The Windsor Court Hotel, which we acquired through a great stroke of luck on Hotwire, has comfortable lodgings. Located just southwest of the French Quarter and within walking distance of Bourbon Street, it is not only known for its lovely restaurant, the Grill Room, but its fascinating art collection, valued at some $8 million dollars. Should you come in and have a look around, here are some highlights on the two lobby floors to observe.
The Windsor Court, as the name suggests, is filled with artwork reminding visitors of the grandeur of the British royal family. Reuben Nash has prints of various castle rooms in the elevator halls. There’s a model of Windsor Castle in the lobby, and across from that is a Gainsborough painting “Windsor Castle From The Thames.” I asked the concierge, whose desk was located next to it, and one woman affectionately referred to it as a painting with “ghosts.” If you look closely, you notice the people on the riverbank have a strange gleam to them. They almost look ethereal.
Behind the other concierge desk is a painting called “Charles the Second’s Last Sunday,” a Rococo delight by William Powell Frith of the Royal Academy in 1867. There is an extravagant party going on, with a litter of adorable puppies with soft fur, off which the light reflects. In the middle ground is a card table, and if you look closely you can see a young couple attempting to cheat the system.
On the second floor, walk into the Grill Room. Whether you’re there to eat or not, visit the main dining room to see the impressive murals. Who created them, I don’t know, but they are indeed great; in the main room, a painting of an old French market, with a wanted poster of pirate-turned-local-legend Jean Lafitte on the left side. Everyone here is looking at you, in a way.
But the magnum opus in the restaurant is on the left wall. There are booths right beneath it, so expect some stares, but here is a masterpiece akin to Diego Rivera’s Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Park. Here is a painting of Jackson Square, stocked with a plethora of celebrities who spent time in New Orleans. Here are some of the notable figures: Mark Twain, Louis Armstrong, Edgar Degas, Andrew Jackson, and the artist himself.
The Windsor Court Hotel is a great place to experience art, in a seemingly strange but fantastic experience. I give the Windsor Court and all of its artworks a stellar 5/5 Stars.