By now, you’ve probably heard about how travel companies are trying to reach Millennials. There are entirely new hotel brands and cruise lines that cater specifically to this younger demographic, but few really deliver on a key part of reaching this audience: affordability. A new hotel in New Orleans, however, is hitting all of the right notes and its intended audience is already showing up in droves. Here’s what we saw at The Drifter in New Orleans’ Mid-City neighborhood.
Budget Level: Value (under $150/night)
Lodging Type: Small Hotel (under 50 rooms)
What You Need to Know
Situated in a remodeled motel that dates back to the 1950s, The Drifter offers a reasonably priced stay with a few very luxurious touches. For example, the beautiful but minimalist rooms don’t have TVs — why would you need one, given this property’s buzzing social scene? But they do have bath amenities by high-end beauty brand Aesop, Frette linens and towels, and Tivoli radios. Boho and vintage style prevail throughout, with lots of tile and concrete, and — naturally — an abundance of plants.
Brimming with youthful energy, this hotel is tailor made for those who love to meet their fellow travelers, or sip cocktails (or do shots) by the pool. Morning yoga classes are packed, food trucks serve throughout the day, and music is the norm until late in the evening.
Who Will Love It
If you love the heady combo of high design and easy conversation with new friends, this is your dream hotel. The pool deck is tops optional, which could also be a plus, depending on the kind of traveler you are. (Note that the pool environment feels complete safe; there’s security on-site throughout the day and careless photo-snapping is discouraged.)
Who Might Not
If you’re looking for quiet, seclusion, or subtlety, there are other hotels in New Orleans that will better serve your needs. The same goes if you have children. The property does not allow guests under the age of 21.
The pool is the heartbeat of this hotel. Pick a chair, grab an affordably priced glass of wine or a cocktail (about $7 each), and hop into the deep end when you need a break from the muggy New Orleans heat.
In addition to the hotel’s high-thread-count linens and designer shampoo, you’ll enjoy complimentary bottled (technically, boxed) water and wifi.
Fees and Extra Costs You Should Know About
Standard state and local taxes will apply to your stay.
How to Get a Deal
Stay in summer when the heat and humidity peak in New Orleans. The pool — and air conditioning in the rooms — makes this a fully comfortable spot to hunker down if you need a break from sightseeing. Prices hover at or below $150 per night over these dates, versus $200 and higher in the fall and spring.
In the Neighborhood
If you’re looking to do most of your exploring in and around the French Quarter, The Drifter’s Mid-City location can be a bit of a challenge. There isn’t much parking around the hotel, and public transportation connections aren’t quick or direct. Our recommendation for making The Drifter your home base is to use Uber or Lyft. Rides into the French Quarter, parts of the Garden District, Marigny, and Bywater will cost less than $10 and take less than 15 minutes — an economical option if you’re splitting with two or more people.
New Orleans’ Louis Armstrong Airport is an easy 20-minute drive from the hotel. A ride hailing service will cost about $30 each way.
The Bottom Line
Join the in-crowd at this hyper-stylish, high-energy New Orleans hotel for a memorable stay — with an excellent pool.