Fat man in a little room

The other day, I got an **IMPORTANT** email from a hotel in New Orleans where I’d booked a room for the weekend. As a courtesy, hotels often send these reminders out a few days before you arrive, probably to help you avoid staying at the Marriott Hotel Minneapolis City Center on a Saturday night in January when you already had a reservation for that night at The Hotel Minneapolis and then being responsible for two bills.

Not that I experienced that situation this winter or anything.

Two lines from the **IMPORTANT** email from the Renaissance Pere Marquette Hotel stood out more than the others:

We would like to take this opportunity to confirm that the room type and rate you selected for your reservation is our highly discounted “super small room for a super small price”. We offer this specific room at a discounted rate due to its small size which is 119 sq. ft. total with one queen size bed.

Don’t know why, but I’m now singing the description of that room — also called the “Big Discount, Tiny Room” on Marriott.com — to the tune of “Fat man in a little coat” from the classic “Tommy Boy” movie. And now you are too.

IMG_6016I don’t know what is going on in NOLA this weekend — aside from the Utah Jazz-New Orleans Pelicans game and enough rain to warrant two separate flash-food emergency alerts on my cell phone. Whatever else is happening caused the hotel room prices to get jacked up even more than usual (try $300-$400 for rooms that normally go for $175-$250).

Imagine my delight when I found the cheapest room available at the Renaissance Pere Marquette for a hundred or so less than any of the other rooms within 35 miles of town. (Keep in mind, the rate was still a whopping $110 more per night than it was when I stayed in a “non-super small room for a much more super small price” at the same hotel in November.)

Putting that tweet out generated some funny responses, of course.

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 3.34.12 PMSomebody jokingly asked if I thought management sought out the “super small room for a super small price” when they travel. (In case my bosses are reading, I’m sure they do what’s best for the company!) Fellow Jazz beat writer Aaron Falk of the Salt Lake Tribune noticed the size of the room and tweeted, “1 square foot smaller than Big Al’s bed.” That’s a reference to the enormous, 10×12 kingdom-size bed former Jazz center Al Jefferson bought last year for $23,000 (or approximately what 120 square-foot rooms in New Orleans were going for this weekend).

When I got on my plane Thursday, the excitement started to build.

The excitement started to temper itself when I received this response:

Screen Shot 2014-03-28 at 3.11.41 PMSo, enough build up. What does a “super small room for a super small price” look like?

Here’s an actual-size image of my room:

IMG_6007OK. It’s not quite THAT small. It’s kinda like going from Facebook to Twitter, which only allows 140 characters per post. But, as the front-desk employee called it, it is “cozy.” So cozy, in fact, I snuggled with my suitcase last night. Well, I could have. (Then again, if I had cuddled with my suitcase, I might’ve noticed sooner that rain from the storm-filled plane flight seeped into my luggage, soaking all of the contents, which, by the way, are now hanging up and strewn all over my room. I’d show a picture, but just imagine underwear on my desk chair and windowsill and you’ll get a mental picture.)


Really, the “super small room for a super small price” isn’t that bad. Plus, there is a large window, a large mirror, a high ceiling, a bathroom and a closet, so I’m set.

IMG_6011The room also has an amazing view of the “Immaculate Conception” Jesuit church’s belfry. This would only be cooler if the bell tower actually had bells in it. Fortunately, there are loudspeakers that play loud chimes every 15 minutes, probably to remind you that you’re a quarter-hour closer to leaving New Orleans for Oklahoma City, so you’d better enjoy all 119 square feet of the “super small room for a super small price” while you can.


From here, my room looks smaller than the inside of the belfry. On the bright side, my room does not come with bell-playing loudspeakers.