Review: Eliza Jane Hotel New Orleans (Hyatt Unbound Collection)

There was much to like about the Eliza Jane Hotel in New Orleans, part of the Hyatt Unbound Collection, but also a few things that really annoyed me.

Eliza Jane Hotel Review – Part Of Hyatt Unbound Collection in New Orleans

I spent one night at this hotel during my trip to NOLA and found the location and common areas a plus but was not impressed by my room or the coffee.

Booking

I booked this room for $170/night, which I found a better deal than using points. As a Category 4 hotel, a free room runs between 12,000 and 18,000 points per night (depending upon the date). I was staying during a peak night (18K/night) but even at 12,000 points per night I would have paid cash since I typically extract two cents per point in value from my World of Hyatt points.

Check-In + Room

I knew the hotel was sold out and was prepared to wait until afternoon for my room to be available, but checked in using the World of Hyatt mobile app and found my room was ready by 11:00am. The cozy lobby includes tiled floors, bookshelves, and a fireplace.

This hotel has 196 rooms including 50 suites. Sadly, even as a Globalist member of the World of Hyatt program, I didn’t get one. In fact, my room was like a closet without any exterior windows. I did have a window that looked out into the hallway (which itself was lit by a skylight). Still, it felt like a dungeon.

I asked if the hotel had any other rooms and was told that it was sold out and I was stuck. At least the bed was comfortable and I slept well (and used the second bed to lay my clothes in).

The bathroom was also small with amenities from CO Bigelow (which reminded me of an American Airlines Flagship Lounge…) and a shower – bathtub combo. The toilet gargled and made odd noises and had quite a weak flush.

By the door was a coffee setup with a deplorable Keurig coffee machine (sorry, the coffee is not worth drinking) as well as some tea and two water bottles. I liked the wallpaper at least…

As small as my room was, it appears there are even smaller rooms:

There were also some funky common areas in the hallway:

Seems like a lot of wasted space…

History

What the room lacked, the common areas (somewhat) made up for. This is a very cool hotel. This hotel was once the site of four warehouses, including a liquor, gunpowder, baking soda, and printing office for The Daily Picayune newspaper.

The hotel is named after Eliza Jane Nicholson, who ran The Daily Picayune and was the first woman publisher of a major metro newspaper. She introduced features like society pages and family columns that were unheard of at the time.

Mrs. Eliza Jane

The Press Room Bar

The common areas of the hotel are impressive, particularly The Press Room, also known as The Lobby Library Bar. It’s really an attractive space with a beautiful bar area adjacent to a library area.

After the Freddies, I spent several hours here mingling with colleagues and had a great time. The bartenders were pros and as last call came at midnight, the bar was still packed.

There was also a beautiful outdoor terrace area (although it was a bit hot during the day to sit outside) that complemented the indoor space.

Brooding

Couvant is a French brasserie in the hotel serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The dining room is beautiful.

Here, though, I had a problem. Breakfast was a real letdown.

The menu was limited, but that itself was not the problem. The problem was the coffee was just plain horrible. There was a beautiful La Marzocco coffee machine in the restaurant, but it was broken…and apparently it had been broken for months. As a result, no espresso-based drinks were available, just “coffee.” But this coffee tasted like brown water and was really disappointing (and of course the Keurig coffee in the room was just as bad).

I simply don’t understand how you can let your coffee machine sit broken for several weeks. Perhaps by now it is fixed, but who knows…

I ordered a Creole omelet with croissant and berries and thought it was fine, although cooked too well-done.

I did not eat lunch or dinner here, but the menu looked quite appetizing and I would consider it if I returned.

Gym

A small 24/7 ground floor gym across from the elevators offers limited equipment including a pair of strength training machines (one for total body, the other for hamstrings), free weights, two treadmills, three ellipticals, and a Peloton bike.

Location

One thing this hotel has going for it is the excellent location. Unlike the Hyatt Centric, you’re not on Canal and Bourbon Street in the heart of New Orleans’ debauchery. But you’re a short walk from it…but also a short walk from other highlights in the city. I also walked to the World War II museum and Duncan Plaza.

The street is quiet at night and traffic is limited. I’m not sure a 196-room hotel is properly classified as “boutique” (although that is what the hotel calls itself), but it never felt crowded inside or out.

CONCLUSION

I did not get a chance to visit the World War II museum (although my event was held there) and I would like to return to New Orleans. When I do, I’d still choose this hotel again over the Hyatt Regency or Hyatt Centric, although I think I’ll try the Four Seasons next time. The coffee situation was really annoying, but other than that I had a nice stay and appreciated the history and beauty of this hotel.

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