Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
This luxury riverfront property is a celebrity favorite.
This world-class property has the feel of an English country estate, starting with the statue of St. George on the ivy-walled, bricked front drive. The John Mills sculpture is a precursor to the other precious European art inside -- a collection so extensive that the hotel offers a tour of its original engravings and oils (be sure to find the model of Windsor Castle).
The lobby is perfumed with gardenia and honeysuckle and roses, courtesy of the fresh blooms gathered in all corners. You’ll want to return to the plush salon later, when the hotel serves a three-course afternoon tea, one of many refinements.
American presidents, celebrities and royals have stayed here, including Bill Clinton, Prince Charles, Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage. Proving that New Orleans elegance is always relaxed, Sir Paul McCartney even took to the hotel piano one night for an impromptu concert. No surprise then that the staff, used to dealing with star power, is friendly, attentive, and discreet.
While the art-gallery-like hallways are hushed, the rooftop pool has a resort feel, with thick towels and staff at the ready. The occasional ship's horn will remind you that you are at the foot of the Mississippi River, within easy walking distance of upscale shops and French Quarter restaurants, but quietly removed from its crazy hustle.
Starting at 400 square feet, rooms at the Windsor Court are considerably larger than those of other luxury hotels in the city, and competitively priced.
Located in the Central Business District, at the foot of the Mississippi River and within walking distance of the French Quarter
The Windsor Court hotel, located in the Central Business District, is a block from the Mississippi River and adjacent to Harrah’s Casino, and within easy walking distance of streetcars, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, the Insectarium, Jackson Square, Preservation Hall, and dozens of exceptional restaurants.
Across the street from the freewheeling French Quarter, the Central Business District (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 trendy 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.
Big, feminine rooms with luxe touches
Floral fabrics, cozy sitting areas (and in some rooms, potted plants) make the Windsor Court’s guest rooms feel like they could belong in an English manor. The soft blue and brown palette, as well as the high-end amenities, add to the general charm and upscale feel.
Nearly all the property’s rooms are suites, and many have private balconies with sweeping city or river views. Italian marble and Molton Brown toiletries are standard in all guest baths, which are also spacious.
At 400 square feet, even the entry-level rooms are among the largest in the city, and competitively priced. Junior Suites and Full Suites are even bigger, at 600 and 800 square feet, respectively. On the top floors of the hotel, Club Level rooms share the same layouts as Standard Rooms, Junior Suites and Full Suites, but offer access to the hotel’s Club Lounge, with free continental breakfast, evening hors d’oeuvres, a concierge, and a terrace with expansive river and city views.
A popular Southern grill, wonderful afternoon tea service, and several bars
A tranquil saltwater rooftop pool with expansive views and drink service
The hotel’s saltwater pool is a quiet oasis high above the city’s busy streets. It offers expansive skyline views, and is open year-round from early in the morning until well after dinner.
Large fitness center with tons of machines and fresh fruit
Relaxing spa with treatments for two and salon services
A museum-quality art collection, free Wi-Fi, and limo service to the airport
Celebrities, royals, and discerning travelers choose the Windsor Court for its classic style, attentive staff, and big rooms. While there’s plenty to do on the property -- including afternoon tea, a tour of the hotel’s impressive art collection, or a treatment at the lovely spa -- the Windsor Court is quietly located near all the French Quarter action. The rooms are sweet and cheerful, with classic English-style decor and upscale amenities that include free Wi-Fi, iPod docks, Molton Brown toiletries, and Keurig coffeemakers.