The Hilton New Orleans Riverside bills itself as a conference center for business travelers, but it feels more like a resort with its riverfront location and fantastic lineup of options for recreation, including indoor tennis courts, personal training, and Pilates classes (easily the most inclusive fitness offerings of any hotel in the city). The hotel's rooms are generic, but comfortable and functional. There are fees for Wi-Fi, the fitness center, and the business center, and the spa menu's body treatments are a bit limited. But all in all, this is a fine pick for anyone wanting to explore the city -- the location on the Mississippi River, near the French Quarter, is excellent.
The Hilton was built for business travelers, and there are plenty here -- but resort-like amentities appeal to vacationers, too.
With more than 130,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space and 1,622 guest rooms, the Hilton Riverside practically deserves its own zip code. It straddles the foot of Canal Street on one side and connects to Riverwalk Marketplace on the other -- the length of several city blocks.
Inside, multiple escalators, soaring atriums, natural light, and unobstructed views of the mighty Mississippi add to a grand feeling of space. Though it has capable business facilities, the property offers such an ample supply of fitness options that it feels more like a resort than a conference center. Among these are two indoor tennis courts, a dance studio, golf studio, basketball and racquetball courts, and a health club loaded with cardio equipment and weights.
But the slew of add-on charges may leave guests feeling nickel-and-dimed. It costs to access the fitness facilities, and to get in-room Wi-Fi (though Hilton Honors members get Wi-Fi no charge, and it's free to join; plus, there's free Wi-Fi in the lobby and coffee shop). And let’s say your office delivers presentation materials to you via the business center – you’ll be charged a handling fee for that.
The hotel’s bland standard rooms are what you'd expect for an upper-middle-range chain, but the glass walk-in showers in the bathrooms are an upside.
Easy access to restaurants and attractions upriver, as well as the French Quarter
The Hilton New Orleans Riverside is on the Mississippi River and on the streetcar line that skirts the French Quarter. The hotel is adjacent to the Riverwalk Marketplace, and within easy walking distance of the French Quarter, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Insectarium, Jackson Square, Preservation Hall, and dozens of world-class restaurants.
The neighborhood itself is called the Central Business District (CBD), which is basically across the street from the freewheeling French Quarter. The CBD is home to many corporations, foreign consulates the city’s convention center, and the Superdome. The CBD is a mellower counterpart to the French Quarter, and just as alluring. There’s plenty of foot traffic, especially closer to the river and around the St. Charles streetcar line. At night, visitors should be safe on main thoroughfares like Poydras Street, and anywhere there’s a major restaurant or hotel. A wealth of parking garages makes the CBD fairly easy to drive into, except during the week of Mardi Gras.
25-minute drive to Louis Armstrong International Airport
On the streetcar line that skirts the French Quarter
3-minute walk to Canal Street, to pick up streetcars to St. Charles Avenue or the New Orleans Museum of Art
3-minute walk to Harrah’s Casino
5-minute walk to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
10-minute walk to Lafayette Square
10-minute walk to the Superdome
15-minute walk to Jackson Square and Café du Monde
5-minute drive to the National World War II Museum
Generic rooms typical for an upper-middle-range chain
A variety of room sizes and locations -- overlooking the city or the Mississippi River -- allow guests to customize their stay. Major renovations in 2011 have left them fresh and updated. While still generic, they do have a of style and old world charm about them now, aided by an overhaul of carpets and window treatments that added a needed dash of color.
Standard, Executive Tower and Riverside Suites range from 610 to 1,900 square feet in size.
Executive Floor/Towers Concierge Class rooms offer Serta beds, access to the 29th floor Executive Lounge (with private check-in and check-out), free breakfast, free hors d’oeuvres and drinks, personal concierge service, and more.