Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans Rating: 3.0 Pearls
Central Business District, New Orleans, Louisiana

Oyster Review Summary

Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators

Pros

  • Large rooms, most with sofa beds
  • Upscale, contemporary bedding (no dated New Orleans florals here)
  • CBD location convenient to cruise ship terminals and conventions
  • Quality restaurant
  • 24-hour room service
  • Free Wi-Fi in lobby

Cons

  • No pool
  • Daily parking fee
  • Daily fee for wired Internet in guest rooms (no Wi-Fi)
  • Daily fee for mini-fridge
  • Some rooms have old tube TVs

Bottom Line

The Wyndham Riverfront is housed in a former rice mill in the Central Business District, an area where retrofitted warehouse condos are springing up -- but the hotel doesn't take full advantage of its great historic bones. Rooms are chain-like, but large, and most have sofa beds; the on-site restaurant is solid; and the location is convenient to cruise terminals and a massive convention center.

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Oyster Hotel Review

 Scene

A restored rice mill that should play up its trendy, loft-like qualities

Lobby
Lobby

Of all the Wyndham’s historic New Orleans properties, this may be the one where its provenance is most subtle. Guests get glimpses into the hotel’s past life as a rice mill from the front facade; inside, exposed brick walls and long windows lend the restaurant and suites an airy, loft-like feel.

That industrial chic doesn’t extend to an over-elegant lobby or to the dark hallways upstairs, though the labyrinth between the elevator and rooms does suggest the merging of two historic buildings.

Massive renovations in 2006 brightened up the rooms, which are bigger and more modern than in other mid-range hotels, and nearly all have sofa beds. The hotel also wisely put its tidy fitness center in a windowed room, which is a nice departure from the typical basement gym.

The hotel isn’t exactly riverfront -- and guest rooms facing the Mississippi get a view instead of its iconic bridge -- but the Wyndham’s proximity to the cruise line terminals makes it a popular stay for cruisers.

Convention-goers, though, are likely to be disappointed in the closet-sized business center’s lone computer, and in the daily fee charged for wired Internet in the rooms.

 Location

Convenient to both cruises and conventions

The Wyndham Riverfront is located in the Central Business District (CBD) and directly across the street from the Riverwalk complex, which houses the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, the Museum of the American Cocktail, and dozens of shops.

While not directly on the Mississippi River, the Wyndham Riverfront is a block behind it, and is a quick walk to the Erato and Julia street cruise line terminals. If you’re shore-bound, the Wyndham is just as close to the massive Morial Convention Center.

The Wyndham Riverfront is also with easy walking distance of Harrah’s Casino, 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 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.

  • 25-minute taxi or shuttle ride from Louis Armstrong International Airport
  • 3-minute walk to the Southern Food and Beverage Museum
  • 3-minute walk to the Morial Convention Center
  • 3-minute walk to cruise line terminals
  • 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 Lafayette Square
  • 10-minute walk to the National World War II Museum
  • 5-minute taxi ride to Jackson Square and Café du Monde
  • 5-minute taxi ride to the Superdome

 Rooms

Suites have a loft-like appeal, but even the standard rooms have upscale extras

Loft Suite
Loft Suite

The Wyndham Riverfront went through a complete renovation in 2006, beautifully restoring the old rice mill's exposed brick walls, high ceilings, and plantation shutters -- though only to a fraction of its guest rooms.

Still, all the beds are dressed with pillow-top mattresses and plush goose down duvets, and the new furniture is streamlined (with clean, elegant touches like sconce lighting and gilt-edged mirrors).

Bathrooms have granite countertops, modern fixtures and roomy cabinetry, though many have shower/tub combos rather than walk-in showers.

The Wyndham had the right idea by using black-and-white architectural photos in its guest rooms, which play on the building’s history. Rooms overlook the courtyard (which doubles as a driveway) with glimpses of the Crescent City Connector bridge, or have city views facing away from the river.

  • Entry-level rooms begin with the Deluxe, which measures 325 square feet and includes a sofa bed.
  • At 425 square feet, Historic King rooms are built into the original rice mill, and feature soaring ceilings and exposed brick walls. Baths have walk-in glass showers and slate floors.
  • Loft Suites add a second story and an open loft bedroom, for a total of 575 square feet.
  • Herman Miller Aeron ergonomic desk chair
  • Free weekday newspaper
  • Coffeemaker comes with Wolfgang Puck brand coffee
  • No safes

 Features

No pool, a small business center, and a decent fitness center

Fitness Center
Fitness Center

 Food

A fine option in a city of world-class dining

The Wyndham’s restaurant, 7 on Fulton, is helmed by executive chef Matthew Fultz and takes its name from the street it faces, and on which you can dine al fresco. Flavored foams, meats cooked sous vide, and house-made sauces steer the restaurant in a decidedly modern direction.

(The dining room’s dated, oddly Asian decor should swing that way as well -- what a great opportunity to play up the original mill’s whitewashed walls and long windows with sleek, industrial furniture.)

Favorites of ours include the mini burgers, glazed with a house-made riff on Texas barbecue sauce (this one based on local Abita beer) and served with fried gherkins; a mixed salad with mellow pickled onions and pecan-crusted goat cheese, drizzled with Creole mustard vinaigrette; gnocchi with roasted Brussels sprouts; and a rustic version of the Croque Madame sandwich, which swaps out the traditional béchamel for a wine-based tomato sauce.

  • 7 on Fulton restaurant open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
  • Small bar off the lobby open continuously between lunch and late evening

 Bottom Line

The Wyndham Riverfront is housed in a former rice mill in the Central Business District, an area where retrofitted warehouse condos are springing up -- but the hotel doesn't take full advantage of its great historic bones. Rooms are chain-like, but large, and most have sofa beds; the on-site restaurant is solid; and the location is convenient to cruise terminals and a massive convention center.

Things You Should Know About Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans

Address

  • 701 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70130

Room Types

  • Corner Room
  • Deluxe Room
  • Historic Room
  • Hospitality Suite
  • Loft Suite

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Hotel Features

Number of Rooms: 202
Pool: N/A
Fitness Center: Yes
Cribs: Yes
Jacuzzi (in room): N/A
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Hotel Information

Location: Central Business District, New Orleans
Address: 701 Convention Center Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70130
(See Map)
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