It's surprising. amid the sultry southern climes of New Orleans, to find a hotel that has set itself the task of paying homage to all things English. From the name to the afternoon tea service to the myriad art of castles and palaces and regal scenery, the Windsor Court does just that.
It's fancy in a way your parents would love if you're between the ages of 35 and 45. Flower arrangements, plush furniture in the lobby - no large screen Apple Macs in the lobby, just the sound of tea cups and polite conversation.
The hotel is unashamedly a throwback to a more genteel age, so stick out that little finger. The interior feels like it's been here centuries (in a good way, I don't mean the plumbing doesn't work), yet it's only decades old - as you can see from the outside more clearly.
Let's jump in with the big guns: the club level suites are SENSATIONAL. They are huge, sprawling things, with a lighter, more modern decorative touch than you'd think, and have small balconies and a wet bar and a parlour outside the bathroom.
The club itself is tranquil and has some of the most nonchalantly great views of the river and the NOLA skyline. Breakfast, lunch and canapes in the evening are served with drinks by uniformed staff who are chatty enough to remove the stuffiness of it. You could spend all day there. I almost did.
The Grill Room is a fancy schmancy restaurant, the kind where you could get your parents to take you after graduation, or promotion, or marrying someone they don't disapprove of. The night I went was about 80% parents treating their children of varying ages. There are cool murals portraying well known NOLA celebrities, so you can spot those if conversation flags. It's not first date territory, more six year anniversary or if you messed up REALLY badly.
The bar is lovely. Expensive, as you'd imagine, and with gangs of well-heeled achievers but great for a gin and tonic on someone's expense account.
My personal highlight is the heated rooftop pool, three concepts that are rarer than you'd think in a tourism-driven city. You get aerial views of Harrahs Casino, the river and the CBD, and a warm pool to do laps in (handily it's way longer than most hotel pools, too). Impressive.
In short: kind of formal and chintzy and with airs of regency, but if you're in the mood for just that, there's no real competition in New Orleans.
Price: High end
Highlights: The heated rooftop pool, The Grill Room, the suites
Windsor Court website