I loved it all because I'm so sensitive to man-made smells, it's ridiculous! But they make all their products with essential oils, so I was in heaven! I couldn't decide what to get, so I ended up with a little ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
Historical Traveler Reviews Soniat House New Orleans
Old world charm and elegance
Stayed ther three years ago. Old world charm and elegance. The way the south and the quarter used to be. Reccomend a room on the courtyard first floor only and some past knowledge of the area. This is an experience you will never forget but make sure you are there for tea and use a cab after dark. Our room was decorated in true old world NO style with 15ft ceilings. Would go back in a minute to sleep in a huge four poster bed. If you like a modern sterilized atmosphere this may not be what you are looking for so keep your thinking cap on and realize you are in the Big Easy.
Excited about going to New Orleans for the first time, we hopped in a cab at the airport and directed the driver to the Sonait House in the French Quarter. After having extensively researched all of the hotels/inns in the area, this one looked like the best combination of quaint yet nice. Upon arriving in the French Quarter, we were first surprised at how dirty/run down the general area was. I mentioned that it was almost like the city cleaned itself up one day a year and that's when all of the tourism pictures were taken. Anyway, the Soniat was average at best from the outside. The room and grounds were also not as nice as pictured on the website, but I guess they could be considered charming for the area. The "antiques" seemed more like junk and really didn't add anything to the atmosphere of the room. There was turndown service and a breakfast, which was unremarkable and overly priced. The location is a little further away from things than I would have preferred, but it was quiet. If I went back to New Orleans, I would not stay here again, but would try out another inn or larger hotel, such as the W.
Here are the facts that have left us dissatisfied with the Soniat House. Large roaches were found in our friend's room ("although, this is New Orleans"). A concierge convinced us not to take one of the tours we had researched by offering to book us a private tour that the hotel had recommended in the past. The tour guide shows up 20 minutes late, and within fifteen minutes, is muttering to himself and oddly playing with his keys. His stories begin to disintegrate as he takes us to his apartment and asks us to tell him a story. We call off the tour after the next stop is a bar and he cannot pay for his drink- he was the only one to order anything- and the evening is lost. Through our communication with the hotel, we find out that the hotel's policy for recommending tours was broken, and that the concierge lied to us about recommending the tour in the past. We have yet to receive a formal explanation or apology from the hotel in this regard, just this comment from the concierge: "I'm sorry you did not have a good time." The same night, we returned to the hotel to find a pair of prescription eyeglasses missing from our room, where they were last seen (a fact).
Excellent lodging choice
We stayed here 3 years ago, via Andrew Harper's Q-Club. We were upgraded to a suite from a deluxe. The service is top-notch. The honor bar is a nice touch. We took the breakfast one day and thought it was overpriced. The rest of our stay we just wanted coffee, and were surprised to find that was complimentary. I especially liked the location a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of Bourbon Street and Jackson Square--quiet and serene. We have a trip booked for September and are staying at Soniat House this time too and will report on our visit.
If your credit card can stand the whack (this place ain't cheap, my friend) , Soniat House is definitely the best place to stay in the French Quarter, and probably the best hotel in New Orleans. With a terrific location, a charming if faded elegance (oh so typical of New Orleans), a world-class staff, rooms filled with genuine antique furnishings, a great honor bar, those seductive breakfast biscuits, AC that really works, a great courtyard that is candlelit in the evenings, wonderful art on the walls (some of it on loan from the museum), Soniat House is hard to beat. We had a great time and, with the exception of one crabby and unhelpful guy on the nightdesk, we have nothing but praise for Soniat. If you go, be sure to get a table at Stella!, which is a restaurant that's practically across the street. When we ate there in late June 2003, it was far better than Emeril's or Commander's.
This place feels like it has a spell over it, from the second you walk inside the courtyard and the heat and noise from the Quarter are instantly replaced with cool air emanating from the stones and a light trickling sound from the fountains. The service is invisible and ever-present. You WILL NOT be able to figure out how the staff knows you need something-- they appear out of nowhere as soon as you realize you need something. The rooms are individually decorated in antiques and art on loan from the museum of art. I stayed in a semi-suite, across the street from the main hotel-- smaller courtyard, sloping balconies, random stairways and corridors-- tons of character. As for the breakfast, I have eaten breakfast at Soniat House and I have eaten breakfast at Cafe du Monde; both are fantastic, but I wouldn't say not to eat at Soniat House just because it costs much more. The previous reviewer failed to mention that the juice is fresh-squeezed and the jam is homemade. Also, the coffee is a large pot of strong French coffee with scalded milk on the side, and what would you do with more than two large biscuits each, anyway? Regarding baths, I had no problem with hot water, and the tub was huge. Finally, to anyone deciding between here and Windsor Court: I had tea at Windsor Court and it was beautiful, but it could have been anywhere. Their website actually likens it to an English country house. Soniat House is in New Orleans, and there's no mistaking that.
My wife and I are frequent guests in small inns and bed & breakfasts. This was our first trip to New Orleans. Having read such wonderful comments about the Soniat House, we wanted to stay at this inn. The service was excellent -- felt that everyone from the porter to the innkeepers were very available and knowledgable. We stayed in a courtyard room which was very quiet and romantic. One negative was that my wife ran out of hot water and I had a cold shower. For over $200 a night, hot water should not be a luxury item. Additionally, the continental breakfast was overpriced. For two people ($24.76 incl. tax) we received four biscuits, two glasses of juice and a pot of cafe au lait. The biscuits were burned and for that same price, the next morning, I walked the five blocks to Cafe du Monde, and purchased two orders of beignets, two bottles of water, and two t-shirts for less money. So my recommendation is to skip the Soniat breakfast and get the beignets for $1.47 for three. Overall, it was an average experience, next time we are in New Orleans, we will try another inn, but as mentioned before, the service was fantastic.
Wonderful and truly elegant, the Soniat house exceeded our expectations. The physical beauty of the courtyard, the garden, and the room we stayed in will appeal to the toughest of critic and most travled of visitor - be forwarned, this is NOT the place to go if you like high activity or expect 24 hour room service or a lively bar/lounge. Rather, go here if you appreciate class, charm, and sincere (but not gushy) attention to detail.
Ahhhhh.......Nothing Better in NOLA
After much deliberation, my friend and I stayed here on our first trip to New Orleans. I could not have been more pleased. It is quiet, inconspicuous, and beautiful all around. The courtyard is more stunning than any garden I have visited, and it's all yours. The rooms are spacious, with antiques and paintings, and the softest bed you have ever slept in. Even the bathroom has the nicest shower you've ever taken. They have turn-down service at night! (classy!) The staff is there at your every whim, and are super nice. If you are looking to get away from the lights and smell of Bourbon Street, I highly recommend the Soniat House. You will not be disappointed.
The most perfect place in New Orleans
The classiest, cleanest, most lovely hotel in the French Quarter. A+++++ I love it. NOthing is better than coffee and biscuits in that courtyard or drinks there in the evening. This is THE only place I'll stay in New Orleans. Here you get the true feel of the heart of the quiet, classy, old world New Orleans.