The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, located inside a historic building in the city’s French Quarter, is one of the The Big Easy’s premier luxury accommodations. On a recent holiday weekend trip to New Orleans, I booked a stay at the Ritz and was surprised at check-in with a complimentary upgrade to an Executive Suite.
Room Rates & Reservations
The cost of a hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans varies considerably, with prices ranging from about $300 to more than $1,000 per night over the next year. Weekend stays are generally priced at a higher rate than weekdays, but conferences, sporting events and holidays all lead to variability in nightly cost.
Reservations can be made via the hotel website or through your travel agent.
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel Room Suite
My Executive Suite was located on the 14th floor in the 15-floor hotel. Suite number 1425 was spacious, with a double-doored bedroom, living room and bathroom.
The bedroom contained a delightfully comfortable king size bed, adorned with all of the trappings one would expect in a luxury hotel. The bed height, from the floor to the top of the mattress, was 26 inches. Since the bed sat atop a platform, there was no clear space underneath to accommodate a transfer lift.
The bed was accessible on all sides. A large chest of drawers, desk and large screen television sat opposite the bed. The desk height was 30 inches, with 26.75 inches of clearance for a wheelchair user.
A closet in the suite’s entry foyer, located between the living room and bathroom, featured a lowered clothes hanging rod and a full length mirror on the inside of the door.
The living room was perhaps even more spacious than the bedroom and seemed perfect for entertaining guests. It featured a sofa, sitting chair, coffee table and wall-mounted TV. A minibar was accessible and located under the TV, stocked with a selection of snacks, beverages and spirits.
A dining table with four chairs was also located in the sitting room, measuring 29.5 inches tall with 27 inches of clearance.
Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom
The marble bathroom was everything one might expect in a luxury hotel, and it was a great place to get ready for an exciting day in New Orleans.
The bathroom’s centerpiece was a dual vanity, with the countertop measuring 34 inches tall. There was 27 inches of clearance beneath the his and hers sinks. An adjustable lighted mirror was located next to the sink on the left side of the vanity.
The toilet measured 17.5 inches from the floor to the top of the toilet seat, and it was surrounded by grab bars on the adjacent side wall (36 inches tall) and rear wall (36.75 inches tall). The space between the toilet and wall adjacent to the sink vanity was not sufficient to accommodate my power wheelchair, so I had to transfer onto the toilet at an angle.
Although the bathroom featured a luxurious roll-in shower with a handheld showerhead and grab bars (36 inches tall), there was no wall-mounted shower seat. The hotel provided a portable plastic chair, which I placed in the spot where the wall-mounted seat should have been. The shower was 60 inches long, 34 inches deep. Its entryway was 34.5 inches wide and a shower curtain was provided to prevent the escape of water from the shower compartment.
An additional feature of the bathroom was a cosmetics table with mirror. The table was 29.75 inches tall with 26.5 inches of clearance below.
Ultimately, the bathroom met my needs, though I prefer adequate space to park a wheelchair directly alongside the toilet for safe lateral transfers, and a stable wall-mounted shower seat.
Restaurants & Dining
The hotel featured two restaurants — the Davenport Lounge and M Bistro. I enjoyed both breakfast and dinner at the hotel, and found the food to be of high quality.
At dinner, I dined in the Davenport Lounge, but ordered from the M Bistro’s larger menu. The crab crusted filet mignon with mashed potatoes, asparagus and chasseur sauce was delicious and truly one of the highlights of my trip. I enjoyed a local craft beer (NOLA Blond Ale) with the meal and it made for a perfect accompaniment.
Location & Transportation
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is located on Canal Street, within walking distance of Bourbon Street and many of the city’s popular tourist attractions. Trams operating along Canal Street are wheelchair accessible, as are the many city bus routes that stop nearby.
Opportunities to stay at Ritz-Carlton hotels are always a treat, and my surprise suite upgrade made for a truly memorable stay. Although I haven’t visited every Ritz-Carlton in the United States, I did find this room to be much more accessible (though not fully ADA compliant) than those at several other Ritz-Carlton properties. My last stay at a Ritz (in St. Louis, Missouri) left much to be desired, so I was happy to find a more wheelchair-friendly room in New Orleans.
If you find that the room described here will meet your accessibility needs, I highly recommend treating yourself to a stay at The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans. While I can’t guarantee a suite upgrade will await you, it doesn’t hurt to ask!