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Trendy and affordable steps from the French Quarter: My stay at the Canopy by Hilton New Orleans Downtown

Aug. 19, 2022
15 min read
Room in Canopy Hotel New Orleans
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I traveled to New Orleans this spring just months after visiting the city for the first time. I wanted to check out the newest expansion of Hilton’s fast-growing Canopy brand in a prime location just steps from the Big Easy’s iconic French Quarter.

Within walking distance of New Orleans’ vibrant party streets, iconic bars and popular restaurants, it’s safe to say the opening of a new lifestyle property that’s bookable with a major hotel brand’s points caught our attention.

Here's what I found at the Canopy by Hilton New Orleans Downtown.

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(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

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Quick take

Distinctly locally but equally uncomplicated, the Canopy by Hilton New Orleans Downtown provides you with everything you’d need for a weekend — or perhaps long weekend — visit.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

It's in the former Oil and Gas Building — a New Orleans relic on the National Register of Historic Places. The structure stands out in the New Orleans' central business district with its glass windows from the ground to the top floor giving the building a sleek, black look.

Inside, the decades-old office building has been revamped to fit the needs of a modern and locally-grounded hotel. Design elements draw on the city's culture with jazz-themed art, an eclectic blend of colors throughout and food inspired by both the nearby French Quarter and historic Chinatown neighborhood.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

It’s not quite as gold and glitzy as Hilton’s Roosevelt Hotel (part of Waldorf Astoria) down the street. However, consider this a fresh and reasonably priced alternative that's still in the heart of it all.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Getting there

Like most guests traveling to New Orleans from far out of town, I flew into New Orleans Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY).

From the airport, a ride-hailing service or taxi is your best bet to the Canopy. My Uber ride between the airport and hotel cost me between $35 and $40 in both directions and took around 25 minutes.

If you drive, the hotel offers valet parking for $45 per night.

Booking details

One major lure of the Canopy versus other hotels of comparable category in the heart of New Orleans is its price. I booked a midweek stay for $169. You can find plenty of other nights, including weekends, at similar rates — if not better. I found a summer weekend for $147 per night, nonrefundable.

(Screenshot from hilton.com)

That same weekend was available for 42,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Standout features

  • This Canopy Hotel's location is, without a doubt, its best attribute. I reached buzzy Bourbon Street on foot within five minutes. However, it's still removed enough from the French Quarter that things stay a little quieter when you're ready to sleep.
  • A fresh take on a "typical" hotel, you'll find plenty of local flares, modern touches and noticeably absent corporate signage.
  • Ginger Roux, the hotel's on-site restaurant, is not your typical meal from the hotel bar — even if you eat it at the bar, as I did. In a city rich with great food, its blend of Creole and Cantonese flavors hits the mark.
(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Drawbacks

  • While its food is on point, Ginger Roux seemed to still be getting the legs of its operation under it when I visited. The dining room itself was roped off during my stay, with all meals confined to the lobby or bar.
  • The gym lacked any real memorable touches or equipment, with the type of cookie-cutter layout you'd expect at a mid- to value-level brand.
  • It's affordable and pleasantly anti-corporate. However, if you're looking for a property that floors you with top-shelf amenities and a concept you've never seen, you may want to consider another hotel in town.
(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

The vibe

Picture an office building, restaurant or craft brewery that took over an old, industrial building and revamped it to give you a modernized space with reminders of what used to be. That's, quite literally, what you have here. It's a fresh space rich with nods to its past. It feels like a place a small group of friends might visit during a weekend trip to New Orleans for a taste of the comforts a nicer hotel offers over a short-term rental, but without the cost of a luxury hotel.

The room

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Some mid-level hotels seek to stand out by re-imagining a room's layout. However, I'd describe this property as a traditional concept with modern bells and whistles. When you first walk in, you'll notice the room is really divided into two sections — the foyer area and bathroom, and then the actual room. It's separated by a touch I always enjoy: a sliding barn-style door.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

No need for a fold-out luggage rack in this room. The open closet lends you an immediate, out-of-the-way place to drop your bags and hang any clothes.

The room itself was a fairly average 342 square feet but stood out for its eclectic combination of colors and surfaces you wouldn't find at a more cookie-cutter property. The floors were concrete (an ode to the building's industrial history) with a bright, multi-colored rug under the bed.

The wall opposite the bed was a deep blue, with the other three walls white. Tan wood paneling covered most of the wall behind the bed, with a multi-colored padded headboard and rug under the bed giving the room bright pops of color.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

New Orleans-themed art decorated the walls, like a colorful illustration of human silhouettes playing horns and a neon-colored wire depiction of a trumpet player.

There were plenty of places to sit, from a table beneath the TV that could double as an adequate desk to a chaise lounge against the side wall near the window.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

The room incorporated the modern electronics you've come to expect, from USB ports in the adapters to smartphone TV remote access. Speaking of the TV, it featured a range of streaming options including a full complement of channels and services like Netflix.

Even though I wasn't paying top dollar, I was pleased to find a Nespresso machine over a basic coffee maker. As an avid coffee drinker, I'd love to see more mid-level hotels follow this lead.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

The room made smart use of space, like using a drawer in the foyer to double as the refrigerator, albeit an unstocked one. The drawer just above the fridge served as the safe.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

In the bathroom, I loved the shower, which looked to be built with both luxury and accessibility in mind. The floor was flat all the way into the glass-enclosed shower, which featured both a large shower head and a detachable option, along with a waist-level handlebar and bench. Crabtree & Evelyn Verbena and Lavender of Provence bathroom amenities sat on the marble-top vanity.

As an added reminder of the building's history, an old-school water meter sign hung above the toilet.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Food and drink

This hotel has a lobby bar and full-service on-site restaurant, Ginger Roux. The creation of Chef Jonathan Hostetler, the restaurant draws inspiration from the neighborhood, blending Creole and Cantonese flavors in its dishes.

The restaurant itself has an open-concept feel, with plenty of natural light during the day. Just steps outside the dining room, the bar serves as the focal point of the lobby with casual, laid-back vibes.

When I visited Ginger Roux for dinner one night, the dining room was closed off to guests so I was forced to eat at the bar.

The menu features a short, specialized list of choices that stand out for their classic New Orleans flavors, but include a (sometimes subtle) Asian flare. The unique combinations of flavors and ingredients that made up each dish, and the fact that some could be described as "small plates" had me wishing I had a travel companion, so we could have ordered — and shared — everything on the menu.

The menu’s pricing would have allowed for such an endeavor, too.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

At dinner, I started with the chili-lime cucumber salad ($10). It combined heirloom carrots, sweet peppers, hibiscus pickled onion and torn herbs with spiced peanuts and chili-lime vinaigrette dressing with just the slightest kick. I'm not normally someone who gets too excited about a salad, but this one was an exception.

For the main course, I still wonder if I should have tried the General Tso’s alligator ($28) — yes, actual alligator — given that it's a popular New Orleans dish, albeit on the more adventurous end of the spectrum. I surely can’t complain about the path I did choose: gumbo dumplings ($18). The dish combined chicken and smoked sausage, and the dumplings sat in a hearty broth that, remarkably, was not overly filling. It worked as an entree but could have easily been shared.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

My dessert pick of sweet potato pie spring rolls ($10) was also memorable. The spring rolls had a sweet potato interior with a semi-crunchy shell rolled in sugar and cashews and served with homemade whipped cream. A drizzle of orange chili glaze on top gave just the right amount of tanginess.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

As a wine enthusiast, I was impressed by a wide selection of quality and affordable wine by the glass ($10-$16), predominantly from California. I started with a glass of crisp, New Zealand-style Sauvignon Blanc, and then moved on to a heartier Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with my main course. The beverage menu also features Chinese craft beers and a list of unique house cocktails, like the "Szechuan Fashioned" ($14) which combines Sazerac Rye, a house-made five-spice simple syrup and orange bitters.

With the dining room still closed, it was back to the bar for breakfast. I opted for what appeared to be the heartiest and perhaps most signature option on the menu, the New Orleans breakfast ($18), a combination plate of eggs, a biscuit, cheesy grits and brown sugar-rubbed praline bacon. I can still taste that sugary (but remarkably unsticky) bacon — and it likely would be the first thing I order if I return.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Related: How to get free hotel breakfast

A Canopy-specific option the hotel also offers is a complimentary, bagged light breakfast each morning. When I got to my room, I found an unused brown bag on the counter. On it, I was able to mark "one guest" and noted I'd like breakfast delivered (i.e. the bag filled) at 8:00 a.m. There were hangers right outside the door, and sure enough, promptly at 8:00 a.m., I found a light breakfast in the bag. Though the offerings weren't real extensive (think granola bars, yogurt and orange juice, not beignets and bacon), it was good fuel for my workout.

Amenities/service

One of my favorite amenities at the hotel was a refillable glass bottle (almost like a milk jug). Guests can fill them at "hydration stations" in the hallways.

I found another small, but nice local touch at the front desk: Coffee grounds and beignet mix for sale from the city’s iconic Café du Monde. They make a great souvenir or gift to grab while checking out.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

While small, the gym did feature two treadmills, a rowing machine, assorted free weights and medicine balls. There were also towels available and a water bottle filling station.

I found the staff to be perfectly kind and helpful during my brief stay. They even accommodated me with early check-in and offered me a complimentary cup of coffee from the bar when they were understandably not able to get me into my room immediately upon my pre-lunchtime arrival.

Out and about

The hotel is in a prime spot just off where the palm tree-lined Canal passes by the French Quarter, which is reachable within minutes on foot. Many of the city’s top museums, cafes, bars, restaurants and shops are nearby, too. You could easily walk to Fritzels to hear some jazz or brave the crowds for beignets at Cafe du Monde. I caught some jazz at a newer French Quarter bar recommended by a family member called Mahogany, just a few minutes away from the hotel.

With the right shoes, you could even walk to the major sporting venues, the Smoothie King Center and Caesars SuperDome — the latter, home to the New Orleans Saints, but most recently host of the college basketball Final Four, which was the first major New Orleans event the hotel was open for.

Related: What to do and see as a family in New Orleans

During my one-night stay, the hotel’s proximity to the city’s biggest attractions allowed me to have a cup of coffee in the lobby, enjoy lunch and walk around the French Quarter, return to rest in the afternoon, have dinner at the hotel, and catch some jazz that evening in the French Quarter — all without any significantly taxing walks.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Accessibility

One thing that makes this hotel noticeably accessible for guests is how flat everything is inside. You can enter, check-in, go to the elevator and then your room without having to navigate any stairs or inclines.

According to the hotel website, accessible rooms include doors with 32" of clear width, options for accessible bathtubs or showers (even in my standard room there were detachable heads and benches) and accessible parking. The property also offers hearing- and mobility-accessible rooms, which you can select upon booking your stay.

As always, we'd recommend calling the hotel after booking to confirm accessible rooms so there are no surprises on arrival.

(Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)

Checking out

This hotel is a great option for travelers looking to use points or get an affordable rate at a property close to New Orleans’ biggest attractions. While perhaps not a destination in and of itself, its close proximity to the French Quarter combined with fun designs and subtle nods to the storied city's history put it near the top of my list for future visits to the Big Easy.

Featured image by (Photo by Sean Cudahy/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases