The Windsor Court, New Orleans Still Stands Out

New Orleans is one of America’s great cities. Known for its vibrant culture, historic architecture, and serious food scene, it’s a place that I’ve wanted to visit for years. And while New Orleans has a reputation as a party town, it’s also a family-friendly destination filled with parks, galleries, and world-class museums. There’s no doubt that New Orleans knows how to indulge, so it’s not surprising that the city is home to one of the most decadent hotels in the United States, The Windsor Court. 

exterior of The Windsor Court New Orleans


I had heard about The Windsor Court for years, ever since it earned the top hotel in the world designation in 1998. It comfortably remains one of the top hotels today – it most recently earned the top hotel in New Orleans and the No. 25 hotel in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. After an indulgent three-day visit to this elegant hotel, I had to agree. The Windsor Court hotel is in a class by itself. 

Getting There 

The Windsor Court is in the heart of the central business district, a few blocks from the French Quarter. Louis B. Armstrong Airport is just a 25-minute ride away. Downtown New Orleans is home to every major hotel chain and several five-star hotels. However, most of them are located either on or just off Canal Street, a touristy stretch of New Orleans. The Windsor Court’s location is one of the hotel’s best attributes. This elegant escape is tucked behind a courtyard off Gravier Street. It feels worlds away from the action, but in reality, it offers easy access to Bourbon Street, Jackson Square, and the newly built National World War II Museum. It is ideally located for the serenity that a family might crave after a day spent exploring the city. 

Traditional British-style Luxury

Built in 1984 by local businessman and self-professed Anglophile, Jimmy Coleman, The Windsor Court is a testament to traditional British style. Nineteenth-century antiques, ornate furnishings, and a jaw-dropping 10-million-dollar museum-quality art collection decorate the property. The hotel’s air of exclusivity is apparent upon arrival when you pull up to the walled cobblestone courtyard. At its center is an iron statue of St. George the Dragon Slayer, another nod to the hotel’s British origin. 

A massive arrangement of 12 dozen roses—the hotel’s signature display that rotates weekly—greets guests at the lobby entry. We visited during the holiday season and the décor was a sight to be seen. A 20-foot-high Christmas tree dominated the lobby, alongside holiday touches like a mailbox for Santa letters, and a solid chocolate Rudolph sculpture.

Le Salon, the hotel’s lounge serving traditional high tea, occupies much of the hotel’s ground floor and it was clearly the place to be. Known as the best spot for traditional English afternoon tea service in the city, it was packed with smartly dressed families celebrating the season. 

elegant dining area with tea table setting at The Windsor Court New Olreans

5-star service

The hotel’s reception area consists of a small check-in area and a larger concierge desk. The concierge at The Windsor Court is a significant part of the hotel’s personalized customer service. Prior to arrival, I contacted the concierge for some restaurant recommendations. As a first-time visitor to the city, I wanted to experience some of the city’s legendary dining spots. However, I didn’t want to fall victim to any tourist traps. Leah, one of the hotel’s head concierges, was a vital part of our experience. She not only reached out several times in the week before our arrival, but she also procured some difficult reservations to some of the city’s best restaurants. She offered a wealth of information regarding family-friendly activities, parks, kid-friendly museums, and fun adventures outside the city, like swamp tours and historical landmarks.

guest Rooms at the Windsor Court

After a seamless check-in, we arrived at our 10th-floor Premium Club Level Suite. If like me, you love a traditional-style hotel, then the Windsor Court will not disappoint. The hotel’s public spaces are unapologetically traditional, and the guest rooms continue the theme with silk drapes, damask seating areas, and antique furnishings. If it all sounds a bit fussy, rest assured, the room décor is tastefully done in soft tones of blues and creams, the effect of which is pure luxury. 

spacious suite with living room at The Windsor Court New Orleans

When was the last time you stayed in a suite with a dedicated wet bar, a separate vanity area with a makeup chair, or an antique writing desk? These are just a few of the touches that set apart the suites at the Windsor Court. With 800 square feet and a separate living area, our suite felt more like an apartment than a hotel room. The wet bar contained a marble-topped counter with a sink, a full set of glass drinkware with a champagne bucket, and a Nespresso machine. The cabinetry held a refrigerator stocked with premium spirits, mixers, and full-sized bottles of wine and champagne.

spacious suites

The living room was outfitted with a couch, club chairs, a flat-screen TV, a small dining area, and a writing desk. Most of the spacious suites contain sleeper sofas, and the living area has so much extra space it could easily fit a rollaway, making it a great choice for families. The separate bedroom was partitioned with French doors that led to a king-sized bedroom with a wing chair, dressers, and another TV. 

The Italian marble baths feature a shower/tub combination that can be accessed through the living room and bedroom. Adjacent to the bathroom on the master bedroom side was a dedicated vanity space with a lady chair.

Many modern hotels have eliminated these kinds of areas in favor of sleek, space-efficient setups. But it’s this kind of thoughtful, spacious layout that makes the whole experience truly sumptuous. The single-use toiletries from the luxury French brand Diptyque were the icing on the cake.  

club level lounge with city views

Club Level Decadence

The club-level experience at Windsor Court is a cut above and should be the first choice when booking a stay. The large space occupies a former Presidential suite and contains two living areas with a fireplace and an outdoor patio.

The highlight is the dining room with spectacular city and Mississippi River views. The full-service bar offers top-shelf drinks at any time of the day, including a seasonal menu of handcrafted cocktails. This is an incredible value in a city with such a vibrant nightlife, not to mention, no open container laws. If you’re in the mood to party, you’ve come to the right space. 

The lounge offers four food presentations daily. This includes a full breakfast, afternoon tea and light snacks, classic cocktails and Hors D’oeuvres, and dessert with aperitifs. The breakfast offered savory and sweet dishes, baked goods, fruit, and a mimosa bar. The afternoon tea offerings consisted of a variety of tea sandwiches, pastries, scones, and tarts.

The evening appetizer selection was more like a full meal! There were vegetarian choices, as well as mains like short ribs and fried chicken. A fully stocked refrigerator was stocked with water, sodas, and beer. There was also a grab-and-go area with chips, candy, nuts, and fruit that was available at all hours. 

club level with food display at The Windsor Court New Orleans

Rooms and suites on the upper four floors of the hotel have club-level access and we saw plenty of families taking advantage of the lounge’s food and drinks. We visited on a Sunday during a New Orleans Saints home football game, and many patrons were locals staying the night at the hotel. More than a few club lounge guests greeted the employees by name. This was the first of many signs that The Windsor Court is the hotel of choice for locals. 

VIP your WIndsor court stay

All readers who book The Windsor Court through Luxe Recess will start their day with complimentary breakfast as well as a resort credit, so reach out to receive these bonuses during your stay! We’ll help the hotel get ready for your stay with some personal touches.

Food and Drink at The Windsor Court

Le Salon, the hotel’s lobby-level lounge, offers traditional high tea three days per week and lunch daily. The afternoon tea is a popular choice for both guests and locals, and reservations are a must. Throughout the year, Le Salon hosts a dozen different themed teas.

The 2024 schedule includes activities like Mardi Gras tea in January, a princess tea in June, and a festive Easter tea. There’s even a ‘Swift Tea’ that celebrates the Taylor Swift Eras concert dates in mid-October. 

aerial view of tea and small desserts at The Windsor Court New Olreans

The lobby also has a grab-and-go coffee bar, Last Sunday, that serves barista-style coffee and tea drinks and light fare. 

The Polo Club, the hotel’s bar and lounge is located on the second floor. It’s a rich, warm space filled with leather couches, wing chairs, and small dining areas. On both nights of our stay, The Polo Club lounge was packed with both locals and hotel guests. The bar offers live jazz on weekends and a piano player on weeknights. The menu features elevated casual fare like caviar, truffle fries, shrimp cocktail, and burgers. The bar’s cozy, wood-paneled space was the perfect spot to unwind with a drink. The old-school cocktail cart was another sign of the hotel’s dedication to traditional luxuries.

the grill room

The hotel’s fine dining restaurant, The Grill Room, is located adjacent to The Polo Club. A formal space decorated with hand-painted murals, it is the perfect spot for enjoying modern American cuisine. After an amuse bouche and some house-made focaccia, we shared a delicious appetizer of smoked burrata, before both ordering the filet mignon with bearnaise sauce.

the grill room with set dining tables and murals in backdrop

The perfectly cooked filets were butter-soft, and my husband—an avowed steak and potatoes guy—declared it the best filet of his life. A side of sublime pommes puree finished with truffle butter was both decadent and delicious. We couldn’t decide who made the better dessert choice. Both the honey cake and the caramel pecan mousse were sweet endings to an incredible meal! 

Amenities at The Windsor Court

The Windsor Court recently completed a 15-million-dollar update. This update includes a brand-new 2-million-dollar Presidential Suite, redesigned meeting spaces, a fitness center, and a rooftop pool. The fitness center, located adjacent to the pool on the fourth floor, has state-of-the-art equipment, free weights, and Peloton bikes. The hotel’s full-service Spa has nine treatment rooms, two wet rooms, an infrared sauna, and a hair and nail salon. 

aerial view of outdoor pool at The Windsor Court New Orleans

The crown jewel of the hotel amenities must be the 65-foot saltwater pool surrounded by city skyline views. Heated during the winter months, the pool is open from 6 am-10 pm daily. A welcome station stocks towels, sunscreen, and frozen treats for guests. Private cabanas at the outdoor pool have daybeds, TVs, and a dedicated server. They also come with a complimentary bottle of Veuve Clicquot champagne, as well as non-alcoholic drinks. 

Another perk of The Windsor Court includes two complimentary house cars for trips within a few miles radius. Traveling with pets? The Pampered Pets program provides dog beds, treats, and toys for furry friends. 

Family-Friendly New Orleans

Parents I know often ask me for recommendations for a city vacation with kids. While New York and Washington, DC might be the easy answer, I’m looking forward to answering, ‘New Orleans’ the next time I hear the question. Though people know the city for its bacchanalia-like celebrations (did anyone say Mardi Gras?), it truly serves as an ideal destination for families who love history and great food. Some must-dos for families include exploring the historic French Quarter, eating beignets at the Café du Monde, and riding the St. Charles streetcar. 

history & outdoor adventures

But look beyond your typical tourist attractions, and you’ll find a city rich with cultural experiences for kids. The National World War II Museum is one of the top attractions in the city. Spanning four buildings and several city blocks, the museum has exhibits dedicated to Tokyo, Normandy, The Home Front, and D-Day. With a 4-D theatre and an interactive submarine experience, it’s a must for any history buffs. The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a great choice for food lovers, while the Backstreet Cultural Museum boasts the world’s largest comprehensive collection of artifacts relating to New Orleans’ African American community. 

New Orleans’ City Park is one of the nation’s largest urban parks. Comprised of 1,300 acres, it has an arboretum, botanical gardens, a lake with boating, and biking trails. It’s also home to both the Louisiana Children’s Museum and the New Orleans Museum of Art. 

Another top outdoor activity for families includes the Creole Queen riverboat cruise. Families can also opt for a swamp tour, with a choice of peaceful pontoon boat rides or thrilling airboat excursions. 

Kids staying at The Windsor Court receive a scavenger hunt upon check-in, a kid-friendly map of local landmarks, and a coloring book with crayons. The hotel’s concierge has family-oriented guides to the city and can suggest everything from kid-friendly jazz spots to the best place to try gumbo. 

street mural saying greetings from Nola

Let the Good Times Roll

After a full three days of exploring New Orleans, I finally understood what all the fuss was about. We ate gumbo and beignets, walked the Garden District, shopped on Magazine Street, and listened to the world’s best live jazz.

Returning to the serenity of The Windsor Court felt like the perfect ending to each day. The hotel’s traditions, warm service, and authentic luxury add up to an unparalleled experience among city hotels. New Orleans has a motto, ‘Laissez les bon temps rouler’, which translates loosely to ‘Let the Good Times Roll.’ It’s a fitting saying for a town—and hotel—that knows exactly how to enjoy life.