What We Love
- The varied selection of reasonably priced craft beers
- The food pop-ups and food truck rotations are always interesting
- Clearing away the cobwebs with Sunday morning poolside yoga
What To Know
- Be prepared for "top-tional" swimming at the pool
- Free WiFi
- Free bikes on loan
- Rooms are arranged, California-style, around the pool, which is a weekend party spot
The 1950s motel vibe of the exterior belies the room interiors, which are cool and crisp. Tiled floors and concrete walls, polished wooden desks and soft pastels are calming and you get your modern needs met, too – protein bars, seaweed snacks, wifi and Aesop toiletries. You’ll mostly be headed off-site for food, as there’s no real restaurant, though the bar has all the fruity cocktails you could want and a choice of instant noodle bowls. Weekends see food trucks setting up shop, which is a good way to soak up all those poolside drinks. Mid-week, things can be quiet and you can chill in a lounge chair in peace, but don’t book over a weekend if you’re not up for topless swimming, DJs and a raucous atmosphere. Alternately, if those things are up your alley, definitely book over a weekend.
In the Area
You don’t stay at The Drifter if you’re planning to spend your time hitting up the established New Orleans tourist draws like Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. Although these are just a streetcar ride away, The Drifter is in Mid-City, a neighborhood where gentrification is happening at light speed, with cool new hotels opening and some of the best restaurants in the city walking distance away. (There’s a Bitcoin ATM around the corner if you need further proof.) Trèo is a must-visit, with its clever cocktails, menu of fried catfish and jambalaya, and frequent art events; it’s just three blocks from the hotel. Twelve Mile Limit is a five-minute stroll and has fab cocktails in a dive bar-ish atmosphere. Right across the street is Boswell’s, a casual Jamaican spot dishing up good jerk chicken and calaloo.
How to Get There
Place is certainly popular and is a scene. I'm glad to see this happening in New Orleans and it was great to stay here, great sun exposure in the day at the pool and great staff. Some reviews below are totally unfair, seem hypersensitive, and yes there are young people around. We made some new friends and the staff were all very helpful.
1 Star for the Motel, 3 stars for the Pool/Bar. I checked in easily enough. The room was fine - nice hipster style but a little uncomfortable, not many soft surfaces. The floors are concrete and the sofa is an uncomfortable built-in futon. Loved the bath products.
I had a series of bizarre interactions with the hotel staff. I walked in with my service dog the evening after I checked in. I showed my key upon entry, mentioned she was a service dog, and the husky man guarding the entry said "she better be a service dog, she's not allowed by the pool or alone in the room. If you break the rules, we kick you out." This was shocking to me and I would have checked out had my stay been refundable. Instead, I nodded OK and felt uncomfortable and avoided staff for the rest of my stay. After check-out, I received an email and call from them saying I left the safe locked, but I didn't use it, or even know it was there. They put me on hold for a while, then I hung up. Again, bizarre.
There's no separate motel entrance, so you're always shuffling through the entrance/cafe/bar/pool/bathroom area/drunk people to get to your room, doubling a more direct path they could easily make available.
The pool is rowdy at all hours - 10am to 12am. Which is fine, but many of the pool guests are not respectful and leave cigarettes and garbage everywhere. Lots of loud drunk people. Again, which is fine, but all the rooms open onto the balcony corridor facing the pool.
Parking is in a lot around the block. Kind of a far walk with luggage. I didn't see any close ADA spaces, either.
All in all, I might recommend the motel here if you came just for the pool and didn't feel like catching a lyft home so decided to rent a room and crash for the night. That's a pretty specific demographic, so I can't really recommend this place.
*I heard someone mention this place was a worthy successor to the Country Club (their heyday at least). This is NOT that. Much younger, louder, less mature set of hipsters in less refined surroundings. I could go on and on about how this place is NOT the Country Club - which is a New Orleans Treasure.
It wouldn’t take much effort from the staff to make this a five star review. They just need to make a little more effort. The advertised Aesop products were in the room and shower, but empty on day one, and never filled up despite us asking multiple times. They shut the bar early on the night we arrived because the weather was bad and no one was there, which meant we couldn’t grab a night cap. I emailed before we arrived with questions and received no response.
But, the vibe is fun, the people are friendly, the hotel is clean and very cool. The staff just need to be very slightly less laid back in order to deliver good service.
Came in with my girlfriend the other night, wasn't to busy which was great. Only problem was my drinks spent way more time empty than they did full- for just one example. Bad service from the bartender named Aaron or Eric. Wouldn't have mattered if he wasn't such a jerk
If you like staff that excels in friendly irreverence, sub-par service, and below minimum standard hotel offerings (e.g. a restaurant, food, room service, a 24h receptionist, or even sufficient lighting and hot water in your room) then this is the perfect place for you. For everyone else it's more akin to hipster purgatory. Not keen to return.