voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Staying in a Hotel Room With No Windows. That Is a First For Me.

This is part two of two parts.

Over the years, I have stayed in rooms with some of the best views; rooms with great views; rooms with decent views; rooms with unremarkable views; and rooms with some of the worst views — but at least those rooms were equipped with windows, as I do not recall ever having stayed in a hotel room with absolutely no windows in it…

Staying in a Hotel Room With No Windows. That Is a First For Me.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

…until I stayed at the voco Saint James Hotel near the French Quarter in New Orleans — please click here to read the first part of this experience — at which I was assigned a small room with a reasonably comfortable king bed.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

At least the room was equipped with a fan that was attached to the ceiling, which is unusual for a hotel room. It helped to circulate the air within the small room. The hum of the ceiling fan failed to drown out the noise from adjoining rooms — as well as the room immediately above mine. You can even hear conversations through the walls; so watch what you say aloud in your room.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

A total of four lamps — one on each side of the bed — plus a light fixture that was built within the ceiling fan were the only sources of illumination in the room. When they were not on, the room was completely dark — no matter what time of the day.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

While the chair looked nice and fit with the decor of the room, it was rather low when seated at the table — as no actual working desk was in the room — and it was ultimately uncomfortable to do work on a laptop computer. A flat-screen television was on top of the bureau, which contained two glasses and an ice bucket on a tray — as well as three empty drawers…

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

…and a refrigerator inside of the cabinet, which was rather handy to keep food cold — anything which was placed near the “freezer” but not in it did chill to the point of freezing — but the refrigerator door awkwardly opened in the opposite direction than the door of the cabinet itself.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Above the refrigerator on a shelf inside of the cabinet was what was needed to brew a couple of cups of coffee. The Cuisinart seemed like it was missing the pot itself — but perhaps the coffee pours directly into a cup when ready? I have no idea, as I do not drink coffee — with one notable exception.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The electrical outlets at the base of the lamp were basically useless — unless the plug on whatever is being used has a very low profile…

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

…but fortunately, two outlets and two USB ports are available on one side of the bed; and the room is equipped with several wall outlets.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The finished material on the floor emulated hardwood instead of carpeting — a floor rug was on the floor — and although an iron was located on a shelf in a rather small armoire, no ironing board could be found. The grey door is the entrance to the room; and located next to it is the entrance to the bathroom. A large safe was built into the wall next to the armoire.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The Bathroom

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The bathroom was approximately half of the size of the room itself, as its size was rather standard when compared to the bathrooms in many other hotel rooms.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The shower had a curved curtain and a small rainforest head. At least two full sets of towels and a floor mat were in this bathroom.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Hanging on the back of the bathroom door was a bag which contained a hair dryer. I liked that three hooks were attached to the back of the door instead of the usual one or two found in many other hotel rooms. The hair dryer bag looked like it was performing acrobatics.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Amenities in the bathroom included white tea and honey shampoo, Infusé conditioner and body lotion, a couple of envelopes of gentle cleansing makeup remover wipes, and a bar of white tea coconut cleansing soap with organic aloe vera, with another bar of soap resting on a towel at the edge of the bathtub. All of the packages were rather small; but I prefer them over the large dispensers which have been increasingly appearing in hotel bathrooms.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The light fixture in the bathroom could use some cleaning. Its appearance was actually rather disgusting.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

A welcome amenity which was given to guests of the hotel property was a chocolate in the shape of a fleur-de-lis, which was wrapped in clear packaging that was “made from plants, not plastic.” I did not get mine when I checked in — I had to ask for one. That was awkward.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Before I walked into the hotel property, I saw all of the windows on its exterior and wondered which one of those rooms was the one in which I was going to stay. The answer was none of them.

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

Final Boarding Call

voco Saint James Hotel New Orleans
Photograph ©2022 by Brian Cohen.

The voco Saint James Hotel is certainly a hotel property to consider when staying in New Orleans. The members of the staff were helpful; the location is convenient; the historic style of the hotel is generally different than many other hotel properties; the room and the interior of the hotel property itself was quite clean; and you can earn and redeem IHG One Rewards points…

…but the hotel room with no windows was a deal-breaker for me, as I did not like not having the option of ambient daylight and I usually enjoy partaking in a view of some kind. I also would like the option of fresh air; but most windows in hotel rooms do not open anyway. I prefer to sit next to windows aboard airplanes and I like windows in hotel rooms.

Clearly hearing the conversation of the people in at least one adjacent room through the walls was uncomfortable for me. I could also hear feet clomping through the ceiling from the floor above. I suppose I could have turned on the television and increased the volume; but the noise factor was akin to being in a bed and breakfast establishment — without the charm.

I did greatly appreciate the ability to be able to check in to the hotel property early and check out late as well.

I did not dine in the restaurant; so I cannot comment on that.

“You probably should let people know that Voco is IHG’s boutique/independent hotel brand and as such, the quality and amenities vary drastically, almost like an Ascend Collection hotel”, Ben — who is a reader of The Gatewrote in this comment with which I agree. “Mentioning this as many may come here looking for a Voco review but not realizing it isn’t a cookie cutter brand like Hampton and your experience here will likely be way different than their experience in the Voco NYC or Dubai.”

On-site valet parking is available for $39.90. I obviously chose not to opt for that.

I paid a total of $136.07, including all taxes and fees for that one night — including a mandatory “property service fee” of $4.65. What did the property service fee cover, anyway? I have no idea, as it was never explained to me. It was probably that “free” chocolate amenity that costs $4.65, I suppose. The chocolate was good — but it was not that good.

voco Saint James Hotel, an IHG Hotel
330 Magazine Street
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130
+1-504-304-4000

Check in time is at 4:00 in the afternoon; while check out time is at 11:00 in the morning.

All photographs ©2022 by Brian Cohen.


Please note that I receive compensation for affiliate links posted at The Gate effective as of Sunday, January 1, 2017. You are not required to use these affiliate links; but if you do use them, your support of The Gate is greatly appreciated — and using affiliate links will not cost you any extra time or money.
  1. There are some hotel rooms that only have a window that looks into the atrium, which is sometimes very bland and not a grand view. Once, I stayed in a basement room in London that had a window that was a few feet from bricks. Many years ago, I stayed at a hotel in either Scranton or Allentown that had no windows. It may have been a Holiday Inn.

    Some commercial office buildings have attempted to convert to residential but can be difficult to do if the city requires that bedrooms require windows.

    1. I have had a view of an atrium from different hotel rooms in the past, derek — but at least one can still tell whether outside was daytime or nighttime…

  2. The property itself looks beautiful… but the no-window thing would be a no-go for me.
    I am surprised that it is even legal – for liability and emergency egress reasons. No amount of chocolate could compensate for a claustrophobic feeling.

    1. That is a good point, NB_ga.

      I have to wonder if no window in a hotel room is normally against code — and whether the historic building was “grandfathered” into not having to comply if such a restrictive code exists.

  3. Presumably you knew it didn’t have a window, right? I mean, obviously if the $136 all-in rate was a key factor, you considered the cost/benefit analysis of staying somewhere cheap? And proactively seeking the chocolate Fleur-de-Lys? That’s hard to even imagine someone caring enough to awkwardly asking the desk attendant about it. Kind of a weird vibe to the whole thing.

    1. No, I did not know ahead of time the room did not have a window, Mark McAndrew. I first found out when I entered the room.

      As for the chocolate, I only asked after a guest was given one while I was at the front desk during my stay. The agent behind the front desk took one from a pile that was clearly visible and gave it to a guest as he was checking in — so I asked because I wanted one myself and did not receive one when I was checking in.

      How is that a weird vibe?

  4. Windowless room, those are common in budget spots in Asia, notably in China; given the claustrophobic feel, you can almost sense Nurse Ratched coming around the corner.

  5. The only windowless rooms I’ve ever had in the US have been in New Orleans. Really should be illegal for egress reasons. I believe most of the older buildings in New Orleans have been grandfathered in. Some buildings there are from the 1700s. I guess in some ways it’s no surprise with some of that city’s management and code enforcement.

    1. That seems to be the ultimate in “cruelty”, Polypoly, as I would think that many people would stay at that hotel property for a view of the falls — or, at least, to hear the falls…

Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!