Review: Hyatt Centric New Orleans French Quarter

Filed Under: Hotels, Hyatt
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We’re living in hotels full-time at the moment. I’ll continue covering Hyatt Centric properties, with a review of a third property of the brand — in previous posts I reviewed the Hyatt Centric Miami Brickell and the Hyatt Centric Fort Lauderdale Las Olas.

In this post I wanted to review the Hyatt Centric New Orleans French Quarter, which we recently stayed at. For some context on the 254-room hotel, it originally opened in 1995. First it was branded as a Sonesta, then it was rebranded as a Wyndham, then in 2012 it was rebranded as a Hyatt, and then in 2016 it was rebranded as a Hyatt Centric. So the hotel has been flagged as quite a few brands.

Why we traveled to New Orleans

Our motivation for going to New Orleans was a bit different than for our other hotel stays up until this point. We had planned to take my mom and her partner to New Orleans in early April 2020, as they had been wanting to go for a long time.

At the time this was supposed to be to celebrate her finishing her chemotherapy. As you might expect, we ended up having to cancel that trip due to coronavirus. Now that my mom is fully vaccinated, we wanted to finally take that trip at last. Of course we didn’t do anything too wild, given that Ford and I weren’t vaccinated. It was still great to spend some quality time with her, and we had an incredible time.

Booking the Hyatt Centric New Orleans

I had booked two rooms at the Hyatt Centric New Orleans, and while perhaps unnecessary, I outright booked the rooms we wanted (I say unnecessary because as a Globalist member I could have probably had at least one room upgraded).

I booked one “petite suite,” as it’s described, and I booked one Bourbon Street view junior suite. Both room types cost around $135, and were only about $20 more than the base rooms. That rate even included breakfast (and not just on account of my status, but the cheapest rate was also a breakfast rate).

While we could have booked this through Hyatt Privé for extra perks, the rate we booked ended up being the best value.

Redeeming points at the Hyatt Centric New Orleans

For context, the Hyatt Centric New Orleans is a Category 4 World of Hyatt property, meaning that a free night redemption costs 15,000 World of Hyatt points. I value World of Hyatt points at 1.5 cents each, so redeeming points here would be the equivalent of paying ~$225 per night, by my valuation. In this case paying cash for the stay was the better value by far, especially when you consider that we outright booked premium rooms.

Even if you’re not a Hyatt loyalist, earning World of Hyatt points can be pretty easy. In addition to being able to earn World of Hyatt points with the World of Hyatt Credit Card (review), you can also transfer over points from Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans location

Assuming you’re in New Orleans as a tourist, the Hyatt Centric has a pretty unbeatable location, as it’s right in the French Quarter. The hotel is on Iberville Street, right near Bourbon Street. This is the perfect base if you’re planning on walking around the French Quarter, as you’re just steps from many of the most popular restaurants and attractions.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans exterior

Hyatt Centric New Orleans exterior

Hyatt Centric New Orleans check-in & lobby

The Hyatt Centric’s lobby is a decent size — as you enter there’s a long entryway with the hotel’s restaurant to the right and then the hotel’s bar to the left, and then reception is straight ahead, with plenty of lobby seating.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans lobby entrance

Hyatt Centric New Orleans lobby seating

Hyatt Centric New Orleans lobby seating

I have nothing but great things to say about the staff working at the front desk (in particular Maya and Andrew), as they were all exceptionally friendly. The check-in process for both rooms was easy, and we were familiarized with the hotel’s amenities, how the breakfast benefit worked, etc. Within a few minutes we had keys for our rooms.

The Hyatt Centric has four floors, and both of our rooms were on the second floor — this hotel has ridiculously long and winding hallways, perhaps the longest I’ve seen in any hotel, so the walk from elevators to rooms can take quite a while.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans hallway

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Petite Suite

Ford and I stayed in a “Petite Suite King,” which was the most premium suite the hotel had for sale.

The room is marketed as being 575 square feet, and was more like a junior suite than a proper suite, given that there was no separation between the living area and sleeping area.

Inside the entrance and to the right was a king size bed and then a table with two chairs.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite with king bed

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite sitting area

On the table were a couple of bags with a bunch of bottles of water and a couple of bags of spicy local chips.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans welcome gift of water & chips

Then inside the entrance and to the left was a couch, a console with a TV and mini fridge, and then a side table with a Keurig coffee machine.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite living area

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite sitting area

Hyatt Centric New Orleans in-room coffee machine

There was no door between the sink and vanity and the rest of the room, but rather it was just around a corner.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite bathroom

Then there was a separate room with a walk-in shower and toilet. As I found to be the case at the other two Hyatt Centrics I stayed at, water pressure wasn’t great.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite shower

Toiletries were from BeeKind, as is standard at Hyatt Centrics.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans toiletries

One interesting aspect to our suite was that it faced the courtyard rather than the streets. This is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you look at it:

  • On the one hand, it means anyone can look into your room from the courtyard unless you draw the curtains, and if you draw the curtains you feel like you’re in a cave
  • At the same time, the streets of New Orleans are unbelievably noisy, so you don’t have to worry about that when you’re not facing the streets

Hyatt Centric New Orleans suite view

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street Junior Suite

My mom wanted the junior suite with the view of Bourbon Street, and I’d say she definitely chose the better option. While the room was marginally smaller, I thought it was better designed, and it had a proper balcony.

The room featured a king size bed and a couch, so furniture-wise the only difference was that she didn’t have those two chairs and a table.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

The bathroom setup in this room was also more traditional — there was a vanity in the hallway, and then the sink, shower, and toilet, were all in one room near the entrance.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

The view of Bourbon Street from her balcony was pretty cool. During the week it was quiet and quite nice to be out there.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

At night on weekends, though, it was a different story…

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Bourbon Street view junior suite

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Powdered Sugar Restaurant

Powdered Sugar is the name of the Hyatt Centric’s main restaurant. Or perhaps it’s more of a hybrid market & restaurant. It’s open daily for breakfast and lunch, you place your order at the counter, and then the food is brought out to you.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Powdered Sugar restaurant

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Powdered Sugar restaurant

In addition to a menu, Powdered Sugar has a variety of grab-and-go items, and you can also order coffee to go.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Powdered Sugar restaurant

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Powdered Sugar restaurant

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Powdered Sugar restaurant

We were told that with our breakfast benefit we could spend $15 per person per day on breakfast, though in reality we spent more than that, and all the charges were removed at check-out.

The breakfast menu read as follows:

Over the course of our stay we sampled a variety of items from the menu. Powdered Sugar uses Intelligentsia coffee, which is excellent. I particularly liked the iced lattes. I also had a mango avocado smoothie one morning, which I enjoyed.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans breakfast

We sampled the banana & blueberry oatmeal bowl, egg white ciabatta sandwich, and the omelet, all of which were quite good.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans breakfast

Hyatt Centric New Orleans breakfast

Hyatt Centric New Orleans breakfast

Hyatt Centric New Orleans breakfast

While we never had lunch at Powdered Sugar, here’s that menu, for anyone who is curious:

The highlight of Powdered Sugar (and perhaps the hotel overall) was Oreionne, who worked most mornings. She was such a good vibe, and seeing her in the mornings was a pleasure. She was always smiling, had such a great attitude, and just generally seemed like such a positive person. What a huge asset to this hotel.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Batch Bar

Batch Bar is the Hyatt Centric’s bar, and during our stay it was only open on Fridays and Saturdays from 5PM until 9PM. I’d assume that’s due to reduced demand at the moment, but I’m not sure. While I didn’t ever consume anything here, I did stop by to snap some pictures around opening time.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Batch Bar

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Batch Bar

Hyatt Centric New Orleans Batch Bar

Hyatt Centric New Orleans gym

The Hyatt Centric New Orleans has a gym on the second floor, and it was just down the hall from our room. You essentially have to call the front desk when you want to use the gym, and then security comes and unlocks it for you.

So we always had the gym to ourselves, though I’m actually convinced that no one else ever used it. The gym itself was okay — it wasn’t great, but wasn’t bad either.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans gym

Hyatt Centric New Orleans gym

Hyatt Centric New Orleans gym

Hyatt Centric New Orleans pool

The Hyatt Centric has a pool that’s in the courtyard. I’d say the pool is rather uninspiring. While there was some sort of a bar setup there, it doesn’t seem like it was actually being used in any way.

Hyatt Centric New Orleans pool

Hyatt Centric New Orleans pool

Hyatt Centric New Orleans pool

We did appreciate the outdoor seating, since we ended up sitting outside and playing card games in the evenings.

My impressions of New Orleans

This was my first time visiting New Orleans as an adult, and wow, what a city. A few thoughts:

  • I feel the same way about New Orleans as I feel about Las Vegas — it’s kind of fun for 48 hours, but after that I want to get out of there, as it’s just too much
  • The architecture and general vibe of New Orleans is incredible, as you really feel like you’re in another country
  • The food was simultaneously the most delicious and most disgusting thing I’ve ever had — fancy restaurants in New Orleans serve fried dough sticks, and then instruct you to to dip them in bearnaise sauce, then dip them in powdered sugar, and then dip them in Tabasco
  • All things considered I felt comfortable with this trip — on weekdays and during the day on weekends there was plenty of space to feel comfortable in the French Quarter, while on weekend evenings we just hung out at the hotel playing games; the same was true of the hotel, as during the week I feel like maybe a dozen rooms were occupied, while on weekends it got a bit busier (but still nowhere close to capacity)


I’m really happy to have seen New Orleans, but I also don’t need to return anytime soon.

Bottom line

The Hyatt Centric New Orleans was a good base for our time in New Orleans — the location was great, all the staff were friendly, and the value was good as well. The highlight of our stay was probably the Intelligentsia coffee and Oreionne’s good vibes.

Ultimately all three of our Hyatt Centric stays left me with the same conclusion, which is that we got a good value for what we paid, staff were friendly, and the hotels worked for us for our purposes this time. However, I’m not sure I need to return to any of them.

I promise this is the end of my lukewarm hotel reviews — I have some reviews of really phenomenal hotels coming up, and also a review of my least favorite hotel in the world (not in absolute terms, but rather in terms of expectations vs. reality).

If you’ve stayed at the Hyatt Centric New Orleans, what was your experience like? Is there any New Orleans hotel that’s worth checking out?

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  1. Check out the Eliza Jane next time. Used to be a country inn and suites and they did an amazing remodel . It’s immaculate and so much character. 2 blocks off the Quarter so much quieter too.

  2. If you ever visit again, to get away from the crowds go down to the garden district. It’s a short trolley ride away from the Hyatt Centric and has beautiful homes with incredible architecture, great shopping on magazine street and fantastic restaurants (better than the touristy ones in the French Quarter).

  3. Nice review. This HC really does look like only a slight step up from House/Place type hotels, though. Especially that pool.

    Out of curiosity- did you stay at and will you be reviewing the Eliza Jane? Would love to get your take on it.

  4. @ Ryan (and other Ryan too — great Ryans think alike, I suppose!) — I was considering staying there, but unfortunately they’re not dog friendly.

  5. @ Michelle — We loved the garden district. We did a biking tour there, and the architecture was really cool to see, especially with the stories and history that went along with it.

  6. You do realize you get treated differently as a known influencer, don’t you? I’ve stayed at this hotel more times than I can remember as a Globalist and have never received a gift… also your mom had a junior suite as well (the way to tell is the large sofa as that is the defining characteristic).

  7. Eliza Jane has its pros and cons… biggest con is (many) rooms with no outside light. Talk about a cave!

    It also has no breakfast… as it’s main restaurant closed due to pandemic.

    Finally, garden district/uptown also has the best restaurants which cater more to locals.

  8. The room design here is shockingly uninspired for what is meant to be an upscale hotel that was just opened, no? The bare wall “couch corner” looks like my friends’ college apartments…

  9. @ Jason — I got my notes mixed up, that is indeed what we had booked.

    To be clear, the “welcome gift” was a bunch of bottles of water. World of Hyatt elite members are entitled to one bottle of water daily, and we were given a bottle of water for each day of our stay. I think we got delivered the bags because we had an extended stay, so that was easier than otherwise getting them to us daily.

    As far as the two bags of spicy chips goes, well, if that’s the special amenity that “known influencers” get, well…

  10. Nice review. And no need to apologize for reviewing a hotel you call “lukewarm”. Many of us like to visit a great city like New Orleans and spend time out on the town rather than in some hotel lounge boozing it up and eating free appetizers, so reviewing a decent hotel at a good price in a great city is just fine.

  11. Is it just me or do the bedroom walls look vast, empty and underfurnished?

    I’ll keep your thoughts of N’awlins in mind when I visit next month. I think my choice of hotel will feel a LOT more different (W and JW Marriott)

  12. Outside of the bathroom countertop and shower, this looks like a Holiday Inn. As I said before, Centric is basically the conversion brand for Hyatt as evidenced by the number of flags this property has flown in recent years.

    I do find it interesting that Ben (Lucky) hates tourists but goes to Miami, Fort Lauderdale and now New Orleans. If you want to avoid the great, unwashed, maskless masses then stop going to places frequented by those people.

  13. @ FNT Delta Diamond — Like I said, I’m publishing my reviews by brand here, and it just happened to be that the Hyatt Centrics were the busier places we stayed. Most of the remaining reviews are of hotels where there were very few other guests, and those are also hotels we spent even more time at.

    I explained the reasons for these stays in the posts — New Orleans was a special trip with my mom, and Miami/Fort Lauderdale was because that’s where we live, and we had some things to take care of.

  14. If you want to feel like you’re in another country, I’d recommend Savannah. My wife and I went there for Labor day last year and it was incredible. Felt like a southeast remix of the bahamas to me. There’s an Andaz, a Regency, and soon to be a Thompson (though the Thompson is maybe at the wrong end).

    Would love a review of both the Andaz and the Regency (or just the Andaz)!

  15. I see you went to Galatoire’s. How was it?
    I have extended family from New Orleans and growing up we’d visit and always eat at Galatories. There’s definitely special service there for locals – people who go frequently are usually treated differently than tourists – at least some of the time. Whenever I’d go with my aunt/uncle and their family, we always had “their” waiter – always the same. And they were always privy to special menu items and service that others sometimes werent. This is similar at many old school restaurants around New Orleans – local families and people who dine frequently have their “own” waiters, get the “best” tables, and can have a better experience. I’ve been to Galatoires without my local relatives a few times. Two of the times the service was excellent even though we were not seated in the best place. The last time was absolutely awful. Terrible service, cold food, indifference. I noticed at the next table a “local” family enjoying a much different experience. When I mentioned this to my relatives they were not shocked. This happens / can happen at all the old school New Orleans places – Galatoires, Antoine’s, Commander’s Palace, Arnaud’s, etc…
    How was your time there?

  16. Interesting — the Hyatt Centric furniture looks extremely similar to Hyatt Place rooms I’ve stayed in. I thought the Hyatt Centric was meant to be significantly more upscale, and maybe it is in the details, but I don’t totally understand where Hyatt Centric is supposed to fall in the Hyatt brand lineup…

  17. We stayed there with two rooms booked as a Globalist for my mom’s birthday last year and got absolutely nothing extra except attitude and extremely poor service. It was so bad I contacted the GM who made sure to be as nasty as possible. While the location is excellent if one wants to experience what NO has to offer, the human factor at that hotel is nothing short of atrocious, starting from the GM. Will try Eliza Jane next time.

  18. @ Jason — We had an AMAZING experience there. We went for lunch on a weekday (since we didn’t want to go anywhere crowded), and we literally had the restaurant to ourselves, which was kind of surreal. Our server was a delight, and the food was sickeningly delicious.

    I will say this about our dining in New Orleans — I was a bit surprised by the extent to which menus at all the restaurants we visited were virtually identical. I get that New Orleans is known for a certain type of cuisine, but all the “famous” restaurants almost have interchangeable menus. So for the first couple of meals I loved the food, while after that I was just dreaming of a salad, or something different.

  19. @Ben – okay, that’s good to hear. It can be great or it can be really terrible like I sadly experienced on my last visit a few years ago. For locals with their “own” waiter it’s always good, but for random tourists it’s dicey. Glad you had a great experience there – when it’s good it’s great!

    Yes – old school New Orleans cooking is heavy and certainly not healthy. Galatoires, Commander’s, Antoine’s all serve similar delicious stuff. But yes, variety in old-school new orleans food is tough to come by. there are new places that people really have talked up, including some amazing middle eastern place that was really hot a few years ago.
    I second what somebody else said – the best restaurants are uptown/ garden district where the locals live. Clancy’s is a particular standout.
    anyway, glad Galatoire’s worked for you!

  20. We visit extended family in NOLA every year. The city has great restaurants and they’re not all the standard Creole or Cajun fare, that just tends to be what the traditional French Quarter restaurants offer for tourists who are only in town for a day or two. I always make a point to go to Galatoire’s, Antoine’s, or my personal favorite Arnaud’s. Though I would never suggest anyone go to more than one for a short visit as their menus have serious overlap of the classics. Next time you’re back check out some of the other delicious cuisines on offer (to the point of some others it will require a trip outside of the French Quarter) – Vietnamese, Italian, Caribbean, Israeli (Shaya is a personal fave), and even Vegetarian.

  21. @Ben
    How was the New Orleans Airport?
    They have a brand new airport what’s your thoughts about it!

  22. Starting to see a common theme here with all these Hyatt hotels. Way more often than not, redeeming points does not represent a good value at the 1.5 cent valuation unless it’s an ultra expensive hotel.

  23. ” this hotel has ridiculously long and winding hallways,”
    Try Hotel du Louvre sometime.
    It’s a Hyatt BTW.

  24. @ Luis — Indeed that has been a theme with the past few reviews, though keep in mind that coronavirus has really caused rates to drop in many markets. The math would look totally different under normal circumstances, especially if traveling during a peak period. Beyond that, for me earning points is all about redeeming at aspirational properties, and there the math very much checks out.

  25. @ Joe1293 — Absolutely gorgeous airport, was very impressed. Unfortunately I forgot to snap pictures, and was only there briefly.

  26. You want a long hallway? Hit up the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto when the border opens up again. You could get your cardio in doing the hallway and stairs alone.

  27. As someone mentioned above, the Eliza Jane is a much preferable Hyatt property in generally the same location. I’d say the hotel is nicer, and it gives you a buffer from the French Quarter. You can easily walk back and forth to it if you’d like. As far as your comment about New Orleans being similar to Vegas, I guess that’s somewhat true if you don’t make any effort to get out of the French Quarter. Acknowledging that your mom may not be super mobile, there are still a million places that you could have gone that wouldn’t have felt anything at all like Vegas. I go to New Orleans frequently for both work and pleasure, and it’s been over 10 years since I stayed in the French Quarter.

  28. @Sean The Andaz in Savannah is perhaps the least desirable Andaz in the world. I stayed there last month and it’s pretty mediocre. Ben did a good review of it two years ago I think and it’s pretty spot on.

  29. My votes for longest hotel hallways are the Anaheim Convention Center Marriott and Las Vegas Aria (and other LV hotels that I don’t remember)

  30. Im going to stick with my comment that youd be better off staying at extended stay/all suite locations. This just looks like an old Holiday Inn barely worth $89 a night.

  31. I stayed here just weeks before the pandemic shut everything down, and while the location was excellent, I wasn’t overly impressed with much else. We had a similar issue with the room facing the courtyard and it being dungeon-like when the drapes were closed. The room itself was clean, service was fine, but the entire experience left me feeling as if there was more to be desired. I’d stay here again, but not for 15,000 points a night.

  32. Agreed with @Mark, it’s great when you call out great service by name. Job well done to the HC MSY team you mentioned!!!

    I’m Marriott Bonvoy (and I prefer the Aloft brand, though go higher when hosting clients of course), so rarely stay at Hyatt’s, except for a few times at the Hyatt Place in Austin. The furnishings at Hyatt Centric look below the level of Hyatt Place, which is curious.

    Off topic. I have hosted several functions in MSY, and am very particular about designing menus at all of the top restaurants….but one thing I’ve never touched….turtle soup. What in the heck does that taste like??? I am bothered by the idea of turtle soup, which admittedly makes no sense since I will eat almost any other protein.

  33. You would have loved The Pontchartrain Hotel right off St Charles in the Garden District. Very interesting prop, lots of nods to celebrities & authors. It’s boutique but not fussy or over the top. Its restaurants & bars are fabulous, the rooftop is the best in town. Overall just so well done & comfortable with great service & can be booked with URs.

  34. Long hallways… Try the Washington Hilton. It can easily take several minutes to walk from your room to the elevator.

  35. @Lucky

    how are you guys moving around – rental car?

    Would you do a review of the rental car company or companies?

  36. @ Sean…Lucky did review Andaz as Stuart pointed out when he visited his mom who was getting treated in Savannah couple of years ago. Marriott pretty much rules Savannah. They have better and more high end hotels.

  37. I’m flying there next week. AS had an amazing deal last Black Friday, LAX-DAL-LAX rt in F for $219. Was planning on spending 2 nights at the Westin in downtown Dallas. Between the Texas governor saying COVID is over and not wishing to get harassed by the pseudo-righteous for wearing a mask, I decided to change planes in DAL and fly onward to MSY. My first visit to NO and my 50th state visited. Not interested in the crowded French Quarter. At least this trip. Staying at the Ponchetrain Hotel in the Garden District. I enjoy staying in historic hotels with some character and interesting architecture. There are plenty of places to eat and explore nearby. I’ll return for a longer visit when we are back to normal.

  38. We like the HC in NOLA when we go there. It’s on the edge of the quarter, but there’s so many other places to go for food and fun while in the city. Old City Park is great as well as the Garden District. Once we took the trolley and found the house from American Horror Story Coven. You’ll meet very interesting locals there as well. Taking the carriage ride gives you lots of history of the area. The Spotted Cat in NOLA is a great little live music place in the non-touristy part of the quarter. We avoid Bourbon Street unless staying at the Royal Sonesta or the Omni Royal Orleans. Side streets are much better for traversing the quarter area. We should check out the Eliza Jane the next trip.

  39. @Leigh – Turtle soup……think a very heavy pour of both sherry and worcestershire in a dark meat roux.

    @Lucky – please tell me you at least took everyone into the Garden District and rode a streetcar.

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