Sick and tired with a bad cold or flu upon arriving in New Orleans, the saving grace at the end of my 800 mile drive from Orlando to New Orleans in 36 hours was a 7-night stay booked at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. By the time I reached New Orleans Airport MSY around 7:30pm, the air temperature was 96 degrees and set a temperature record for June 16.
The cost for a shuttle from New Orleans International Airport MSY to the downtown hotel was $24 one-way. I lucked out and got a seat on a shuttle that left within a couple minutes after I bought my ticket and I was dropped off at the hotel entrance around 9pm, after getting a mini-tour of the French Quarter.
There is also a Hyatt House New Orleans opened last November adjacent to Hyatt Regency New Orleans that was an office building conversion. Hyatt House is a 194-room hotel on 7 floors of a high rise building and connected by an elevated sky bridge to the Hyatt Regency.
Hyatt House New Orleans
There was a check-in kiosk at the desk and I used the self service kiosks for check-in and checkout one week later. I was given a room on Floor 27, which turned out to be the top floor for guest rooms. The elevators go up to Floor 32 for access to the Fitness Center and Regency Club lounge.
I stripped off my clothes, jumped in the shower for something like 15 minutes and climbed into bed.
Despite no food, except a bag of carrots, I did not leave my room for the first 24 hours as the waste basket filled and then started to overflow with snotty tissue. The last time I had been this sick in a hotel was February 2011 in Washington D.C. I kept the Do Not Disturb sign on the door for two days and called housekeeping to leave two more rolls of toilet paper outside my door. Finally, feeling stir crazy to be in New Orleans without having been outside to see the city, I was compelled to leave my room on Day 3 to check out the Regency Lounge and walk outside and breathe some real air.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans Club Lounge
The 32nd floor Club Lounge gave me opportunities for easy snack food and hot gumbo. I was a regular for days and all the staff greeted me warmly each day as I talked to them, but could barely comprehend their questions or response since my ears were plugged and my hearing was probably functioning only around 20% of normal, which for me is about 75% of normal hearing on a good day compared to most people. I went through a lot of gumbo and tea at the Club Lounge.
Between the Regency Club and the Fitness Center there are near 360 degree views from the Hyatt Regency 32nd floor.
The former Charity Hospital is the large building in the center that has sat abandoned since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Looking in the direction of French Quarter beyond the skyscrapers, about 15 minutes walk from Hyatt Regency New Orleans. The tall building in center right is a Hyatt Place hotel.
View from my room is similar to the view from far end of Club Lounge. The bridge spans the Mississippi River.
The Superdome is adjacent to Hyatt Regency New Orleans. I was told the front entrance of the hotel faced the Superdome prior to Hurricane Katrina and that the entrance was moved to the opposite side in the post-Katrina remodeling. I attended a function at the Superdome, but there is no direct guest access from the hotel to the Superdome.
Fitness Center windows faced the interstate and Superdome and looked out across the low rise residential area of Gretna to the south.
I did not take photos of the lounge food. Breakfast had limited items with only hot oatmeal and grits. There were no hot eggs or meats in the morning. Each evening usually had some kind of gumbo and little sandwiches, cheeses and meats with vegies. By the end of the week when I had regained my appetite, I ate at a place called The Company Burger. The irony of being in New Orleans at the IPW conference is many of the events were catered by some of the finest restaurants in New Orleans, but I swear the one food I’ll always remember fondly from my trip was the basic greasy burger that hit the spot two afternoons in a row as I walked back from the New Orleans Convention Center to the Hyatt Regency. The Company Burger was a block from the Hyatt Regency and they had Happy Hour 50% off beer prices in the afternoon when any draught beer was $3.00 a pint. I bought six microbrew beers in restaurants and bars while in Louisiana and never paid more than $3.00/pint.
Hyatt Regency atrium view from 27th floor.
Hyatt Regency lobby near front entrance (left) and walkway to guest room elevators (right).
The fitness center had a row of elliptical machines, treadmills and weights all lined up in front of windows for workout views.
The route from the hotel front entrance to guest room elevators required about a 200-yard walk and two escalators from the ground floor to Floor 3. The route passed by Vitascope Bar on the right and 8 Block Kitchen and bar on the right. I never used either restaurant or bar during my week long stay.
The bank of 8 elevators are the style where you pick a floor or scan your key card and the guest is directed to one of the elevators.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans Outdoor Pool
After seven nights, a few minutes before leaving the hotel, I stopped by the 5th floor pool deck. My pictures are a bit dark since this was right around sunrise and the Hyatt House high-rise was blocking out the morning sun.
Some comments I read prior to going to New Orleans suggest Hyatt Regency French Quarter is a better location. For me the Hyatt Regency New Orleans was fine. Both hotels are about the same distance from the Convention Center on the riverfront, slightly over one mile. I enjoyed walking the quieter, less busy streets between the convention center and the Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
All in all, my stay at Hyatt Regency new Orleans was great, even if I saw little of New Orleans over seven days as I checked in and checked out mentally for nearly a week with one nasty cold/flu keeping me from seeing much of New Orleans during stay in the city.
On the Road to IPW – Orlando to New Orleans
Loyalty Traveler – Rough Start for Drive Out of Florida road trip to New Orleans (June 16).
Loyalty Traveler – Orlando to Pensacola road trip notes and photos (June 17).
Loyalty Traveler – Beautiful Sweet Home Alabama driving U.S. 98 and U.S. 90 (June 20).
Loyalty Traveler – Gulf Islands National Seashore at Ocean Springs Mississippi (June 28).
Loyalty Traveler – Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Express Pensacola West–Navy Base on PointBreaks(June 29).
Loyalty Traveler –Dispatch from New Orleans-Huge Ass Beers, NOLA Gay Pride, June Mardi Gras(June 22).