Originally, my family vacation plan would have ended at Gulfport, Mississippi. As I presented the idea to my family, my wife suggested we go ahead and zip over to New Orleans because of its proximity–more specifically, the French Quarter. (Thank goodness she did, because Gulfport missed with us.)
Because my wife felt excited about the French Quarter, she took over the hotel hunt. She eventually landed on Omni Royal Orleans. We took a look at the location on the map, the pictures, and the reviews, which all led us to believe it would be a great fit.
The French Quarter is a series of one-way streets because they are obviously not very wide. This actually made getting to the hotel pretty easy. We had a fantastic start in the parking garage. The valet wore a bright smile, displayed an wonderful attitude, and could not have been more friendly. As our first point of contact with the hotel, he made an excellent initial impression.
We also had a good check in experience. We especially enjoyed the nearby bellhops. They were instantly joking around with us and made us feel very welcome. In fact, later on, one of them gave us a map and offered his advice on what we should do and where we should visit.
The Omni Royal Orleans is a fancy place, especially for being nestled into a very tight, very old, and very boisterous area. We definitely enjoyed the opulence.
Consequently, our room also pleased us. Again, we understood this was an old area and so we were expecting a nice but well-worn room. It actually exceeded our expectations! Definitely clean, bigger than we anticipated, with a fantastic balcony (or should I say “gallery”?). Check out our view!
After settling into our room, we headed up to experience the rooftop observatory and pool. You can see the pool at the top of the article. Here are some pictures from the observatory area …
Needless to say, we were very happy with our hotel … on that first day.
That night, at about 12:30 in the morning, we were awakened by quite a bit of <ahem!> moaning.
Okay, here’s the thing: we’re in the French Quarter. Bourbon Street is literally a block away from our hotel. We’re in a hotel. That kind of thing is going to happen and can literally happen at any hotel at any time. But this went on for two hours. Two hours! (Insert your own joke here.)
We have two kids. One of them is a teenager and we weren’t all that concerned about whether or not she heard it–we knew she’d laugh it off. However, our other child is ten. The ruckus didn’t wake her up, but we weren’t all that sure we wanted to tempt fate two nights in a row.
Therefore, my wife approached the front desk the next morning in order to request a new room as well as an early check out–a day early, in fact. (More on this in the next article focusing on the French Quarter, but, in a nutshell, we decided two days were enough for us.) I knew we’d get some pushback on the day early check out; I did not expect any trouble with the new room.
Essentially, the Omni Royal Orleans manager told my wife that this is the French Quarter and such things should be expected. He then asked her why she didn’t call security. (Maybe I’m too understanding, but calling security on folks in the middle of that seems a little harsh.) In other words, instead of the customer always being right, my wife felt as though she was being interrogated and even blamed. He then said we could leave a day early, but there would be a fee equal to the amount of the night’s stay.
As you’ve gathered, I wasn’t there for this exchange–I stayed with the kids in our room. When my wife came up and explained the situation to me, I developed a plan for stating our case that I would execute that afternoon. At the moment, though, we hadn’t had breakfast, we were all hungry, and we just wanted to go eat.
While at breakfast, we actually received a text from the hotel asking us if we were happy with the new room (we were) and declaring that we could check out a day early at no cost if we still desired. I replied that we would still like to check out and thanked them for accommodating us. Why couldn’t that have been the case to begin with and avoid the bad feelings? I don’t know.
When we checked out the next morning, I asked for a receipt in order to make sure we weren’t being charged any kind of fee, and we weren’t. The Omni Royal Orleans kept their word to us (which I had in writing in the form of a text, by the way).
Our check out went very smoothly, as did retrieving our vehicle from the valet service. Leaving the French Quarter and New Orleans also proved uneventful.
While I wish the gentleman working with my wife had handled the situation differently, I still highly recommend the Omni Royal Orleans.