If you’re the kind of gal who loves to plan your trips down to every last detail, well then, more power to you. If you’re like me, not only does that give me a tad bit of anxiety, but it’s so time consuming.
After planning a huge girls’ getaway (like a bachelorette party or milestone birthday), I already feel like I need a vacation just from the planning. I realize many hotels “claim” to offer the perfect girls’ getaway, but talking the talk and walking the proverbial helluva-good-time walk, especially down Bourbon Street, are two completely different things. Leaving your entire weekend plans in the hands of someone behind a computer screen is, without a doubt, scary. Unless of course you visit W New Orleans, then there’s nothing scary about it at all. Except for maybe the way your liver functions the day after.
Three of us gals headed to New Orleans for the Eagles/Saints Monday Night Football match up (I know, it doesn’t sound so girly yet, but sports travel is my life) and booked the Girls’ Getaway Package at the Poydras location (there is another W hotel in the French Quarter). Upon arrival, we immediately felt that standard W feel – the friendly and modern vibe and plush décor throughout the lobby and bar area.
The NOLA Girls’ Getaway package includes the following intense perks:
- Exclusive W Shot Glasses
- Shot Sized Bottles of Select Liquors
- Exclusive W Rhinestone Tumblers
- The Morning After Pitcher of Bloody Mary
- Breakfast Beignets (in the form of Café Du Monde gift certificates)
- Late 2 PM Check-Out
- And then of course, you get all the other W perks that come with the brand, like the ultimate Whatever/Whenever experience provided to guests of the hotel.
In case you’ve never traveled with a bunch of football loving girls before, let me elaborate on why the above is incredibly amazing:
Shot Glasses: that’s just a big plain duh, for almost any trip and most certainly New Orleans
Shot Sized Bottles of Liquor: another duh, and also great for sneaking it inside the Superdome (shhh…)
Rhinestone Tumblers: because girls need bling and it holds coffee for the morning after to help ease that hangover pain
Pitcher of Bloody Mary: in case the coffee doesn’t do the morning after trick, this is probably the better solution
Breakfast Beignets: another morning after necessity and a necessity for anyone visiting New Orleans for any reason – beignets for the win!
Late Check-Out: see all the above as to why this is precious and appreciated, especially after MNF in NOLA
Aside from the actual package offerings, the great room, superb location and all the other moving parts that came along with the Girls’ Getaway package from W NOLA, I think the best part of our stay was the staff. It was quite obvious they were accustomed to accommodating many girlfriend getaway trips and gave restaurant, live music and bar suggestions accordingly. This allowed us to focus on girl bonding time, getting our hair and makeup just right, and then having a blast.
A Girl’s Gotta Eat, Right?
SoBou fills up quickly, so reservations are pretty much a must. Dubbed a “spirited restaurant,” SoBou has put an equal emphasis on the bar menu and crafted cocktails as well as their “Louisiana street food-inspired” menu. Their modern Creole cuisine boasts things such as “Duck Debris & Butternut Beignets with chicory coffee ganache; Tasso & Andouille Flatbread with Manchego cheese, grilled green onions, and a three-mustard glaze; and Sticky Pork Belly lacquered with Steen’s molasses, served alongside dirty rice and ham hock- stewed Louisiana red bean purée. The Shrimp and Tasso Pinchos with grilled pineapple and spicy pepper jelly, draws from Chef Gonzalez’s Puerto Rican heritage.
The prices start as little as $1 for “snacky things” and go up accordingly. It’s not only a chance to experience great food and beverage in the heart of the French Quarter, but it’s definitely a scene where any group of gals will want to be seen. Note – the stellar dessert menu isn’t the only thing sweet at SoBou – the eye candy is also a nice touch.
A Girl’s Gotta Get Around, Right?
Bourbon Street isn’t the most ideal place to walk around in high-heels, so the complimentary Acura experience onsite at W Hotel was also another plus for our group. Being just a short few blocks walk from the Superdome, was probably the best accidental planning we could have done for this trip. Geography and proximity to my ultimate destination isn’t really my forte, but luckily, it was the perfect walk. Perfect in the sense that we passed every single chaotic tailgate – the very same kind New Orleans is known for.
Unfortunately the trip was too short (plus it rained a lot), so we didn’t get to check out WET, the outdoor pool rooftop pool at the W, but that’s one of the main reasons we’ll definitely be heading back. WET has three private poolside cabanas with TV’s and easy-to-order drinks and food and with just a touch of sun, it’s the key to any perfect afternoon in New Orleans.
After this trip to the W New Orleans, I will say this: any other hotels or resorts that claim to offer any variation of a girls’ getaway or package has mighty large Jimmy Choos to fill.
In case you need extra prodding to visit New Orleans (hopefully you don’t…), Travel + Leisure (T+L) Magazine’s 2012 America’s Favorite Cities Survey just placed New Orleans in the top spot. The survey also ranked New Orleans #1 in subcategories including live music/concerts and bands, wild weekends, happy hour, singles/bar scene, off-beat personalities, cafes, antique stores, flea markets and of course girlfriend getaways.
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side. Be sure to follow Jayme’s travel and sports adventures on Twitter @jaymelamm.