The Windsor Court recently unveiled a newly renovated $2 million presidential suite that echoes the refined British aesthetic that makes the boutique hotel a favorite stay in New Orleans. But amid the white wainscotting and staggering New Orleans views, you’ll also encounter surprises, like a foyer with graceful peacock wallpaper, oversized Turkish leopard-print pillows for floor seating and a whimsical equestrian-themed bathroom complete with horse head sculpture.
When you enter the James J. Coleman, Jr. Presidential Suite (named for the hotel’s original developer, a rare Anglophile in a historic French-Creole city), your eyes fall on the sun-splashed dining area, a semicircular alcove surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over English gardens with spiral topiaries. On the vast dining table, you may find welcome amenities like fresh peonies, a heaping fruit bowl and a charcuterie board spread.
It’s part of the grand salon, the most impressive space in the 2,800-square-foot, two-bedroom suite. Local firm Vesta Fort Interiors updated the suite’s classic look, using a softer palette and adding Southern elegance with New Orleans furniture. While the salon features a gas fireplace framed in black stone and a black baby grand piano (a pre-renovation remnant whose keys have been tickled by some of the music greats who’ve stayed here), the bathed-in-white room feels light, bright and made for entertaining. A bar area displays premium spirits and a stocked wine fridge, and an adjoining small kitchen comes with a Miele espresso machine.
The library is inviting with its white wainscoted walls, a plush sofa and armchairs, a desk, and chairs circling a wood table inset with flowers. One wall opens to a terrace with views over the Mississippi River.
But it’s the suite’s smallest spaces that provide some of the most audacious decorative touches. The foyer’s blush wall coverings have branches holding birds and roses with peacocks watching below. The hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in Queen Victoria’s bedroom in Brighton’s Royal Pavilion served as inspiration. A carved wood chinoiserie-style table, a blue-gray padded bench and herringbone wood floors complete the look.
The main bathroom offers the luxury you’d expect from the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, with the flooring and walls enrobed in pink marble, a steam shower, an electronic Toto toilet and a centerpiece metal-wrapped standalone tub. But the smaller equestrian-themed powder room leaves a big impression — horses made of concentric black-and-white lines trot all over the brown wallpaper and a large white horse bust is perched in the corner (like the hotel’s Polo Club, the theme is a nod to Coleman’s love of polo).
The bedrooms are tasteful with creamy hues and pops of color from the floral valences hanging over the bed — reds and pinks in the secondary space and blues in the primary. Each bedroom comes with its own full marble bathroom.
Explore a bit to find the suite’s hidden features. Stream music from your phone or computer and the tunes will come out of the walls, courtesy of invisible Sonance speakers — a great way to offer the latest technology without intruding on the suite’s traditional feel. Beyond the English-style gardens, stairs lead up to alfresco sitting areas with views of the city. Open what looks to be closet doors in the library and you’ll discover a petite gym with a Technogym treadmill, bike, weights and yoga equipment, as well as a TV (and if you need anything else, you can opt for the newly updated hotel fitness center).
Of course, you get other VIP perks by staying in The Windsor Court’s top room. It sits on the 22nd floor, across the hallway from the Club Lounge. Visit the exclusive lounge to enjoy a breakfast buffet, afternoon tea, and evening cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and desserts with the city in the backdrop. The guest relations manager will escort you to your room, check you in and oversee your stay.
Other Hotel Standouts
Another new addition to the Central Business District hotel is the revamped landscaped outdoor pool. Set on the fourth floor, the 65-foot saltwater pool is a must-have amenity in the scorching-hot summer, and it’s heated in the cooler months. Four new white-and-navy cabanas have either daybeds or living-room-style seating and televisions — both come with a bottle of Veuve Clicquot. Or opt to shield yourself from the intense rays under a white Tuuci umbrella ringed with navy. The new Pool Bar sits steps away to ensure that you can easily order a craft daiquiri whenever you need to cool off alongside bites like crawfish nachos, an ahi tuna poke bowl or jerk wings.
You’d be remiss to stay at the hotel without booking a service at The Windsor Court Spa. You’ll want to go for The Method Augustinus Bader facial or body treatment, both customized options that slather you in the cult favorite brand’s luxury skincare products. We opted for the body treatment, and our exceptional therapist slowly and methodically worked out all our problem areas with techniques like acupressure and Rolfing (the connective tissue massage helps with repetitive stress injuries).
Because New Orleans is a city with a long, rich culinary heritage and countless restaurants, it can be difficult to choose a dining destination. But you can taste the city’s imprint on the Four-Star The Grill Room’s modern American cuisine in dishes like the luscious poulet rouge from France in a pumpkin pesto roulade with apricot chutney, or the popular seared duck with wild mushrooms, butternut squash puree, spinach and a pomegranate reduction. Plus, after you cap off a filling meal with the decadent caramel pecan mousse, the presidential suite is just an elevator ride away.