Despite being one of the largest hotels in the city, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans won me over with its strong pandemic response and rates starting at just $70
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- The Hyatt Regency New Orleans is open for business, albeit operating with fewer amenities available.
- I stayed here to check out how a large-scale city hotel has adapted with new COVID-19 protocols, as well as to enjoy its prime location and excellent prices.
- I booked an entry-level One Bed Queen room for just $70, but was upgraded to a Two Queen Bed City View, which typically starts around $149 per night.
In many ways, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans is a talismanic hotel for the city. It's the biggest property in town, with just under 1,200 rooms and huge swathes of conference rooms and meeting space.
The hotel typically appeals to business and leisure travelers thanks to its striking modernist architecture and wide-ranging amenities from multiple dining outlets to an outdoor pool and on-site FedEx office.
A shining outpost of the Hyatt empire, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans occupies a plum spot that is located a couple of minutes' walk from the historic French Quarter and practically backs onto the city's biggest sporting venue, the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Leisure guests have everything at their doorstep and, pre-COVID, conference attendees on a tight schedule had all their needs met on site.
Prices used to vary enormously throughout the year, with room rates jumping up and down depending on whether any conventions were in town. With that element of the hotel's business absent for now, room rates are exceptionally attractive. I snagged a rate of $70 plus taxes and fees for a night in an entry-level One Queen Bedroom, a great deal at any time of year considering such rooms pre-pandemic usually went for closer to $140 per night. The hotel even upgraded my room to a Two Queen Bed City View, which had more room and a better view, and typically starts at $149 currently.
I was curious to see how such a large and high profile hotel was operating with the city's COVID-19 restrictions, and whether it lived up to the protocols that Hyatt advertised.
Although I found that the hotel's many amenities were severely limited in scope, I was otherwise impressed by its approach and management. Staying in such a large, usually-bustling hotel without many people around was a positive experience. With fewer crowds, I also came away with a new appreciation for the hotel's visually-exciting architecture.
- The first impression
- The room
- On-site amenities
- What's nearby
- What others say
- What you need to know
- COVID-19 policies
- The bottom line
- Book The Hyatt Regency New Orleans starting at $70 per night here
Keep reading to see why I was so impressed with The Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans is an imposing property neighboring the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Poydras Street in the Central Business District. It's a huge, steel and glass structure that still looks new almost 10 years after reopening.
The sense of space was even more acute then previous stays as I entered the lobby, usually teeming with staff and guests. This time, I was the sole guest checking in and the hotel staff was reduced to a single doorman/valet and a lone front desk worker. Plastic shields had been put up across the entirety of the long reception desk and hand sanitizer stations and signage were immediately visible.
All employees were masked, and I was welcomed up to the desk straight away. I was an hour early, but checked in and upgraded at no extra cost from my One Queen Bed to a Two Queen Bed City View, which was on the 21st floor. This was without any membership within their loyalty scheme and was a thoughtful consideration as the hotel was so empty. It also made the $70 rate I paid an even better deal.
The front desk employee explained that almost all of the hotel's facilities were shut down right now, with the exception of the on-site Starbucks and in-room dining. I was slightly disappointed that the swimming pool and exercise room were closed too, as many other hotels were managing to open these amenities at this time. However, I was reassured by the professionalism and protocols on display, including a box of surgical masks, free of charge to guests.
Keys in hand, I headed to the 21st floor, reached by the hotel's famously intriguing glass elevators, which offer stunning views of the city and the Superdome through patterned glass and steel frames as they ascend.
Upon entering, my Two Queen Bed City View felt clean and fresh, which immediately put me at ease. It reflected the typical aesthetics of a Hyatt Regency room: neutral colors, clean lines, and a sparse but high-end feel to the decor. Dark browns and creams were the dominant tones, with a large, polished work desk and a soft, fabric-covered armchair.
While my original One Queen Bed room would have come with 314 square feet of space, my slightly upgraded Two Queen Bed City View was more spacious at 345 square feet.
The beds were made up with crisp, clean white linens, and the room felt all the brighter for the large windows. The kind of height the hotel offers is rare in New Orleans, and meant I was rewarded with a high-rise view of the city below. Despite the fact that a parking lot was included in my view, I still enjoyed looking over the city.
While rather plain in general, the room included a few gold and ivory accents on the fittings. The in-room art was vaguely abstract images of brass musical instruments, which did at least help the otherwise corporate-approved room deliver a sense of place.
The signature Hyatt bed was extremely comfortable, and the bedding felt clean and high quality. Sleep was especially easy and uninterrupted given the high floor level, and there was not even a hint of ambient noise from either outside or from within the building.
The tile and dark granite countertops of the bathroom continued the high-end experience. A modern bath and shower combination unit delivered a high-pressure flow of water and the room came with Pharmacopia toiletries.
However, I was surprised to find the hotel had not switched to single-use toiletries in the shower. Instead, shampoo, conditioner, and body wash came in large, refillable, eco-conscious bottles attached to the wall, though they appeared clean.
The room also included a large and sleek black desk. I worked at the desk for a while and found it perfectly comfortable, with easily-found power outlets and the complimentary hotel Wi-Fi maintained fast speeds for the entirety of my stay.
The hotel has its COVID-19 policies readily accessible on the Hyatt corporate website, with rooms cleaned to the standards laid out by the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) under the instruction of a local Trained Hygiene & Wellbeing Leader. The rooms are billed even during regular times as being cleaned to strict hypoallergenic standards. I felt they were living up to their promises throughout my stay.
Most of the usual in-room amenities had been stripped out, so there were no pads of paper or bathrobes, although the hotel did provide two complimentary bottles of drinking water in the refrigerator. Housekeeping, I was told at check-in, would be available on request, handy to know for stays of longer than one night.
Given the 1,200 or so rooms, there are dozens of room types available. There are the entry-level rooms, such as the One Queen Bed room that I booked and the Two Queen Bed City View that I was upgraded to, along with their King bed alternatives. These all start at around $149 to $169 and come with between 314 and 367 square feet.
Just above these are the mid-tier room categories, which provide additional space up to 394 square feet. These rooms also come upgraded with Club access, which includes daily continental breakfast, hors d'oeuvres, snacks, and top-floor lounge entry. These start at around $179.
The suites are similarly varied, from Junior Suites with 395 square feet of space starting at around $189 to 1,000-square-foot Premium Suites that come with dining tables for up to four people and start at around $399 per night.
I was more than happy with my choice, especially with the upgrade placing me on a higher floor and offering a touch more space. The current prices for all rooms offer exceptional value for a night's stay, as long as guests are aware that the food and beverage outlets are not available.
On a return visit, I would opt for my upgraded room for the city view and additional space, provided that the room only came in at $20 to $30 more over the entry-level room price, as it currently does.
Compare room types and prices for the Hyatt Regency New Orleans
Under normal circumstances, the amenities at The Hyatt Regency New Orleans are comprehensive and stand out among the city's hotel portfolio.
As well as the many food and beverage outlets, business traveler-friendly conveniences such as the on-site FedEx office and dry cleaning service usually make life easy for even the most long-term guests. These were temporarily closed, as was the excellent outdoor saltwater pool and the exercise room, which commands sweeping views of the city skyline.
The signature, all-day restaurant 8 Block Kitchen and Bar, is also usually open for a breakfast buffet as well as an a la carte lunch and dinner. Additional spots around the hotel include the elevated bar menu of Vitascope Hall and Pizza Consegna. Borgne is a higher-end seafood joint, while Lagniappe Exchange is a casual cafe. Sadly, all of these outlets are closed right now. And, the only place to get coffee, pastries, and snacks is the outpost of Starbucks.
The remaining avenue for food was the in-room dining, available via a guest TV channel, and a QR code link to the menu. I made use of this, and easily downloaded the menu to my iPhone. The selection was comprehensive, with casual international favorites alongside local dishes such as gumbo ($12) and red beans and rice ($12), though I plumped for a pizza at $16. The food was delivered promptly and left outside, a knock at the door alerting me to its arrival.
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans enjoys a prime spot in downtown's Central Business District. Its main geographic advantage is that it backs onto the Mercedes Benz Superdome and the adjacent Smoothie King Center, and so staying there for sporting events or concerts is usually a big selling point.
The historic French Quarter and most of the other main downtown attractions are within easy walking distance as well. The National World War II Museum is a few blocks away, as are Harrah's Casino and the scenic banks of the Mississippi River.
The streetcar line for uptown is also easy to get to on foot, and for business travelers, which make a good chunk of the hotel's clientele, the Convention Center and most of the main corporate offices are also walkable.
Check flight prices to New Orleans
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans receives a rating of 4 out of 5 on Trip Advisor and is ranked 83 out of 187 hotels in New Orleans with just over 6,000 reviews. Guests praise the location and the high levels of hygiene that the hotel maintains, especially the cleanliness of the rooms.
The level of customer service, in no small part due to the brand's own standards, is regularly commented on, with this review being typical: "The cleanest hotel I've stayed at in New Orleans! The service was amazing and it's such a friendly team!"
The size of the property can be disorienting for some guests according to less effusive comments, and the different banks of elevators for different floors can be confusing, even when the staff explains the setup. It's quite a trek from the upper floors down to the lobby, so allow plenty of time to meet car services and get from one area to another.
Read reviews, compare prices, and book the Hyatt Regency New Orleans on Trip Advisor
Who stays here: It's a good mix of business and leisure guests, especially given the current low rates, but mostly due to the hotel's plum location for meetings and large events at the Superdome.
We like: The standards of being in a Hyatt Regency means well-trained, polite staff, and the hotel's amenities in regular times are really without comparison in the city.
We love (don't miss this feature!): The stunning modern architecture of the hotel, with some truly striking views on display when you take the glass elevators. Opt for a city view room if the rates are comparable to entry-level rooms.
We think you should know: Almost all of the hotel's much-loved food and beverage outlets are closed during the novel coronavirus. Only Starbucks is open for coffee and snacks.
We'd do this differently next time: I'd order some of the locally-influenced dishes from the i-room dining menu to see how they hold up against the city's best.
A full list of the COVID-19 protocols for Hyatt Regency hotels can be found online here.
- GBAC STARTM cleanliness and training accreditation process through the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC) at all Hyatt hotels
- Trained Hygiene & Wellbeing Leader or team at all locations, responsible for their hotel adhering to new operational protocols and training
- Sanitizer stations prominently placed throughout hotels
- More frequent cleaning of public spaces and guestroom surfaces
- Enhanced food safety and hygiene protocols
- Colleague temperature checks at Hyatt hotels globally, and guest temperature checks at some locations in compliance with local government requirements and in light of local situations and practices
- Removal of certain high-touch items from guest room.
I was very impressed with the levels of professionalism and general hygiene protocols within the hotel. Staff members were masked at all times, the rooms felt very clean, and I thought that the cleaning and safety measures seemed to be thoroughly implemented throughout the premises.
The box of masks for guests was regularly filled up and there was cleaning apparent almost every time I walked through the public spaces. Signage was good, and the hotel was even managing to house some evacuees from elsewhere in the state after a hurricane a few weeks previously, a task which looked to be professionally managed and discreet. Overall, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans had made more than adequate provisions to put guests at ease.
My midweek booking in an entry-level One Queen Bed room felt like exceptional value at $70.
With fewer business travelers right now, there are opportunities for upgrades that make the rates an even better deal. My Two Queen Bed City View room gave me slightly more space and a much better view than an entry-level room, and I would recommend paying the small difference for a room with a view.
Although the vast majority of the amenities were temporarily closed, the general levels of hygiene were exceptional, as were the customer service and all-around professionalism of the staff. The discounted rates help offset the lack of current amenities.
For families and groups, the suites are especially tempting, with spacious rooms that include dining rooms and separate sitting areas starting at a very attractive $399.
The hotel was well-equipped with free masks, sanitizer stations, and safety signage was clear and informative. The corporate standards of a Hyatt Regency are reassuring, and regular guests of the brand will know what to expect. While the full range of amenities that truly set this hotel apart aren't currently available, the hotel nonetheless stands out as one of the city's more alluring properties.
Book the Hyatt Regency New Orleans starting at $70 per night
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