When I was in New Orleans, I stayed at The Windsor Court Hotel. It’s a very elegant hotel just a few blocks away from the French Quarter, making it accessible to the main touristy neighborhood. Interestingly enough, the overall stay didn’t make me think I’m that close to the boisterous crowds of Bourbon Street.
The ornate decor (British 19th-century antiques, furniture, and artwork) is courtesy of the hotel’s original Anglophile owner, and would be over-the-top if it wasn’t so consistent. A full gym, heated outdoor pool, high tea service, and delicious food all add to a decadent and worthwhile experience at this property.
A recent $15 million refurbishment has only refined the levels of elegance. Once inside, the detail is immediately striking, and the sense of serene high society very apparent. The lobby and hallways are replete with a seriously impressive collection of original 17th to 19th-century paintings, focusing on regal portraits and bucolic hunting scenes. The public spaces mostly feel like a private members’ or country club, the plump leather chairs and decorous fabrics adding to a sense of civility that stands in stark contrast to almost every other hotel in a city known as ‘The Big Easy’.
Done up like a British parlor, the lobby is pleasant and peaceful, arranged in many small living areas with overstuffed armchairs, sofas, and coffee tables. It’s a good place to get work done without being bothered, have a meeting, or read the paper, while enjoying coffee and a pastry from the adjacent Cafe Anglais.
All 316 rooms have been refreshed to reflect a more modern color palette (light blue and cream with dark wood accents) with an array of luxurious new touches, like Tempur-Pedic sleeper sofas and custom furnishings. Most of the rooms (80%) are suites and even their Standard Room is large enough to be a junior one-bedroom.
The room amenities are understated, though the marble bathrooms elevate the experience. An almost unencumbered view of the mighty Mississippi River worked as beautifully as any piece of art, and small private balconies are available.
I stayed in a two-Queen bed suite with a standalone wet bar and refrigerators, a living room, writing desk fitted with USB ports to charge your phones and grounded ethernet for cabled Internet, and a small private balcony. The balcony provided me an amazing view of the Mississippi River and sunrise in the morning, as you’ll see my photo of it below.
The 65-foot saltwater pool is heated during winter months and is located on the Windsor Court rooftop. Light fare and cocktails are served poolside on the large deck, and a state-of-the-art gym overlooks the pool on the other side.
There are several dining options like The Polo Club Lounge serves elevated bar fare with great cocktails, tasty renditions of fish and chips and a pub burger. The Cocktail Lounge at lobby level offers small plates and dessert, and in Le Salon, guests can enjoy a traditional English tea service on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons. The Grill Room offers refined American comfort food, with specials like a Sunday Jazz brunch. Room service is available 24 hours.
A friend and I went to The Grill Room for Sunday Jazz brunch and it was lovely.
We were seated by the large windows looking out to the courtyard entrance and started off with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and an amuse bouche of pressed watermelon, maple balsamic pearls, and basil oil. The juice was very good though a touch pulpier than I prefer and the amuse bouche was lovely: sweet, refreshing watermelon with a touch of herbaceousness and sweet tartness.
The plate of housemade miniature herb biscuits and rolls were very flavorful and we adored the room temp-soft butter so it smears wonderfully onto these carbs.
The jazz trio band performed while we were dining, which was incredibly charming since we are at the birthplace of jazz. (If you would like to see a snippet of them performing, please click here.)
On to the food: We shared the appetizers of Crowned Hash Browns made with slices of smoky Andouille sausage, onions, peppers, cheese, and topped with a beautifully fried egg. The seared foie gras that topped the waffles and drizzled with cinnamon-y apples and fig balsamic reduction was divine.
The main courses were definitely hearty. My seafood omlette was packed with sweet crab meat, crawfish, bell peppers, and white cheddar served with a side salad. The shrimp and grits topped with Tasso cream sauce was decadent and worth consuming every calorie.
To see the rest of the photos from this visit, please CLICK HERE or see the slideshow gallery below.
Windsor Court Hotel
300 Gravier Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
Phone: (855) 264-1283