We returned to Hotel de la Monnaie (and New Orleans) in January for the first time since Hurricane Katrina, and were a little worried that it had gone downhill since our stay about 7 years ago based, in part, on some reviews posted here. Our last visit included two teenagers who didn't really want to be traveling with their parents, and we were thrilled then to find a place with separate bedrooms and a living area within walking distance to everything. Now the kids are grown and it was just me and my husband for a romantic birthday trip for two. We didn't need a "kid-friendly" place and I wondered if I should have looked elsewhere before booking.
My worries were needless. We loved this place just as much now as we did years ago. Yes, it's a little shabbier and the furniture is dated. But the front desk staff is just as helpful, and the interior courtyards are just as stunning. Having a full suite -- living/kitchen area, separate bedroom, separate bathroom -- is a real luxury for even two guests. Where can you get all that in the French Quarter for $144/night?! We loved being able to heat up leftovers for breakfast/lunch or prepare snacks in the kitchen, and it's nice having a separate bedroom when you're spending more than one night in a place. There's soft and ample lighting, comfortable sofa and chairs, and it's just really cozy. We didn't hear any night noise, either from nearby bars and restaurants or from within the hotel. In fact the hotel seems pretty insulated from the surrounding businesses.
But it's really about location, location, location. Walk out the door, cross the street and you're in the French Market (one of those stalls sells the best bloody mary in the world!). We walked the French Quarter from one side to the other many times. We walked along the river, from the hotel to the big cruise ships docked by the Convention Center. We took the free ferry across the river. We grabbed the streetcar across the street for a trip to the garden district. Although we rented a car, we left it in the garage the whole time we were there. Next time we'll take a cab. There was just no reason to leave the neighborhood because we barely scratched the surface of what we could reach on foot in four full days.
Our biggest surprise was the change to Frenchmen Street, just around the corner. On our last visit, this location on the fringe of the FQ was bordering the seedy side of town. Imagine our surprise when we arrived on this trip and the front desk clerk recommended a restaurant on Frenchman Street! We walked around the corner and heard live music coming out of every door, saw cabs dropping visitors off to trendy restaurants, and walked several blocks of lively, local, thriving nightlife scene. Incredible! No gigantic plastic neon drink glasses, no beads, no hawkers, no gawking tourists. Just great music, good food, and really positive energy. During our visit we spent a lot of time in the typical tourist areas of the FQ, but always appreciated returning to the authenticity of our hotel and the Frenchmen Street neighborhood.
In summary, would I recommend this hotel to everyone? No. If you want a fancy highrise hotel with a big, glittery lobby, stay near the convention center. If you want a cute B & B with Victorian furniture and personal attention, find another place. But if you want a cozy, comfortable suite in charming hotel in a real neighborhood at a great price, this is the best! We had such a great visit, and can't wait to return!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC