The Whitney Hotel Rating: 3.5 Pearls
Central Business District, New Orleans, Louisiana

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Just off the St. Charles streetcar line
  • Convenient Central Business District neighborhood, near the French Quarter
  • Authentic Creole restaurant
  • Historic property dates to 1890
  • Marble pillars and mural from original bank building
  • Free Wi-Fi in the lobby, free wired Internet in rooms

Cons

  • No in-room Wi-Fi
  • Old tube TVs
  • No pool or business center
  • Some rooms face other buildings, others have frosted windows
  • Daily fee for parking

Bottom Line

This perfectly adequate mid-range hotel in the Central Business District, a block from the Charles streetcar line, has more history and character than nearby chain hotels. The hotel has made graceful use of the city’s first Whitney Bank branch, built around 1890, by preserving much of the old bank’s lobby and even restoring its vintage vault as a private dining room. But features are few, and rooms have old tube TVs and no Wi-Fi.

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 Scene

Authentic Creole food and time-traveling to the 1890s

The Front Desk
The Front Desk

This historic landmark is carved from the city’s earliest Whitney Bank branch. The hotel’s single restaurant occupies part of the old bank, which has kept its grand marble pillars, gold-barred teller’s windows, and an original mural (depicting, of all things, a bank robbery) painted along the back wall. Hand-numbered prints with money and banking themes frame the hotel hallways.

Beyond its history, the hotel’s big draw is its spectacular location, a block from the St. Charles streetcar and within walking distance of the French Quarter.

The 93-room Whitney is small and unique enough to be considered a boutique property, and features are limited -- just a modest fitness room, and no business center or swimming pool.

Prices can occasionally be a little steep for what you get during peak months. About a quarter of the Whitney’s 93 rooms are suites, so always ask about an upgrade at the front desk.

 Location

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

Located in the Central Business District (CBD), the Whitney is a block from the St. Charles streetcar line and a block from Lafayette Square, a park presenting free live music on Wednesdays during the spring. The hotel is also within easy walking distance of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Insectarium, Jackson Square, Preservation Hall, and dozens of world-class restaurants, as well as exceptional shopping on Magazine Street.

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
  • 3-minute walk to Lafayette Square
  • 5-minute walk to Canal Street, where you can pick up streetcars to St. Charles Avenue or the New Orleans Museum of Art
  • 10-minute walk to the National World War II Museum
  • 10-minute walk to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  • 15-minute walk to Jackson Square and Café du Monde
  • 15-minute walk to the Superdome

 Rooms

Rooms are comfortable but no-frills

The King Room
The King Room

Most rooms are done in muted browns or dark florals, with tired carpeting throughout, but thoughtful touches include pillowtop mattresses and ergonomic desk chairs.

Guest baths are basic, though sinks have granite countertops and updated fixtures, and guests are treated to waffle-weave bathrobes.

  • Standard rooms run about 300 square feet. Upgrading to one of the property's 23 suites gets you 75 extra square feet, a second TV, and a sitting room with either two chairs or a sofa bed.
  • Old tube TVs
  • Mini-fridge
  • Alarms with strobe lights for the hearing-impaired
  • Free wired Internet access in guest rooms (but no Wi-Fi)
  • Golden Doors Spa bath products

 Features

Not much besides a small fitness center

The Vault Meeting Room
The Vault Meeting Room

 Food

Authentic Creole, served in a 19th century bank vault

The simple on-site restaurant offers a breakfast buffet, as well as lunch and dinner service. Diners can also come in for cocktails and dessert, and the menu is heavy on authentic Creole cuisine.

 Bottom Line

This perfectly adequate mid-range hotel in the Central Business District, a block from the Charles streetcar line, has more history and character than nearby chain hotels. The hotel has made graceful use of the city’s first Whitney Bank branch, built around 1890, by preserving much of the old bank’s lobby and even restoring its vintage vault as a private dining room. But features are few, and rooms have old tube TVs and no Wi-Fi.

Things You Should Know About The Whitney Hotel

Address

  • 610 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130

Room Types

  • Standard Room
  • Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 93
Fitness Center: Yes
Internet Access: Yes
Cribs: Yes
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Hotel Information

Location: Central Business District, New Orleans
Address: 610 Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130
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