I have remarked upon this irony before that we in the travel business routinely live like commoners yet occasionally travel like royalty. I just returned from a business meeting in New Orleans where for twenty-four all-too-fleeting hours, I felt like the good princes William and Harrys’ little known and older . . . OK, much older . . . brother.
If you are planning a trip to New Orleans and fortune has been relatively kind to you, you would be doing yourself a monumental favor if you let me book you into the Windsor Court Hotel. To be perfectly honest, before my trip I was not familiar with this gem. However, being an inveterate Anglophile, from the second I walked into the lobby they had me by my waistcoat fob pocket.
If you too are a fan of most everything English, you should return to the link I have provided (after you have read this blog post in its scintillating entirety, of course) and take a few minutes visiting the hotel’s photo gallery. If you are not totally enthralled by the images then you are clearly missing the “thrall” gene.
This hotel has recently undergone a $22 million restoration. As they say on their website, “Windsor Court is restored. Renewed. Refreshed.” Ironically, that precisely sums up how I felt after spending just 24 hours there! Do you happen to know offhand (if you do, I am impressed) how many hotels in New Orleans have both four diamonds from AAA and four stars from Forbes? The correct answer is just two and Windsor Court is one of them!
One of the first things you notice when you walk into the lobby, once you able to tear your eyes away from the spectacular classic furnishings, is that seemingly every wall throughout the hotel’s public areas is adorned with gorgeous original English art. I was told that there are more that eleven million dollars in original art pieces without one reproduction. One of my great regrets was that, due to the brevity of my recent visit, I did not have time to download their smart phone app that gives you a self-guided museum-like tour of all the art works. That would have been a blast. Oh well, next time.
Next we come to the sleeping rooms and here I need your advice, dear reader, on a rather delicate matter. Tell me honestly, do you think I may have crossed the line when I sent my dear wife, left behind at home to keep the cogs of industry turning, this text message along with the pictures above? “I suppose I can make do with this room. I just need to remind myself I will only be here one night.”
I am thinking perhaps so since her reply referenced the strong opinion that, were there any justice left in this world, I would gag on a plate of rancid Étouffée before experiencing a slow and extremely painful demise. OK, that wasn’t exactly what she said but after a few fleeting decades of marriage I have astutely learned to read between the lines. Note to self: Sometimes it’s best to keep these serendipitous little treats to oneself.
Another huge regret was that there was no opportunity to experience Windsor Court’s high tea. Just looking at this picture I am flooded with memories of the times I have taken high tea in London, Australia and even Kenya. I never feel quite so civilized as when munching on a scone stuffed with clotted cream and strawberry preserves and sipping an Earl Grey tea with my right pinky extended in the most pretentious, and uncharacteristically effeminate, fashion imaginable.
Time fails me to talk about their spa, the various dining options, their wedding program and so much more. So instead, I direct you to their website, Facebook page, Pinterest site, and a delightful five-minute Video which includes some nice New Orleans jazz music.
Bottom line, if you are planning a trip to New Orleans and you want to make the trip truly memorable, plan on staying at the Windsor Court Hotel and count on enjoying the most worthwhile five minute walk in New Orleans!