New Orleans is a very special place, unlike anywhere else. Anyone who has visited and ventured off of Bourbon St can attest. I recently made a quick trip to the crescent city and chose the Hyatt Centric to use one of my quickly expiring free night certificates, which I got from the Hyatt credit card (It can also be booked for 15,000 points). The location of this property couldn’t be any better! Its located in the heart of the French Quarter, close to everything, yet still in a quite enough area so you can get some sleep.
Getting to the hotel on a Friday evening proved to be quite challenge. Traffic getting into the quarter is a pain, but we eventually made it and dropped the car with valet for $42 per night. There are some parking garages in the vicinity, but the price difference was maybe $10 from what I saw. My first impressions of this property were much better than expected, given my experience at other Centrics, like Chicago. The front desk agent had that classic New Orleans “I do not care” attitude, gave me the room I booked and sent me on my way. Now, I don’t expect suite upgrades as an Explorist, but I thought I may at-least get a room on a higher floor, or possibly a view. Nope.
When I walked in to our assigned room on the second floor, the first thing I noticed is that we were on the courtyard level where the pool and patio were located. People were everywhere and I felt like we were on display. People were sitting at a table 10 feet from our window and I could hear what they were saying. I went back down stairs to the front desk and asked Ms. “I do not care” if there were any other rooms available. As I expected, she said no. As I was about to walk away, a manager came up behind her and welcomed me in. I explained my concerns about the room I was assigned and she graciously upgraded us to a King Suite on the 4th floor.
I was surprised at how large the room was. It didn’t have a living room and bedroom separated by a partition, but I actually preferred this layout to the traditional suite set-up. The decor and furnishings were not anything like you would find at other Hyatt Centric properties. It did not feel modern/contemporary, the bed was not on a platform and it didn’t conform to the minimalist style you normally associate with the brand. It reminded me of a Hyatt, just a Hyatt, which I found out it was until a couple of years ago. To be honest, I was relieved because I found the Chicago Centric to be sterile and dull.
We had breakfast at Powdered Sugar, the restaurant inside the hotel. Its the type of place where you place your order at the counter and they bring it to your table. It was mediocre at best. If you’re a Globalist and get credit for breakfast, sure why not, but you can do much better just walking down the street and finding something.
Final Thoughts on the Centric
The number one thing the Hyatt Centric has going for it is the location. It backs up to Bourbon (if that’s what you’re in to) but is also a short walk (maybe 10-15 minutes) to Jackson Square, Cafe DuMonde and the French Market. You can Easily catch a street car 5 minutes away on St. Charles Ave and go explore the Garden District and Uptown.
While the service is spotty, the hard product was better than expected and we ended up really enjoying our time. I’ve stayed at the Hyatt Regency and Hyatt House in the area as well, and this one is definitely my favorite for leisure travel. The other two are in the Central Business District and work well if that’s where your office is. Are there better hotels close by the Centric? Yes, namely The Windsor Court, Ritz, and JW Marriott, but I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.
*** Photo credit of the courtyard belongs to Oyster.com