Hotel Review | Catahoula Hotel in Downtown New Orleans
If you're looking for beautiful, convincing photos of this hotel, then you will not find them here on my blog as this is not a positive review and my experience was quite negative; therefore, this will not serve as any type of positive advertisement on my platform. If you're looking for the sugary shxt, go to their website or any travel booking site. I also reached the 1500 character limit for a review on Expedia where I booked the room, so I decided to share my raw experience here because I absolutely needed more.
My best friend and I arrived at Catahoula Hotel during Essence Festival weekend. The rates were pretty close to others in the area for such a busy holiday weekend with a handful of large events going on and the photos were beautiful online...but then we checked in. My issue wasn't with the size of the rooms or aesthetic -- it was with the service and (most of all) cleanliness.
First room: We checked in early at around noon on Friday so we could quickly get to an event we were scheduled for shortly after. Once we got back, I took a shower and switched into some comfy clothes for the time being. I pulled back the covers and plopped down. After a few minutes or so, I began to notice multiple tiny bugs in our bed. I'm not sure if they were fleas as it is a pet-friendly hotel or bed bugs...but either way, they were BUGS. Immediately, we both went to the front desk to alert the staff. The man at the desk honestly didn't even seem very surprised -- this should have been a red flag, but I was in a good mood and enjoying New Orleans outside of the hotel experience. He did switch our room within a few minutes and we were able to move our things immediately.
Second room: After gathering our belongings and moving to our new room, we checked the bed for anymore bugs. Luckily, there were none in this room. Upon entering, I noticed that the room was bigger which I thought was great and the open shower wasn't directly in front of the bed this time allowing for more privacy...but we were just happy to be in a room with NO bugs in the bed.
Early the next morning (Saturday), we went out to the New Orleans Natural Hair Expo and came back to the hotel afterwards with our purchases before grabbing lunch. I noticed that the beds had been made up while we were gone, so I started taking photos of the room since I planned to write about the overall experience and feature [here] on the blog. After I was done, we were sitting on the bed figuring out our plans for the rest of the day when my eyes zoomed in on an incredibly dirty pillow on my best friend's side of the bed. Somehow I'd missed it while taking photos, but now that I look back, it was definitely there. I couldn't believe someone would make a bed and leave noticeably dirty linens.
On a trip, the cleanliness of where I stay is incredibly important to me especially when I'm paying good money to stay there and this disturbed me. First the bugs in the bed and, now, a dirty pillow left on the bed. I tried to control my emotions in the moment and take in the situation before making my next move...then decided to call the front desk. I explained to them that the bed was made with dirty pillows while we were gone and the ONLY response I got was, "would you like for us to bring you new pillows?" Well...DUH!
Again, no apology and any indication of surprise in the employee's voice. Why the hell was everyone so damn nonchalant?! I replied, "yes" and that was the end of the conversation.
We probably waited for about 10 minutes and no one seemed to have a sense of urgency to bring us new pillows or to come check the room. Eventually, after getting tired of waiting, I went to the front desk to make my dissatisfaction known, ask for a refund AND to check-out ASAP. The two employees at the front desk seemed fairly apologetic at that point, but I refused to have us pay almost $300 per night for THAT kind of service.
Update: As of Tuesday, July 3rd, our money for the second night was successfully refunded.
The Verdict & Our Solution
We were able to get a room at The Troubadour just around the corner for basically the SAME rate and we received much better service. Interestingly, this was my first choice for a hotel when I first started planning. Note to self: trust your gut! | Read about our experience at The Troubadour and see photos, here.
I would not recommend Catahoula Hotel to any of my friends or readers planning to travel to New Orleans. It's cute in aesthetics as a boutique hotel that gives you the hipster essence of "NOLA" and all, but they really should get the cleanliness, service and attention to detail together like...YESTERDAY. I'm still kinda upset that we wasted the first of our two nights in New Orleans here, but at least we know where to stay next time.
Disclaimer: This stay was paid for with our own money. It is not and was never sponsored. All thoughts and opinions are 110% my own.