On arrival at this hotel the thing that struck us most was the location. It was just meters from the Mississippi River, the New Orelans Riverwalk and Hurrahs Casino. The other hotel of equal standing in the location stakes is the Hilton Hotel.
When we got to the hotel we were welcomed by 'Randy' who told me to 'put away my wallet' and directed us to the 11th floor for registration. The lobby area houses registration, concierge and the Riverbend Grill and the Green Bar, all on the 11th floor with all rooms starting from the 12th floor and up.
When we got up to the 11th floor it was a hive of activity. A jazz band was playing as part of the Riverbend Grill Sunday brunch, which runs from 11am to 3pm. There were people everywhere and the view from the full length, and panoramic, windows opened on to the spectacular Mississippi River. Check-in was prompt and courteous and within a few minutes we were on our way up to the 16th floor and Room 1605. The room was of an excellent standard with room-wide windows opening to city views, and glimpses of the Mississippi River.
The room had generous space, adequate lighting, two three-quarter size beds, excellent soft furnishings (bed-coverings and drapes), one large lounge chair, working desk with chairs either side (one a swivel based office chair), phone/modem, Wayport high-speed Internet access port at $9.95 a day, a TV cabinet with plenty of drawers, and a hallway entry desk. The wardrobe was built-in as part of the room decor with wallpaper matching the walls and a mural type door.
The bathroom had a very spacious bench, hairdryer and good lighting over the bench. As usual with most hotels the shower/bath area was 'in the shade' as far as lighting is concerned.
After tidying ourselves up we ventued on down to the Riverbend Grill to partake of the Sunday brunch. The proceedings started with an offer of champagne, freshly squeezed orange juice or mimosa (champage and orange). We then proceeded up to the lavisly decorated buffet tables to a huge assortment of seafood dishes, carveries of lamb and beef, and an assortment of appetisers and main event fare. There was tomato and basil soup to start, freshly prepared salads, fruits, shrimp, filleted fish, vegetable rice, just about a selection of everything. Interesingly there was no potato dish. In a separate area were the desserts, pumpkin, key lime pies, cheesecakes, sponge cakes, fosters, traditional bread and butter pudding, chocolate cakes and pastries, whipped cream, ice-creams and more. There was a pastry cook on standby to assist with selections. As part of the festivities the jazz band played with the Mississippi in the background. The music had the crowd swinging with some winding their way up to the dance floor. The staff also seemed to get into the swing of it. The cost was $34.95 per person which represented excellent value.
After a very enjoyable afternoon at the brunch we then found our way downstairs to the shopping plaza beneath the hotel. There was Saks and all the fashion boutiques and stores over several floors. Just outside the door ,and we were in immediate proximity of the the Riverwalk, a boardwalk of numerous shops and stalls selling clothing, souvenirs, momentos and curiosities. The walk culminates with a magnificent foodhall, which was not a requirement for us at this stage. Just over the road was the huge Hurrahs Casino, absolutley stacked with slot machines and other gaming facilities, restaurants and entertainment areas. A very short walk from the hotel and adjoining the Riverwalk is the Imax Theatre and the Acquaium.
A hotel of very good standard, through Metrostar.com a reasonable rate of $184 per night, charming staff, and above all a premier location.
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