Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review

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So, I will be honest here…I debated not writing a review for this hotel stay. I was just really underwhelmed by this hotel (for no specific reason) and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about it. But, I am a professional (ha!) so, I’ll suck it up and give you a review.

I know what you are thinking…I am such a champion, right?  Haha…well, either way, keep on reading for my Ritz Carlton New Orleans review plus how to get there on points (and if that’s even a good idea).

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA
The beautiful courtyard at the Ritz Carlton

What should you do in NOLA? Try a ghost tour, eat a beignet, walk down Bourbon Street, visit an above ground cemetery, drink a hurricane, or ride the streetcar. Need more ideas? Check out 16 Things To Do In New Orleans.

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review


The Ritz Carlton New Orleans is located on Canal Street, just one block from Bourbon St.  It was just about perfect for us – away from the craziness of Bourbon St, but only a short walk to some of New Orleans’ best restaurants, the French Quarter and Frenchmen St.


When you hear “Ritz Carlton” there is an expectation of opulence and luxury, right?  Well, this hotel had that, but it also had some strange quirks too.

First of all, from the outside it is very plain looking. While that’s not necessarily important, it wasn’t what I was expecting. The entrance is nice but you have to immediately take the elevator up to the 3rd floor to access the lobby.  And the elevators to access the lobby are different from the ones you take to your room. It was annoying and a total #firstworldproblem.

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA
Lobby at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans

The lobby is very nice and looks out on to a beautiful courtyard.  There was a chef there in the evenings giving out samples of New Orleans favorites like jambalaya.  I didn’t try any because there always seemed to be seafood involved and I can’t stand any kind of seafood.

The Davenport Lounge is located right off the lobby and featured live jazz music in the evenings.  We had a busy few days in NOLA so we only briefly stopped in one night.  It was hopping and we even had a celebrity sighting!  Cuba Gooding, Jr. was in town working on a movie and was hanging out at the Ritz!

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA
I realize this isn’t the best photo…but it was dark and I didn’t want to stalk the man!


We ate breakfast in the M Bistro one morning, located off of the lobby.  They offered an impressive breakfast buffet as well as a la carte items. I opted for the French Toast which turned out to be a  poor decision on my part. However, my husband loved it (his breakfast and mine).  The thing that I really didn’t like about this place is that they charge $5 for coffee — which is what they charge for a mimosa!  Had I known that I would have just ordered a mimosa…live and learn, right?

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA


We were in a standard room with a king bed.  While the decor was not my preferred style, it definitely had a sense of opulence.  There was really nothing to complain about in the room – the bed was comfortable, the bathroom was nice and there was a great Nespresso machine.  However, the view sucked and the technology was a little outdated.  I was just expecting a little more from a Ritz Carlton.

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA
iPhone 4, anyone?

Using Points To Book The Ritz Carlton New Orleans

The Ritz Carlton is part of the Marriott family of hotels which means that you can earn and use Marriott Bonvoy Points at this property.  The Ritz Carlton New Orleans is a Tier 3 property which costs 50,000 points per night for a standard room.

Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Marriott Tier Categories | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA

In the summer these rooms can go for as low as $198 per night, and using 50,000 points would be a TERRIBLE value – don’t do it.  Using points would be a better deal when these rooms are more expensive (the cash rate can be over $600 per night but the points rate is still 50,000.)  However, with that said, I still don’t think the basic King room here is worth 50,000 points.  There are better ways to burn through Marriott points!

If you want to ignore my advice and book this property with Marriott points, by all means, knock yourself out.  If you are short on points in your Marriott account, you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards and American Express.


Overall Impression

I’m having a really hard time deciding how I feel about this place.  I think I was underwhelmed because maybe my expectations were too high.  I hear “Ritz Carlton” and I think “cha-ching…it’s going to be amazing”.  When in reality, this was a very beautiful hotel with good service, but I still wasn’t blown away.

Have you stayed at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans?  What did you think?

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Ritz Carlton New Orleans Review | Hotel Review | New Orleans, LA (USA) USA Travel | NOLA


This Post Has 15 Comments

  1. RCfan

    Two words: Club Lounge.

    To get the full-on, authentic luxurious RC experience, you have to book a club level room, which is unfortunate because club rooms are at least 150-200 more expensive than non-club rooms, and 90% of the RCs do not ever offer free club lounge access to anyone.

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      I’ll have to try that next time…Too bad there’s not a way to get in for free!!

  2. Juliette | Snorkels to Snow

    This is super interesting. I think its easy to hype up a place in our heads because we think its meant to be ridiculously fancy, and we are left bitterly disappointed when its not. But I can understand why you might feel like that – sure it looks better than the hostel we rented last weekend but when you’re expecting pure luxury you don’t want to anything less.

  3. Sandy N Vyjay

    I was intrigued by your initial remarks about being disappointed with the Ritz Carlton-New Orleans, as we do associate the brand with luxury and opulence and living up to its brand promise. But as I read through, I realized it was a letdown of sorts. The elevator system seems to be annoying too.

  4. Nina Danielle

    Interesting way to write a review… it looks like it was a very nice place to stay. $5 coffee aside, everything else looks awesome.

  5. Elisa

    Mmmm . . . at least ritz carlton is well located! Personally, I loved the courtyard, it looks very relaxing. The room decoration did not surprise me, I would have expected something like this from a “classic style” hotel

  6. Nathan

    This place looks amazing! And I love New Orleans. It would be so nice to stay there– it looks so luxurious.

  7. Lara Dunning

    I’ve never stayed at a Ritz Carlton, and I too, have an impression of how it should be or think it would be. And, a coffee and a mimosa should not cost the same! Thanks for the honest review.

  8. melody pittman

    I think I will try to stay here the next time I’m passing through New Orleans. We stayed years ago and had a great experience but to tell the truth, I had forgotten about it. Your pictures are lovely and I can see that it is still a beautiful and convenient property. 😉

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      Yes, it’s beautiful inside and the location can’t be beat! Depending on the time of year, the prices aren’t that bad either (not what I would consider “Ritz” prices)

  9. Angela @ Dangtravelers

    I have not stayed there. We usually try to find budget-friendly hotels for the exact reason you had a problem writing the review. I usually find that high end hotels are not worth the extra cost especially if you spend time exploring the city and not sitting in the room or on the grounds. Looks like a great stay though!

  10. Danik

    This hotel looks amazing and I would love to stay in here. The room looks spacious and that bed looks comfortable 🙂

  11. Jing

    I understand that the hotel’s name called for a luxury brand that did not meet your expectations. Sometimes, we just have to deal with our expectations versus reality. At least, the service was good. 🙂

    1. Katie @ ZenLifeandTravel

      I agree…sometimes our expectations can really skew our perception of reality.

  12. Brian - EatWorkTravel

    We’ve stayed here and had the exact same thoughts as you – it was good not great. We thought the lobby was visually stunning and loved the bathroom but overall the remainder of the room was fairly basic. We do love their brunch – we went during a holiday and while pricey their Easter brunch was one of the best we’ve had.

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