Hyatt Regency New Orleans

Monday, August 24, 2015
What a weekend! My husband and I got back LATE last night from a 3 day quick trip to our favorite city, New Orleans. According to Time Hop, we were there exactly 2 years ago for our engagement shoot at Oak Alley Plantation and securing our wedding Venue at Hotel Mazarin. Normally those reminders would have made me depressed but reliving the steps was really neat! Exactly two years later, we found ourselves in the city we got married at one month away from our one year wedding anniversary!
We drove from Tampa to New Orleans which takes about 9 hours (plus you get an hour back on the way up!) if you don't stop too many times. It's an easy drive with no traffic so we downloaded an audio book (The Girl on the Train) and headed off. Instead of driving straight through (which in hindsight, I wish we did), we stopped overnight in Mobile and headed off first thing Friday morning, arriving in NOLA at 9:30am. It was an amazing short trip and I have so much to write about, but first - let's talk about Hyatt Regency New Orleans.
WOW. That is the first thing I will say about Hyatt Regency New Orleans. My breath was taken away when we walked through the doors. This downtown New Orleans hotel is massive, with nearly 1,200 rooms and stunning views of the city. Located next door to the Super Dome and Smoothie King Center, you are also a few blocks away from all the popular New Orleans attractions (French Quarter, Convention Center, Mississippi Riverfront) and the Loyola Avenue Streetcar passes directly in front of the hotel. You get the convenience of the city without being in hustle and bustle of the French Quarter.
The expansive lobby had multiple areas for sitting. This is when I started to notice how contemporary this hotel was, which lead me to ask about renovations. I found out that the Hyatt Regency New Orleans only reopened in 2011 due to Hurricane Katrina. It took them 6 years to rebuild. Normally I wouldn't bring something like this up in a hotel review but this week is the 10 year anniversary of Katrina. Although we have been to New Orleans 9 times, this was the first time we have stayed somewhere that was impacted to this extreme by the storm. It is hard to believe the photo below was the same hotel we stayed in this weekend.
Hyatt Regency New Orleans Katrina Damage
When we checked in, I was told that we were upgraded to a suite. There is a great promotion going on through December 31st called the Suite Escape where you can get a room upgrade. I have had the great opportunity to stay in a few Hyatt suites before - but NOTHING like this one. I could have lived here. Actually, my husband and I were trying to figure out how to stay there forever.
We had a Superior Suite with panoramic views of New Orleans. The room boasted two full bathrooms, a separate king bedroom, a huge living room with a pullout sleeper sofa and two couches, a high top table with chairs and two TV's.
The interactive TV's welcomed me by name. You can order room service, browse the internet, order entertainment, see what is going on in the city and more. The room service feature was amazing and unlike anything I have seen in other hotels.
The separate king room was very comfortable. We had problems getting up in the morning - I swear this has nothing to do with going out the night before ;) 
Sadly, my Cannon decided to stop working on this trip and I had to get the majority of my photos with my iPhone. However, the views are still breathtaking looking back on them now.

I had a scheduled 13.1 mile run during this trip. Instead of doing it all in one day, I split it up over multiple days and added on walking mileage. We ended up walking over 10 miles on both Friday and Saturday and then I hit the treadmill Sunday prior to leaving, we headed to the gym. While it wasn't 13.1 consecutive miles, we still got in a total of 27 miles over 3 days.
 The StayFit Gym at Hyatt Regency New Orleans is open 24 hours and had spin bikes, free weights, elliptical machines, treadmills and more.. I normally hate running on the treadmills but with views overlooking the city and being able to choose an interactive running course (I chose New Zealand), I was pretty content and broke a 5K PR!!!! That says a lot after 2 straight days of eating and drinking heavily.
After leaving the gym, we hit up Starbuck's which is located inside of the hotel. for the 10,000th time in my life, I was thankful for the Starbuck's app!
There are multiple dining options at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. We had a few cocktails at the Vitascope Hall and also brunch at 8 Block Kitchen & Bar Saturday morning (more on that later). Vitascope Hall just won best sushi in New Orleans and they have daily specials. They also have really cool interactive iPhone and Android app that allows you to control the music - being the DJ.
We decided to sample some of Vitascope's cocktails - Hollygrove Key Lime, Street Car Named Loyola, Picante Mango Yaya and Ponchatoula Strawberry Mint Shrub Cocktail. Their entire line of hand crafted cocktails would impress any mixologist snob.
Overall, we were extremely impressed by Hyatt Regency New Orleans and we will be back. For those looking to run the Rock n Roll New Orleans race in 2016, the start line is very close to Hyatt Regency (if they keep the same course). It is the perfect place to stay if you want to be a few blocks away from the hustle and bustle of the French Quarter. There is even complimentary Jazz every Friday and Saturday at 8 Block Bar.
See ya next time Hyatt Regency New Orleans!

Disclaimer: I paid for the hotel out of my own pocket and did not receive any monetary compensation for this post.

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