InterContinental New Orleans Rating: 4.0 Pearls
Central Business District, New Orleans, Louisiana

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Proximity to the St. Charles streetcar and Mardi Gras parades
  • Savvy concierge
  • Heated rooftop pool
  • Large, bright fitness center
  • Free Wi-Fi in public areas
  • Top-notch banquet and meeting facilities

Cons

  • Small business center
  • Daily parking fee
  • Dated room decor

Bottom Line

A slate of business amenities, like an Executive Club Lounge, courier service, and on-site foreign currency exchange, make this Central Business District chain hotel popular with corporate travelers. But the business center is small and rooms have dated, generic decor. Still, the hotel's rooms are often less expensive than local competitors', and the InterContinental’s place on the St. Charles line means that you’ll feel the intermittent rumbling of the streetcar, a true New Orleans experience. During Mardi Gras, that proximity is priceless.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A favorite of business travelers and Mardi Gras krewes

The Grounds
The Grounds

Known for its capable meeting and banquet staff, the Hotel InterContinental has a corporate feel, enhanced by its front escalators, soaring lobby, and the adjoining Pan-Am Conference Tower.

The hotel’s personality comes from its globally conscious restaurants as well as the parties it caters -- on any given night you might bump into a Queen of Mardi Gras, well-heeled sales reps hoisting cocktails, or even celebrities like the Rolling Stones.

The InterContinental is extremely popular during Carnival season, as it’s the precise spot where the Rex Parade stops on Mardi Gras day, so that King Rex can toast his Queen (who’s just finished brunch with her court inside the hotel). Though rooms will be at a premium during that week, the InterContinental is markedly less expensive than its competitors at other times of the year.

Be sure to introduce yourself to the savvy concierge, who has a knack for pointing you to the locals’ restaurant favorites, and can get you last-minute reservations, besides.

 Location

Easy access to restaurants and attractions upriver, as well as the French Quarter

The Hotel InterContinental is located in the Central Business District (CBD) and directly on the St. Charles streetcar line, which you can take to explore the Garden District. The hotel is also 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.

Across the street from the freewheeling French Quarter, the CBD adds towering office buildings to the New Orleans skyline. Corporations, foreign consulates and the city’s convention center are located here, as is the Superdome.

The CBD began its development in the early 1800s, when the Louisiana Purchase attracted newly minted Americans to a city once dominated by the Spanish and French. As port traffic increased along the Mississippi River, warehouses and manufacturing plants were built on the CBD shore. When cargo ships became containerized, these buildings were abandoned.

The World’s Fair in 1984 sparked new interest in the CBD, and developers restored the 19th century warehouses and plants into chic condos, hotels and restaurants. The building boom has also included art galleries, the National World War II Museum, and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum.

Today, 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.

Canal Street is a retail center and the downriver boundary of the CBD. Canal is one of the widest streets in the country and a major thoroughfare in the New Orleans, though it’s packed with national retail and souvenir shops that aren’t worth exploring for a visitor with limited time.

  • 25-minute taxi or shuttle ride from Louis Armstrong International Airport
  • Just outside: St. Charles streetcar line, which goes to the Garden District and Uptown
  • 3-minute walk to Lafayette Square
  • 5-minute walk to the Canal streetcar line, which goes to the New Orleans Museum of Art
  • 10-minute walk to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  • 15-minute walk to the National World War II Museum
  • 15-minute walk to Jackson Square and Café du Monde
  • 15-minute walk to the Superdome

 Rooms

Generic rooms with an awkward bathroom configuration

The Suite St. Charles
The Suite St. Charles

As you might expect at a global chain hotel, guest rooms are fairly generic, with busy carpets and flat-screen TVs (which were upgraded after Oyster's stay).

The 479-room property includes 50 suites, many with city views. The guest baths are elegant, with marbled sinks, dark wood cabinetry, and nickel fixtures. Not all guests will appreciate the way standard rooms divide the bathroom, so that sinks open directly into the guest room.

  • The Superior and Deluxe rooms are both reasonably large, at 330 square feet each, but Deluxe rooms come with balconies.
  • Executive Club rooms are the same size, but on the club level. These guests have private key access to Executive Club Lounge, with free breakfast, snacks, appetizers and drinks.
  • Suites range from 637 square feet to a whopping 2,700 square feet, with various extras like an office nook, full kitchen, wet bar, and Jacuzzi tub.
  • Safe big enough to hold a laptop
  • Minibar stocked with local Abita beers
  • Coffeemaker stocked with local Community Coffee

 Features

An excellent fitness center and a nice rooftop pool, but a small business center

The Pool
The Pool
  • Narrow, heated lap pool with lounge chairs and decorative potted plants -- but it's in an outdoor rooftop courtyard, with no views
  • Attractive, fully loaded fitness center with floor-to-ceiling windows, changing rooms, and showers
  • The business center is open 24/7, but has only two computers and is unstaffed
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout hotel
  • Multi-lingual staff speak a broad range of languages
  • Next-day delivery of any newspaper from around the world (free for Ambassador members, but available to all)
  • Gift shop open daily, featuring a full-sized newsstand, cookbooks, jazz CDs, upscale Mardi Gras-themed souvenirs, and a broad range of snacks, including gluten-free power bars.
  • Foreign currency exchange
  • Private limo service (for a fee)
  • Full list of amenities

 Food

Surprising cuisines make these on-site restaurants unique

The Veranda
The Veranda

The InterContinental’s Veranda Cafe is a solid choice for breakfast, but its lunch buffet is the standout. In a nod to their international visitors, the Cafe focuses on global cuisines. One lunch buffet included steak and chicken fajitas, build-your-own tacos, chicken tortilla soup, ceviche, and flan.

Across the hotel, the upscale Soffaim bar doubles as a restaurant, offering a rare-for-New Orleans menu of Middle Eastern food, with not a po-boy in sight. Chef Klaus Hoppel took home the Fleur de Lis award from the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, for his lamb sliders.

Across the street, John Besh’s brasserie, Lüke, is a local hot spot. You’ll see many of the city's beautiful people at happy hour, drinking house brews and noshing on local raw oysters.

In the mood for something familiar? Go back to the hotel and check out Pete’s Pub on the ground floor. The limited but solid bar menu includes gumbo, sandwiches, burgers and wings, and is open well into the night.

 Bottom Line

A slate of business amenities, like an Executive Club Lounge, courier service, and on-site foreign currency exchange, make this Central Business District chain hotel popular with corporate travelers. But the business center is small and rooms have dated, generic decor. Still, the hotel's rooms are often less expensive than local competitors', and the InterContinental’s place on the St. Charles line means that you’ll feel the intermittent rumbling of the streetcar, a true New Orleans experience. During Mardi Gras, that proximity is priceless.

Things You Should Know About InterContinental New Orleans

Address

  • 444 Saint Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130

Room Types

  • Club Intercontinental Room
  • Corner Suite
  • Deluxe Room
  • Executive Suite
  • Hospitality Suite
  • Superior Room

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 529
Pool: Yes
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Pets Allowed: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): Some
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Hotel Information

Location: Central Business District, New Orleans
Address: 444 Saint Charles Ave., New Orleans, LA 70130
(See Map)
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