The Windsor Court Hotel – New Orleans

We stay at some truly elegant hotels, as travel writers it’s “our penance.” Save your high-thread count sympathy please. While many luxury lodgings are posh, the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans stands out.  This fabulous 4-star hotel is perfectly situated in The Big Easy, just off NOLA’s famous Canal Street, in the “CBD” – Central Business District, a short walk into the delightful French Quarter, Jackson Square, and all that New Orleans has to offer. But there is so much more to this beautiful Windsor Court Hotel!

Upon arriving, well-uniformed bellman greeted us politely and whisked our bags away, assuring us our room was likely prepared. It was a sublime check-in, a process that is usually hectic at major hotels. The valet promised to park our car safely, loaded with bikes on the back, commenting our bikes would be accessible during our stay. I immediately noted the grand sculpture in the circular entry – very unusual and inspired. Just an amuse-bouche of awe-inspiring artwork at The Windsor.

The Windsor Lobby resembles an English manor’s living room, with rich furnishing, beautiful fresh bouquets of roses, and incredible artwork on the wood-paneled walls. I half expected a Royal family member to be in residence.

Our 21st floor Deluxe suite was spacious, with elegant living space, a fully stocked mini-bar and coffee station, and a seating area by a picture-window overlooking New Orleans. French doors opened to a sumptuous bedroom with the most inviting king bed, (I’m now a member of the Frette linen fan club). Our grand marble bathroom featured my own lighted vanity with princess stool (I’m in hotel heaven). Generous closet space included two fluffy robes and slippers.

We were invited to enjoy the Windsor’s “Club Level” on the 22nd floor. We loved the Club’s setting, with a commanding view of the Mississippi River, and NOLA’s Skyline, there was even an outdoor terrace – like being on top of the world. The Club’s impeccable service includes buffet breakfast, afternoon high tea and snacks, and in the evening – cocktails, hearty hors d’oeuvres, dessert, and cognac. The Club concierge offered us intuitive tips and recommendations on everything New Orleans from bike rides to streetcars, shopping, dining, and live music. Honestly, the Valet had been super knowledgeable about the environs too, the entire Windsor team seemed deeply vested in our best possible experience. Why is that such a rarity in “hospitality” of late?

Setting out to explore New Orleans, we were so close to the French Quarter and just a block from the Riverwalk along the shores of the Mississippi – in fact much of the Hotel has river views. Caesars Palace and Casino is right next door. So is the famous Sazerac Tasting Room – a must, and streetcar stops.

Returning to the Windsor was lovely after touring NOLA, we were welcomed by our names (nice touch). The gracious Hotel feels old-world, steeped in the finest tradition of hospitality, with important modernities.  I was surprised to learn Windsor is only 40-years old, established in 1984, but inspired nonetheless by its namesake Windsor Palace. A favorite lounge is the Polo Club, chic wood & leather adorned this British pub with hunting portraits. In the evening, live music here is a piano or a jazz ensemble.

Windsor Court also has a Spa, fitness and 4th level rooftop outdoor pool with a cabana bar, a beautiful place to refresh from the busy streets of New Orleans.

Despite New Orleans having so many award-winning Creole and Cajun restaurants, we chose to dine at Windsor Court’s Grill Room one night and it was among our best meals, accented with a pretty view of the courtyard entry. We enjoyed the pianist wafting from the nearby Polo Lounge as we savored the Chef’s perfectly prepared Iberico ham, amazing Lobster thermidor (and we’re from Maine), and Wagyu beef, with pairings from their substantial wine “book”.

We didn’t have time for Windsor’s High Tea at Le Salon which looked like the ultimate high society treat being enjoyed by incredibly well-dressed patrons. I did note new fresh floral arrangements delivered frequently, and museum-quality European art throughout the Hotel – their art collection last appraised at $12 million.

New Orleans is bustling, historic, humid and happening, so staying at The Windsor provides a luxurious refuge in the heart of the Big Easy. The décor is elegant and stylish, and befittingly The Windsor team demonstrates sophistication and grace at every turn.

We wouldn’t stay anywhere else in NOLA, YOLO… even though there are other luxury New Orleans hotels nearby – Kimpton, Four Seasons, Ritz Carlton, Waldorf Astoria’s Roosevelt, and Hotel Monteleone

“New Orleans has a real spirit. It’s the most authentic of all American cities.” – Brad Pitt

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