Understated glamour and hospitality: The One11 Hotel in New Orleans
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I was looking forward to my stay at One11 Hotel in New Orleans, a new boutique hotel conveniently located on Iberville Street and a very short walk to the famous and lively French Quarter, and I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.
One11 hotel is the first hotel to open in the French Quarter in 50 years and it is beautiful — rich gold accents, smartly placed pops of color and calming earth tones in the form of natural wood and original red brick make for a comfortable stay in a peacefully designed hotel.
The energy in New Orleans is palpable and I enjoy being in the center of the action when I visit, and the hotel is perfect for that;. Plus, after the year we’ve all had, I was especially excited to travel again with my family and feel the unmatched energy of a city that I love. I also found that One11 Hotel is situated just far enough from the most bustling part of the French Quarter to provide a quiet respite after a long day of sightseeing and exploring.
One11 Hotel is like the city of New Orleans itself — I already can’t wait to return.
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The hotel is not a part of any loyalty program, so I decided to book through the Amex Travel portal. This way, I earned 5x Membership rewards points with the prepaid rate of $237 per night, not including taxes and fees. I was grateful that the hotel didn’t charge a dreaded resort fee.
I could have paid for my room with 23,700 rewards points per night but that would have given me a value of 1 cent per point — half of the value TPG assigns to Membership Rewards points. Although the hotel is not a part of the American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts program and thus my booking did not come additional perks, I found the included amenities were fine. Additional amenities not listed below included free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour front desk and concierge services.
One11 Hotel is located on Iberville Street, around the corner from Canal Street and a 10-minute walk to the famed Cafe Du Monde in the French Market on Decatur Street. Cafe Beignet, also on Decatur Street, is even closer and the Shops at Canal Street are located directly across the street. We were even close enough to walk to one of our favorite dining spots — Creole House Restaurant and Oyster Bar on Canal Street — for breakfast on our first full day in New Orleans.
Aquarium of the Americas is a five-minute walk in the other direction and a great activity if you’re traveling with kids. The Aquarium’s hours didn’t fit into our schedule this time, but we visited in 2018 when my son was just a few months old and we really enjoyed it.
Located in an inconspicuous building across the street from the Westin New Orleans, the hotel was a bit hard to find. If you don’t look hard enough, you’ll drive right past it like we did at first. Batture, the hotel’s bar and bistro, had better signage than the hotel’s entrance and main door.
Parking wasn’t very easy to distinguish either as there were two lots right next to each other and both said public parking and had no attendant. We chose the one directly behind the hotel and made a note to ask if that was the right place or if we should move our car when we got inside.
With kids strapped into the stroller and carrier and luggage in tow, we made the short walk to the front of the hotel where we were met with a rather daunting set of stairs. Not because there were so many, but simply because we had a lot of luggage and one kid in a stroller — not ideal for trekking up any number of stairs.
It’s worth noting here that my husband suggested we take the ramp up through the bar area but I wasn’t convinced that we could access the hotel this way. The young man at the front desk confirmed my husband’s suggestion that we could in fact have used the ramp and found the lobby by walking a short distance through the lounge.
At check-in, the same friendly front desk agent let us know that housekeeping was not a regular amenity but one you could request as needed. We could also call to the front desk if we had trash that needed picking up or wanted more towels, soap or anything else whenever we needed it. Not having housekeeping feels more common than not lately due to COVID restrictions, so this didn’t bother or surprise us.
The front desk agent also let us know that the parking lot directly behind the hotel was indeed the correct lot and let us know that it would be $45 plus a parking tax per night to park our rental car. After confirming that he could use the same credit card that I used to make the reservation for the parking fees, he gave us our keys and pointed us toward the elevators.
We were on the third floor only about five rooms removed and around the corner from the elevator. I was grateful not to be in the room that was right next to two elevators but I did wonder what the view from that room must look like to compete with any possible noise disruptions.
I was delighted to see the hotel offered a room with two queen beds in addition to two double beds when choosing our room. This meant our family of four — my husband and I especially — would have a little more space when sharing beds (with toddlers).
One11 Hotel has several other room types: three “sweets” and four regular room types including an accessible room with a king-size bed. The sweets, or suites as they’re more commonly known, start at 462 square feet, and have city views and balconies. A king, double double, queen queen and king penthouse offering a private penthouse terrace round out the room categories at the hotel. I look forward to staying in a sweet when I return.
It’s worth noting the sweets at One11 do not come with an option for two beds and are not bookable — at least online — for more than two adults and one child.
We booked a “queen queen room” with two queen beds. The 340-square-foot room was a nice size but felt small for two adults and two toddlers, though it was well-decorated and designed. I didn’t dwell on the size of the room for too long because the room itself was very comfortable.
The bathroom, which didn’t have a bathtub, was immediately to the left when walking into the room while a very small closet, coffee station, water bottles and ice bucket were to our right.
There were two adult bathrobes and slippers, which I loved. It was a nice touch that I usually only see in higher-end hotels and resorts and the detail wasn’t lost on me. And the inside of the “closet storage” was actually an iron and ironing board — a very smart use of space to provide a common amenity.
Further into the room were the two beds, a small table and seating area on the left and a beautiful dresser on the right. Above the dresser was a large television. A small nightstand was between the two beds.
The view from our window wasn’t remarkable but the window itself was beautiful. Arched and set into original red brick covered by contrasting, translucent white drapes the window was meant to be the focal point of the room — and it did not disappoint. Behind the drapes were black-out blinds that we could use to keep the sun out a little while longer in the morning.
The bathroom featured products from Malin + Goetz with scents of peppermint, rum or cilantro which I was pleasantly surprised smelled amazing. The unique scents proved to be another unexpected but appreciated touch from the hotel that set it apart from other hotels I’ve been to.
I wish the closet had been large enough for us to store our luggage so that we’d had a little more room to move around. But once we placed our packing cubes into the drawers and closed up the suitcases, we found we could make the space work for what we needed.
When I travel with my family, I always find myself wishing that I had more space to spread out — space enough for everyone to go to their separate corners at some point in the day or night. But here, my children were so enchanted by the new scenery that our hotel room quickly became their playground. And despite the constant shushing from me and my husband, hoping not to disturb other guests, we were all in a fit of giggles in no time.
In addition to Batture, One11 Hotel also has a an outdoor heated pool and lounge just beyond the bar. There were a few lounge chairs and umbrellas to the right of the pool as well as sectional seating surrounding a fire pit and another table, chairs and umbrella to the left. The space was not huge but perfect for a small group of no more than about 12 people — appropriate considering the hotel’s size. There was no chair lift that I could see for accessing the pool.
Our room rate also came with access to a fitness center, Canal Place, which is about a three-minute walk from the hotel. I’m rarely motivated enough to work out while on vacation and the inconvenience of having to leave my hotel guaranteed that I wouldn’t be visiting the gym this time either. However, Canal Place is a fully equipped gym with cardio equipment, free weights and even group classes.
Wi-Fi was also included in the price of our stay at One11 Hotel. It was perfect for what I needed — a work Zoom call, texting, phone calls and occasionally scrolling social media. While working in the lounge one afternoon, I took advantage of complimentary fresh, hot coffee available to guests at the bar throughout the day.
Food and beverage
Though the hotel did not have room service, the bistro and bar Batture offers small plates and drinks and brunch on Saturday and Sunday. They even had a weekday happy hour. Items can also be taken to go.
The small plates menu featured delicious-sounding dishes including artisan flatbreads, NOLA deviled eggs with crispy pork belly and lump lake crab, charcuterie and boudin egg rolls with cajun aioli. Dessert and an impressive cocktail menu rounded out the weekday menu options with classic crème brûlée, dark chocolate mousse and classic spring cocktails, beer and wine.
The price for food items on the menu at Batture ranged from $10 for bleu cheese and buffalo sauce roasted brussel sprouts to $24 for the charcuterie while cocktails were on average $15 each. Because we are so familiar with the New Orleans cajun cuisine and price point, we felt that the food that was available on the small plates menu was a little pricey. However, we would have enjoyed the brunch — with prices similar to the small plates menu — if we’d been visiting during the weekend. I would describe Batture as a casual setting with contemporary prices.
We spent most of our days out exploring but when we returned, the bar area was always full of people enjoying happy hour and each other’s company. More of that energy I mentioned earlier. I never would have guessed that our hotel had this many guests based on its size and how quiet it was, but it was nice to see.
No matter who was at the front desk, the staff at One11 Hotel were kind, attentive and always willing to help. Whenever I would get off the elevator and find myself turned around — which was often, despite the hotel not being that large — there was always a friendly face (albeit covered mostly by a mask) to point me in the right direction.
I was slightly disappointed, though temporarily, that the hotel didn’t have a crib despite being able to request one when making my reservation online. After we’d gotten to our room, I called down to the front desk to ask the attendant if he could have a crib sent up to our room. He said that he wasn’t sure if they even had a crib and had to call me back after he checked the back. He called back a moment or two later to say that they did not have a crib, but a pack-n-play, which is not a crib. My disappointment never lasts long with these things as most hotels don’t actually have cribs like they say they do anyway.
This was the only hiccup we experienced, it didn’t diminish our stay at One11 Hotel at all.
Everything old is new again and the city of New Orleans is no exception. One11 Hotel is a hotel that showcases the city at its best — with understated glamour and hospitality. New Orleans is a place where everyone says hello and as we make our way back outside again, it felt good to feel a little bit of normal — even if it’s still from behind a mask.
The location is ideal for any type of traveler hoping to be close enough to the center of the French Quarter but far enough to enjoy the quiet as needed. If you’re driving in New Orleans, be careful not to drive past the building and remember to park in the lot directly behind the hotel. There are plenty of room choices to pick from as well.
The staff at One11 Hotel will welcome you with proper Southern hospitality and a seamless check-in and fill you in on the most important details of your stay. Your room will be smartly decorated and arranged to make the most of the space, with comfortable beds, a coffee maker and uniquely scented toiletries.
If you’re on the lookout for a charming boutique hotel in the French Quarter, you should absolutely book a stay at One11 hotel.
Featured image by Ashley Onadele/The Points Guy
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