New Orleans Hotels - Uptown
Recovery Status for Fall 2006:
New Orleans is well on its way back to re-claiming its place as a fully functional tourist destination. The recovery was aptly demonstrated with decisions to hold Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest celebrations in Spring 2006 as usual, as well as by Tulane's "miracle" graduation ceremony that featured past Presidents Bush and Clinton. In fact, all five New Orleans universities—Tulane, Loyola, Xavier, the University of New Orleans, and Dillard—have reopened
All but a few of the 13 airlines that serviced the City are shuttling flights in and out of the City. Taxis, bus service and the street care are functioning. Touro, Tulane and Charity hospitals have all been reopened for months. It is reported at the close of summer 2006 that 103 out of 140 metropolitan area hotels are open, with over 70% of the original 38,000 hotle rooms available. Of these rooms two-thirds are open to visitors, while the remaining third is contracted to various agencies. Ninety percent of downtown hotels are open, however, the Fairmont and the Ritz Carlton continue to be closed for renovation. Both are expected to re-open by the end of the year. Remediation contractors in all the restored hotels conduct room-by-room assessments against EPA standards. After remediation work is completed, the clearance process includes visual inspection, as well as sampling for airborne fungal spores and ongoing monitoring. Restaurants are re-opening daily with any of the famous chefs back in their aprons, including Paul Prudhomme, Susan Spicer Donald Link and John Besh. Before any establishment serving food can be reopened it is examined by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for compliance with all regulations regarding water safety and food handling. To give you a better sense of the situation you should call ahead to your hotel and favorite restaurants to be sure they are ready for you or check on the site here for opening status. Air and water are safe for visitors (government air testing results). Harrah's Casino, the convention center and Riverwalk are open, as are museums including Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Contemporary Arts Center, the National D-Day Museum and the Aquarium of the Americas.
This a page dedicated to hotel recommendations in uptown New Orelans. If you want to jump directly to other hotel information, please click here for our top, all around hotel recommendations, or click here for an overview of the major chain properties in town. You can click here for hotels in the French Quarter, or click here for a page about some exotic mansions and guesthouses. If these geographic references for New Orleans don't make sense, then click here for city layout information. If you want to jump directly to a page about New Orleans restaurants, then click here. Or click here for a page about the best things to do while you're in town, and to start at the top click here for the New Orleans Guide Executive Summary.
It's not really the same staying uptown as downtown. But if you want that genteel Old South atmosphere, if you have kids in school to visit, or if there are simply no rooms left downtown, here are some options:
The Pontchartrain - It can be said that this venerable 1927 uptown standard is a few decades past its prime. Well-regarded for most of the last century, the Pontchartrain was once a honeymoon destination for the likes of Rita Hayworth. Sadly, it has been reduced to a business hotel much like the Ramada down the street. The hotel namesake, Lake Pontchartrain, an 825-square-mile salt-water lake north of New Orleans, is a local landmark over which stretches one of the longest automobile bridges in the world. The lobby and function rooms have exposed brick, a non-working fountain and assorted statuary. One big draw is the easy and graceful drive-up access on St. Charles Avenue and valet service with a canopy stretching to the curb. Another draw is the quiet relative to the business district and French Quarter. With slim pickings for hotels uptown, the Pontchartrain is more old line and more reliable than its neighbors. Dining is available at the respectably regarded Caribbean Room. The bar is worth mention with a piano, oak columns and a bayou scene painted all along the back wall. 2031 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70140. 504-524-0581 - www.pontchartrainhotel.com. Specifications - 84 rooms, 38 suites, 2 restaurants, piano bar, parking, full hotel amenities.
The Columns - Secluded by grand oak trees on a lush stretch of St. Charles Avenue, the Columns is a creaking, moss-stuffed antebellum house broken up into an eccentric hotel and bar. The bar is a long-standing local favorite and the constant traffic keeps the place young at heart. If you arrive a little tipsy, allow yourself to melt into the low light, and leave before too much detail can register, the Column’s can provide a wonderful experience – it’s kind of a downfallen Faulkner playground. The 1970s movie “Pretty Baby” was filmed here, as you cannot fail to notice from the posters. There are vast porch areas upstairs and down that can be worth the price of admission in good weather. 3811 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70115. 504-899-9308 - www.thecolumns.com. Specifications - 20 rooms, 10 with bath, 3 suites, bar, dining room, full hotel amenities.
The Park View Guest House - The Park View has some similarities with the Columns but lacks the draw of an ever-popular bar. Like the Columns, the Park View is a grand old private home, a bit past its prime, perpetually damp with humidity, and right on St. Charles Avenue. The Park View location is princely - right on Audubon Park, half a block from Tulane, and in one of the finest residential neighborhoods in town. A morning walk in any direction from the Park View is real pleasure (in particular, try the neighborhood on the other side of St. Charles Avenue). The staff make an extra effort with an afternoon cocktail hour in the grand front room, but at these rates, and with this location, do not expect a four-star room (seven of the rooms are shared bath and the bathing facilities are not impressive). Because of the location, the Park View is particularly good if you are making a college visit to Tulane or Loyola. 7004 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70118. 504-861-7564. - www.parkviewguesthouse.com. Specifications - 23 rooms (16 with private bath), breakfast, parking, full hotel amenities.
New Orleans Avenue Plaza Hotel & Pro Spa - This property is in the lower St. Charles Avenue strip of hotels including the Ramada and the Pontchartrain. The features of the hotel are not quite as generic as the Ramada's, not quite as historical as the Pontchartrain's, and there is Mackie Shilstone’s “pro spa” for fitness training, Jacuzzi, massages and pool. Some rooms have kitchenette facilities and there is a restaurant of no particular renown. Both the street location and the facilities fall short of the luxuries and lushness promised in the hotel advertising and brochures. 2111 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130. 504-566-1212 - www.avenueplazahotel.com. Specifications - 256 rooms, all suites, parking, pool, fitness and spa, restaurant, meeting and function rooms, full hotel amenities.
Grand Boutique Hotel – Restaurateur Al Copeland opened this hotel in 1999 at the site of an old Mercedes dealership in a somewhat blue-collar stretch of St. Charles Avenue. It is a forgettable property that resembles what a chic boutique hotel like the W or International House might look like if it were designed and decorated by an undergraduate student on a tight budget. The cool effect that this hotel is apparently trying to achieve is betrayed by the street location and the underfinished, underexecuted decorating efforts that not even the low, trendy lighting can hide. Yes, copies of heady magazines like Brill’s Content and Fortune are lying around, but the at the check-in desk you spy a mop and bucket. The art deco chairs in the common areas are losing upholstery and the plants are plastic. The effort at creating a chic restaurant looks like Planet Hollywood meets an aluminum roadside diner. 2001 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70130. 504-558-9966 - www.nolahotels.com/grandboutique. Specifications - 44 rooms, all suites, microwave and refrigerator in rooms, meeting space, restaurant, parking, full hotel amenities.
Also see the listing for Ramada and Hampton Inn in my "chain hotels" section. Both companies have uptown properties.
© Copyright 2006 Chris Cloud.
Last update: 9/5/2006; 8:34:22 PM.