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
There was an event at the hotel and I was going to get some food and drinks. My bag was searched at the door, which I found odd but went with it. I was then told I could not sit outside that I could go outside just to order my food then I had to wait in the lobby because I had on what the guy referred to as "streetwear" I had flipflops on and it is an outdoor pool and sitting area. I was then told I had to pay 5 dollars to then go order food that I was not allowed to wait for. It was clear me or my money was not wanted in the establishment. I am not a tourist, I am born and raised in New Orleans. Trust me people there are BETTER hotels you can stay at in the city, better location, more affordable with true hospitality and good service to all people REGARDLESS of what they look like Leave the superficial nonchalant discriminating hipsters to their b.s. I will not return to this place and I will actively share my story until the management makes changes or addresses this situation.
This is not a hotel. Their main business is being the trendiest place in town for the under 20's based on hosting pool parties. They happen to have some basic refurbished motel rooms which they rent out on a nightly basis but this does not make them a hotel. When we arrived the reception/bar/hangout area was closed with a sign saying the pool had reached capacity and the door was locked until 7pm. There is no parking so you have to find a space on a side street. We could hear the beat of the drum and bass from the pool several blocks away. When I eventually got past two guys who may or may not have been security hanging outside it became clear that running a hotel was not their main business - they told me I had turned up on the wrong day but changed that when I showed them my receipt. However it was becoming clear that we weren't going to get any rest after a long journey so we decided to leave and look elsewhere.
By the way the website is a hilarious irony free zone which really deserves to be mined for the comedy gold that it is. This place tries so hard to be hip it cant see over its pelvis (to paraphrase Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy). However for the adults in the room who want a hotel for grown ups this is not the place.
Minimal room, but that’s all you need. Clean & comfy! Every single staff member was very nice & helpful. Great laid back vibe throughout. Pool is the highlight of the property! Yummy food popups and trucks were a nice bonus! ONLY downside is there is no reserved seating for overnight guests at the pool. There are so many day pass people at the pool you have a hard time even finding somewhere to lay your towel down. It would be nice if they could put some old school fold out chairs in the room, reserve some for guests, or charge the day pass people a higher premium to rent the chairs so that the people actually staying with them could enjoy them.
It was very busy during our stay, and the staff worked very hard to keep everything clean. My boyfriend is a light sleeper, and we had no issues with noise that previous people have complained about. In fact, we didn’t encounter any issues that previous posters have complained about! Nice location. Free parking (unheard of in Nola)! Great room rates. Overall it’s a little hidden gem. I will definitely stay here again any time I visit Nola! Thanks for a great weekend Drifter!