Despite its perch on the outskirts of the French Quarter, the Windsor Court doesn’t exactly ooze Creole charm. Forget buttery beignets and the strains of a saxophone wafting through the humid air; think instead of afternoon tea with raspberry scones and smartly dressed maids straightening 285-threadcount Egyptian-cotton sheets. Indeed, as the name suggests, the Windsor Court has a distinctly British feel that matches New Orleans’ old-world appeal, if not its colorful sensuousness.
Cordial, impeccably turned-out bellhops lead guests into a classically furnished lobby proudly displaying original oil paintings of royal figures like Queen Alexandra, Princess of Wales, who once called Windsor Castle home. Similarly valuable works by British masters like Van Dyck and Gainsborough grace the hotel’s public spaces and the North Penthouse.
The museum-like ambience relaxes a bit in the cream and beige-hued guest rooms and luxury suites, where sunshine streams through huge bay windows, gourmet chocolates punctuate fluffy feather pillows, and lightly fragranced Penhaligon products stock Italian marble bathrooms. Top-end accommodations offer private balconies overlooking the Mississippi River, and even further up, the two penthouses feature perfectly manicured garden terraces.
Before wandering down to nearby Bourbon Street, prolong the British holiday a few moments longer with port wine or cognac in the Polo Club Lounge, where equestrian-themed artwork and a shiny grand piano complete the genteel scene. Traditional New Orleans it may not be, but top-notch hotel it most certainly is. Though not exactly stuffy, the Windsor’s grand airs are best breathed by those with some appreciation for fine horses and powdered wigs.
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