Here on Traveling Mamas we usually love to tell you about fabulous places to visit, fun family attractions, all the best spas, and some great Frugal Friday travel deals. While my own mama raised me with the school of thought “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” well sometimes you just have to go with your gut.
I’ve been staying closer to home this past year due to personal reasons, and to get a travel fix I’ve ventured around Louisiana and the South checking out hotels for another project. This past weekend I happened to have the worst hotel I’ve ever experienced in my life and think this place should get an award for Worst Hotel in New Orleans.
I’ll break it down in easy to digest reasons:
The Reason: This was a girlfriend getaway put together by some of my high school friends. I’m getting married in a couple of weeks and they traveled from various corners of the US for a weekend of laughter and girl time. They booked the room for around $150/night. We had two rooms booked. This is the story of the room I stayed in.
The Check in: At check in, we learned the elevator was broken and guests needed to use the stairs. Our room was on the 2nd floor. And there isn’t any parking, so we had to park 4 blocks away at $30 per night.
First room: After dragging luggage up the really gross stairwell (that was accessed by the street side), standing in the room sweating, the air conditioner did not work. Time to switch rooms.
Second room initial reaction: Air conditioner worked. Yay! Room seemed clean, if not updated.
Bathroom: This was a disappointment. Here’s a video of the bathroom I took right after I woke up that first morning, just to show you all I am not exaggerating…
Not only was it gross and we worried about slicing open our feet in the shower, but there were only two towels and one wash cloth provided. No worries, we could just call down to the front desk and request more. As I picked up the phone, there was no dial tone. Then I looked down and saw the cord had been ripped from the wall.
Since it was getting later in the evening and we were there for some fun and the group was getting a little HANGRY (you know, angry and grumpy from hunger), we opted to go out for the evening and worry about the towels later.
Shannonigans ensued down in the French Quarter with everyone still managing to be ladylike. On our return to the hotel, I popped into the lobby to grab those towels. The young man at the front desk was apologetic, and said the hotel was out of clean towels, but there should be fresh ones after 9am when housekeeping came in.
I won’t go into personal hygiene details, but we did manage to get the film of Bourbon Street off our persons before falling asleep. The sheets were clean and this room was cool, so I said to myself “We have a roof over our heads, food in our tummies, and a clean bed to sleep in.”
The next morning still no towels. We ventured out for our day of gal time riding the streetcar, painting Fluer de Lis creations, eating yummy Louisiana food. By the afternoon we were ready for some down time (and clean towels). On the way back we stopped in Walgreens to purchase washcloths since there was only one provided in the room. I detoured by the front desk as everyone else hiked up the four flights to our room.
I’d love to report that I was successful in getting an extra towel or two. However, I was informed by the front desk clerk, who clearly took issue with my request, that hotel policy is two towels per room.
I could go on and on about the conversation that ensued regarding some vague $15 fee for more than two people in the room, the allotment of towels, no manager on duty during weekends, and all that jazz. The front desk clerk needs to be sent to some sort of hospitality training or maybe she is in the wrong career field because customer service is not her bag.
Why didn’t we check out and find other lodging? Because we were not about to let the worst hotel in New Orleans ruin the rest of our weekend, which was limited in its time. With one full day together as friends, taking 2-3 hours out of that time to pack up and move and check in somewhere else wasn’t the best choice for our situation.
We still managed to have a wonderful weekend AWAY from the worst hotel in the Crescent City and we did not get bedbugs. So where is this most loveliest of lodgings in New Orleans, Louisiana?
The Chateau Dupre
If you do find yourself already booked at this property, unable to cancel for a full refund, I do have a few tips for you so you can salvage your visit to my home state.
1. If you have mobility issues, know that the elevator is broken.
2. Pack your own towels and amenities.
3. Bring flip flops for the shower.
4. Pack a knife or pepper spray for entering and leaving the stairwell to your room.
5. Keep your mobile phone charged in case you need to call 911.
6. If at all possible, stay somewhere else.
I am embarrassed the Chateau Dupre is even allowed to accept guests. It makes me cringe to think of the first time visitors to New Orleans and Louisiana to spend their hard earned money and vacation time only to arrive at the worst hotel in New Orleans.
Rarely do I write about negative experiences. I would rather spend my time letting travelers know the fun places to go, than to focus on the yucky places. However, this hotel is so horrible it should not be allowed to stay open in its current condition. I hope that someone steps in and gives this place some love and attention to make it the diamond in the rough it could be. In its current state it should be taken off the online booking sites.
To find acceptable lodging in New Orleans, be sure to check out http://visitneworleans.com.