Pros

  • Elegant 1920s property on the St. Charles streetcar line in the Garden District
  • Gorgeous, historic building with photo-worthy restored interiors
  • Rooms and suites are decorated with antique furnishings, glittering chandeliers, and local artwork
  • Air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars, and trays of local snacks come standard
  • Huge bathrooms feature beautiful subway tile and pampering Le Labo toiletries
  • Trendy Jack Rose restaurant and ultra hip Hot Tin rooftop bar attract a lively, chic crowd
  • Warm, wood-paneled Bourbon Bar serves handcrafted cocktails and light bites
  • Charming Silver Whistle Cafe serves delicious breakfast, pastries, and coffee drinks
  • Room service is available
  • Free Wi-Fi throughout the property
  • Valet parking is offered for a fee
  • Tennessee Williams is said to have written “A Streetcar Named Desire” here
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Cons

  • Hotel lacks a pool and a fitness center
  • No coffeemakers in rooms
  • Lobby can get extremely crowded with bar and restaurant patrons during evenings and weekends
  • Removed from the French Quarter (a pro for some)
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Bottom Line

Across from a streetcar stop on busy St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District, The Pontchartrain Hotel is a historic mid-range hotel in an elegant 1920s building. The 106 genteel rooms and suites with Old World inspired furnishings also include air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and minibars, but no coffeemakers. Dining and drinking options include the stylish Jack Rose restaurant, the cozy Bayou Bar, the trendy Hot Tin rooftop bar, and the charming Silver Whistle Cafe. Room service is available. Wi-Fi is free throughout the property and valet parking is offered for a fee. There’s no pool or fitness center. The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel offers similar amenities and historic charm, but also has a pool, a gym, and a spa, though it lacks the ultra hip nightlife scene and rates are higher.  

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Amenities

  • Fitness Center
  • Internet
  • Pets Allowed

Oyster Hotel Review

The Pontchartrain Hotel

Scene

A storied institution that’s become the life of the party (velvet ropes included) 

The Pontchartrain Hotel has long been a prominent feature among the New Orleans social elite, and its newest incarnation takes that tradition to new levels. Built as a luxury apartment building in 1927 and repurposed into a hotel in the 1940s, The Pontchartrain has counted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, The Doors, and former U.S. Presidents among its esteemed guests. Tennessee Williams is said to have written “A Streetcar Named Desire” while staying here. The city’s beloved New Orleans Saints football team even came into being in the lobby’s Bayou Bar. Simply put, there’s no shortage of stories to tell about a place like The Pontchartrain.

The hotel has taken on new life following extensive renovations in 2016. All the Old World glamour remains, just with newer amenities. The nightlife, though, is entirely 21st-century and oh-so-Instagramable. From the ultra popular Hot Tin rooftop bar that has patrons lining up behind velvet ropes by the elevators in the lobby, to the self-dubbed “granny-chic” Jack Rose lounge featuring a prominent, glittery painting of New Orleans’s own Lil Wayne, the hotel is quite the scene. A beautiful, well-dressed crowd of all ages comes to The Pontchartrain to see and be seen, particularly on weekends. While the masses of well-heeled partygoers can almost be overwhelming at times, the rooms are thankfully quiet, offering a pampering stay that offers a one-of-a-kind mix of the Big Easy’s past and present.

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Location

On busy St. Charles Avenue in the center of the upscale Garden District

The Pontchartrain Hotel enjoys a prime location in the refined Garden District, sitting directly on bustling St. Charles Avenue, the city’s main parade route -- visitors will likely see beads hanging from the trees year round. There’s a streetcar stop directly in front of the hotel, which will take passengers to the Central Business District and the edge of the French Quarter in 15 to 20 minutes. Magazine Street, one of the Garden District’s most popular areas for dining, drinking, and shopping, is a 10-minute walk away. The National WWII Museum and historic Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 can each be reached by car in four minutes. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center are both a seven-minute drive away. Guests can reach Louis Armstrong International Airport by car in just under a half-hour.

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Rooms

Posh rooms and suites where Old World charm meets modern conveniences 

Decorated in a palate of golds, mint greens, and pinks, the elegant rooms and suites at The Pontchartrain Hotel retained all of their original charm when they underwent renovations in 2016. Glittering chandeliers, antique furniture, and plush tufted headboards are balanced by original artwork and modern conveniences. Because the property was originally built as a luxury apartment building, the large rooms feel more residential than the average hotel room. The Pontchartrain Hotel offers a range of room categories and configurations, all named for the Muses of Greek mythology. The entry-level rooms are the Clio King and Erato Double rooms, which include small window seat sitting areas. The Euterpe Queen/Queen Deluxe rooms have larger sitting areas with sofas. Upgrading to suites gives guests separate bedrooms and living rooms. One-bedroom versions include the Caliope King Suites (featuring one king-size bed) and the Polyhymnia Double Suites (with two double beds). For groups or guests who want more space, Thalia Family Suites and Melpomene Two-Bedroom Suites each feature two separate bedrooms in addition to a large living room. The latter also include dining areas.

All rooms include free Wi-Fi, air-conditioning, and flat-screen TVs, as well as minibars, liquor, and trays of locally produced snacks (all for a fee). There are no coffeemakers in the rooms. Closets are equipped with irons, ironing boards, safes, and luxurious pink bathrobes hidden behind heavy velvet drapes.

The Old World touches carry into the large bathrooms, which include elegant subway tiles and decorative cabinets of throwback pharmacy items that feel like something out of an old apothecary shop. Shower/tub combos, hairdryers, and luxe Le Labo toiletries come standard. Even the do not disturb system is classy, with red and green leather tassels to hang on the doorknobs. 

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Features

 Excellent nightlife and dining options, but no pool or fitness center 

The Pontchartrain Hotel truly shines when it comes to eating and drinking options. Added in the 2016 renovations, Hot Tin rooftop bar is extremely popular with guests and non-guests alike. Accessed via a dedicated elevator from the lobby, the upscale bar serves high-end craft cocktails and has an excellent outdoor terrace offering panoramic views of the New Orleans skyline. When the velvet-roped lines for the elevator get too long, patrons gravitate to the two other nightlife establishments in the lobby. 

Bayour Bar is a cozy, wood-paneled watering hole serving drinks and lighter fare. Jack Rose restaurant feels like two establishments in one, with a trendy dining room featuring greenery and a disco ball in the back, and a lively, colorful Living Room area in the front. Many guests pop in just to snap a picture of the portrait of Lil Wayne eating the restaurant’s famous Mile High Pie, which dominates a wall that’s otherwise full of floral paintings that guest might expect to see in their grandmother’s living room. Jack Rose also has a lovely sidewalk terrace. For the morning crowd, the charming Silver Whistle Cafe, located off the lobby, serves up coffee drinks, homemade baked goods, and a delicious menu of breakfast items. Room service is available.

The hotel also features a beautiful, industrial-chic event space, The Parlor, hidden behind an understated garage door behind the hotel. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. Pets are welcome, and valet parking is offered for a fee. The hotel lacks a pool or a fitness center. 

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Best Rates

Amenities

  • Business Center

  • Concierge

  • Dry Cleaning

  • Fitness Center

  • Full Kitchen

  • Internet

  • Laundry

  • Meeting / Conference Rooms

  • Pets Allowed

  • Room Service

  • Separate Bedroom / Living Room Space

Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.