Here’s what to know about picking a hotel for the 1st time

As a current school graduate new to creating choices alone as an grownup, it is protected to say that I am nonetheless studying the ropes relating to touring. I’ve launched into many journeys with family and friends, however I’ve by no means needed to fear about reserving my very own flights, lodging or actions.

Nevertheless, that is all altering now that the world is returning to regular after the depths of the coronavirus pandemic. And, after all, I’ve begun my profession at TPG, the place journey is what we do. Seeing how steadily all my colleagues take to the street, I have been desirous to journey on my own for the primary time.

So, earlier this fall, I made a decision to make the leap and ebook an October journey to New Orleans, a metropolis I’ve all the time wished to go to due to its distinctive meals, wealthy tradition and enjoyable ambiance.

I’d already gone via the flight-booking course of — learn extra about that here — however now it was time to determine the place I used to be going to remain. With my flights locked in, I’d have about 36 hours to spend within the Large Simple. With that set, it was time to determine the subsequent essential a part of my journey: which resort to ebook. Right here’s the way it went.

Selecting a location

Not sure which a part of New Orleans was most excellent for vacationers, my resort search truly began with some analysis. The place would I need to be? The perfect two neighborhoods for a first-time vacationer in New Orleans appeared to be the French Quarter and the central enterprise district, so I set my sights on these areas.

Security was one other vital think about choosing a spot to remain, particularly as a lady touring alone. In spite of everything, I wished to remain someplace that was each centrally situated for sightseeing and in a protected space for solo feminine vacationers.

From what I might inform, the French Quarter provided a extra conventional New Orleans expertise because of its historic, brightly coloured Creole buildings and raucous nightlife. It’s additionally the place well-liked vacationer websites like Bourbon Avenue and Cafe Du Monde reside, so it gave the impression to be a handy space to remain.

The central enterprise district, then again, appeared to be filled with towering buildings, giving it a extra conventional metropolis vibe. Nonetheless, that space can also be dwelling to a couple well-liked vacationer spots, such because the Sazerac Home, a museum, bar and distillery devoted to the New Orleans cocktail of the identical identify.

Selecting an space to remain in was tough. The lovable cafes, jazz golf equipment and eccentric bars had been within the neighborhoods that appeared like they’d be enjoyable to remain in. But, ultimately, I might solely decide one resort.

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I made a decision to slim my search to resorts within the French Quarter as a result of it had the normal New Orleans expertise I used to be looking for as a first-time vacationer. Lots of the hottest spots are there. Additionally, its distinct structure, which has a unusual but borderline haunting high quality, intrigued me, because it was what I had intently related to town.

Deciding on a funds

As soon as I discovered which neighborhood to remain in, it was time to set a funds. Because it wasn’t peak pageant season but — well-liked occasions like Mardi Gras and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Competition happen in spring — I assumed resorts could be comparatively cheap.

With the assistance of Google Motels, I checked out my choices. Within the French Quarter, resort costs ranged from $50 for essentially the most fundamental funds lodging to $533 — an enormous unfold to select from.


For a one-night keep, I didn’t need something too upscale. All I wanted was a handy place to sleep — ideally inside strolling distance of nearly all of town’s sights. Since New Orleans had so many cheap choices, I zeroed in on spending not more than $200 on a resort.

Selecting a resort

With the important thing parameters determined, I started my seek for the fitting resort.

At first, selecting a property was overwhelming. As I scoured Google Motels for potential choices, I discovered myself struggling to choose between seemingly comparable properties. Lots of the resort buildings donned the identical charming French-Creole structure and had classic decor that was barely dated however applicable for the age of the buildings.

Since I would solely be staying for an evening — and hoped to spend as little time within the room as attainable — I targeted extra on location and the general aesthetic than facilities that I would recognize extra on an extended keep.

After some intensive looking, I whittled down my choices to 4 resorts – all within the French Quarter. I largely caught to main resort chains, considering that this journey might assist me begin incomes my very own factors for future stays elsewhere. Nevertheless, I additionally preferred the appeal of a few boutique resorts, so I made a decision to think about them as properly.

Associated: A classic getaway: Traveling to New Orleans to find the real Big Easy

Voco, St. James Resort

Throughout my search, the IHG-affiliated Voco, St. James Hotel on Journal Avenue, rapidly stood out. The web pictures projected an upscale really feel, however at a worth I might afford. The constructing featured a surprising crimson brick French colonial exterior, which felt distinctly New Orleans. Rooms, nevertheless, regarded a bit easy in design, with a plain picket bedframe and restricted lighting that made the areas seem darkish.

Nonetheless, with a regular room with a queen mattress costing solely $132 an evening (not together with taxes), I might look previous the plain lodging. In spite of everything, I wasn’t planning to spend a lot time in my room. The placement was extra vital to me, and the St. James Resort appeared to supply a handy one proper within the coronary heart of the French Quarter, near The Nationwide WWII Museum and Bourbon Avenue.

Whereas the service and ambiance had been fully unknown to me, the prime location and worth made the St. James Resort a high contender.

Bourbon Orleans Resort

Additionally a couple of blocks from Cafe Du Monde, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel is a boutique property that lacks any ties to a serious resort chain. It’s dwelling to an outside pool (an amenity I didn’t essentially worth since I wouldn’t have time to make use of it) and the Bourbon ‘O’ Bar, which the resort web site described as having stay music and brightly coloured murals scattered throughout its partitions.

The rooms regarded OK — I wasn’t the largest fan of the grey bed room partitions pictured on the location, as they made the rooms look dreary. It helped, although, {that a} queen room was priced at $144 an evening, which was very reasonably priced and nonetheless beneath funds for me, so I left it on the listing.

La Galerie French Quarter Resort

One other boutique choice, La Galerie French Quarter Hotel sits on Decatur Avenue close to a wide range of small cafes and oyster bars. Not like the Bourbon Orleans or Voco, St. James resorts, La Galerie’s exterior didn’t have the identical French-Creole character I most popular. As an alternative, the constructing appeared to have a plain facade with warehouse home windows, which at the least gave it some persona.

Maybe the restricted lighting within the pictures on the resort’s web site was guilty, however the rooms and the resort as an entire regarded sterile. I felt the brilliant white partitions within the rooms gave them an uninviting and chilly look.

Then there was the value. La Galerie was the costliest of the 4 resorts I thought-about, costing a complete of $189 per night time. The $189 price ticket was a bit too near the highest finish of my $200 funds. Nonetheless, I made a decision to maintain it within the working, although I hoped to seek out one thing appropriate for much less.

Moxy New Orleans Downtown/French Quarter Space

Straddling the border between downtown and the French Quarter, New Orleans’ Moxy outpost is a six-minute stroll away from Bourbon Avenue, making it a handy choice for sightseeing.

Of my high 4 choices, this member of the Marriott household appeared to have the funkiest vibe — the resort was housed in a glass constructing with alternating blue home windows. Sticking to the brilliant, vibrant hues of the chain, magenta-colored doorways greeted guests upon arrival.

Admittedly, I believed the decor of the resort bedrooms regarded a little bit cheesy and dated, as its ornamental pillows had the phrase “I wakened like this” emblazoned on them. Nevertheless, I had heard good issues about Moxy resorts, so I used to be curious concerning the model. To not point out, it appeared like a handy, no-frills choice for less than $144 per night time. The 24-hour grab-and-go venue was a welcome contact, too, so it remained a contender.

Associated: 10 TPG-approved hotels for your next New Orleans stay

Making a ultimate resolution

Since I used to be solely utilizing info from the resorts’ web sites and opinions on the web, choosing a resort was not simple. It was exhausting to gauge the ambiance and repair of a resort via footage on-line — lighting and angles could make all the things look higher (or worse).

Nonetheless, I solely had time to remain at one property throughout my quick go to, so I made a decision to go together with the Moxy. It was a detailed name between the Moxy and Voco, St. James Resort. Nevertheless, ultimately, Moxy’s proximity to 2 central neighborhoods and favorable opinions swayed me.

Certain, the decor is probably not to my style — no quintessential New Orleans character was on show on the Moxy — however I used to be solely on the town for an evening, so the resort’s look wasn’t a deal breaker.

Right here’s the way it went


A lot to my shock, once I arrived on the Moxy in New Orleans, I discovered that the resort lacked an precise entrance like what you’ll discover at extra high-end counterparts such because the close by InterContinental and the JW Marriott. The magenta doorways simply slid open — there was no driveway or doormen on the door to greet visitors. It additionally didn’t assist that there was sidewalk building proper close to the property, which just about obstructed the doorway.

Nevertheless, contemplating my curiosity in staying someplace easy, I obtained precisely what I used to be in search of.

The resort foyer featured trendy decor, with occasional pops of pink and magenta on the signage and accent pillows. Moreover, the reception desk doubled as a bar, and indicators with phrases like “Save water, drink beer” and “Work exhausting, play good” held on the partitions. It provided a vibe extra generally present in a bar than a resort, which appeared to suit the world properly, given town’s full of life nightlife scene.

Among the finest elements of my keep was the service. The check-in course of was speedy, with the pleasant entrance desk employees handing me my room key straight away regardless of arriving 4 hours earlier than the official check-in time. The immediate service helped make up for the lackluster room, which felt simply as cramped as what I’d discover in New York Metropolis and lacked pure mild because of having blue-tinted home windows.


I wasn’t staying on the Ritz, although, so I didn’t anticipate white-glove service and fancy rooms. The resort appeared excellent for a brief solo journey — and it did work for my functions. I in all probability wouldn’t advocate the resort in case you’re visiting New Orleans with household or associates for an prolonged time frame. Nevertheless, in case you’re ever in my scenario, the resort is a stable choice value contemplating for a fast, no-frills go to.

Backside line

Ultimately, the Moxy met my expectations — however it did underscore simply how a lot there’s to think about when reserving a resort. I ended up joyful sufficient with this keep, however I discovered a little bit extra about what to search for when reserving a resort, in addition to the right way to type via all of the noise in on-line footage and opinions. Subsequent time, I’d focus extra on aesthetics and room facilities since my resort room was slightly bare-bones when it got here to issues like storage and pure lighting.

Nonetheless, I think about it a profitable effort. I obtained a clear, snug room that checked most of my containers. Now, I am already trying ahead to my subsequent journey, and I am higher ready to sort out deciding on a resort when it is time.

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