Planters Inn Review: 4 out of 5 wine glasses:
My husband and I didn’t plan to stay at The Planters Inn – we’d made reservations at The French Quarter Inn for Christmas vacation. But after we discovered the French Quarter’s restaurant and room service would be closed two of the three days we were there, got a less than helpful person on the phone when we called to ask about it, and had an email go totally unanswered, we just didn’t feel good about it anymore. We did a little more research and thought The Planters Inn, with its central location and more reasonable rates might be the answer. I’m so glad we did!
Planters Inn Staff RocksThe first night we stayed in a Deluxe King with access to an adorable shared balcony and courtyard, and while it was clean and well-appointed we had two more days and decided it would be worth it to splurge on a bigger room. Our shower water ranged from cold to lukewarm and the view from room 309 was a shaded alley. Kara at the front desk, who had already been amazingly patient with us after we got lost in the wrong section of the hotel post-cocktail hour(s), trusted us with her favorite Plantation King room. The Plantation King had enough room to do cartwheels in and the bathroom was equally huge.
By far, the best thing about The Planters Inn was the staff. Kara was a ray of sunshine every time we walked by, and front desk Sarah was equally happy to help with any request. When we discovered we couldn’t get the 24-hour “A Christmas Story” channel in our room on Christmas (horror!), they mobilized like it was a terrorist threat and got us up and running. Lynn, the hostess at the hotel’s Peninsula Grill (one of Food & Wine‘s “America’s Top 50 Hotel Restaurants”) was hilarious and made us feel like a regular. She also made me a Bloody Mary with a healthy pour that earned her serious Southerner status, even if she was technically from Pittsburgh.
If we had any real complaint, it would be the lack of mini-bars in the room. They lost the chance to make a fortune off of us by not having one, but apparently the hotel’s owners likes to dissuade people from eating in the rooms. In fact, you have to request the restaurant’s menu if you want to order, though they brought it up so fast I suspected they’d just been sitting outside our door waiting for us to call. Honestly, anything you asked for happened so fast I wouldn’t have been surprised if someone dropped from the ceiling, Mission Impossible-style, to bring us extra towels. (The bath towels are as petite as I wish I still was. That was a bit of a bummer.)
The food we had in our room from the Peninsula Grill was very good – we shared the Lobster “3 Way” (Lobster Ravioli, Lobster Tempura and Sautéed Lobster with Warm Tomato‐Basil Vinaigrette) and Pan Seared Carolina Trout with Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Blue Crab, Capers and Almond Brown Butter. And of course the famous Ultimate Coconut Cake® was creamy, coconut, yumminess. And don’t worry hotel owner person, we didn’t spill a drop!
The hotel has some sister restaurants, and we went to Mercato next door for a fabulous Italian meal, including a Veal Parmigiana I’m still thinking about.
The location of the hotel can’t be beat – it is in the heart of all the best shopping and across the street from the famed City Market. They had a free snack area just inside the front door and every morning we found the USA Today hanging on our door handle, which was perfect. On vacation, the USA Today is about as hard-hitting as you want your news.
I definitely recommend The Planters Inn. And if you have young daughters, the bellhop looks just like Justin Bieber. (squeee!)