Hyatt Regency, New Orleans

THE HOTEL: One of the iconic sights of post-Hurricane Katrina when the badly damaged building was used as a base by the mayor and rescue teams. The brand new 1,193-room/suite Hyatt Regency re-opened in 2011 following a $285million renovation with copious use of glass and marble and a wide range of artwork created for the hotel by local artists. It’s a pleasant walk to the downtown business district and also to the unique French Quarter of the city.

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THE CHECK-IN: Although there were quite a few people checking in the queue quickly diminished with every available desk staffed by welcoming employees. An offer of assistance with my very heavy bag (declined) and clear instructions to get to my room – via two escalators before using the lift – and I was on my way.

THE ROOM: Spacious and with large windows overlooking the city’s re-built Superdome, my 12th floor King Room was furnished with a King size bed, work station, modern chaise longue, wall-mounted wide-screen TV, coffee machine, wardrobe, iron/ironing board and mini-bar. The roomy bathroom included a large walk-in shower.

THE BUSINESS: Highly meetings-focussed, the Hyatt Regency is the city’s largest hotel for meetings with some 200,000sqft of space. There are two ballrooms and two exposition spaces plus some 76 executive offices for smaller meetings. A separate A/V and decoration company are located within the hotel to assist with all aspects of meetings/conventions.  In-room internet costs from $9.95 for 24 hours but there are four computers on the first floor for general use with the first 30 minutes free. Complimentary internet access is available in the 24-hour Regency Club on the top 32nd floor which also has a private lounge, Regency Club rooms, early morning/evening snacks etc.

THE FACILITIES: There are eight dining outlets ranging from a large Starbucks through to Borgne, the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant. Vitascope media and sports bar features no fewer than 40 TVs. The Bywater pool on the fifth floor is for guests only, there is Jardin in-room massage, 24-hour StayFit fitness centre and a shoe shine service.

THE VERDICT: A fully-equipped large, modern hotel, ideal for a business or leisure stay with every amenity on hand. Downtown New Orleans’ business and leisure facilities are just a short walk away making the Hyatt Regency an excellent option.

THE DETAILS: Hyatt Regency New Orleans, 601 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans, LA 70113, USA T: 001 504 613 3910 W: Room rates are from $199 per night.

Reviewed by Alan Orbell (2014)