You might be able to get away with booking a hotel room a few weeks or even days before visiting some destinations. But this is definitely not the case when looking for places to stay in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
The city has a reputation for its electric atmosphere and old-world charm 365 days a year. But in the run-up to Fat Tuesday, there’s a full calendar of celebrations and parades, drawing even more tourists to the Big Easy.
As such, you should book your hotel or B&B as early as possible if you don’t want to miss out on the party. We’re pretty sure a party would be quite useful about now.
But where should you stay? Keep reading to learn our top picks for the best of the best when it comes to New Orleans accommodations!
Hotel Monteleone – French Quarter
Many urban walking tours in New Orleans center around its reputation as the most haunted city in the US. But in the French Quarter, the focus is on food tours, with plenty of delicious offerings in a historic setting.
Of course, the neighborhood known as the city’s Crown Jewel has a lot more to offer than muffulettas and po’boys, including some of the best luxury accommodations in New Orleans.
One of the most spectacular of all is the Hotel Monteleone, a 570-room historic landmark built in 1886. Having hosted several big-name American authors over the years, including Tennessee Williams and Ernest Hemingway. Suffice to say, class seeps from its walls.
The hotel also boasts a swanky rooftop pool and the legendary piano bar, Carousel. Plus, Monteleone’s incredible location means you’re only ever a short walk away from the Mardi Gras action!
Literary Suites – William Faulkner Suite
For you literary travelers, here’s a bonus for you. A unique aspect of Hotel Monteleone is that they are only one of three U.S hotels holding the prestigious Literary Landmark designation by the Friends of Libraries, USA.
On that note, we love the William Faulkner Suite. Overlooking the French Quarter and featuring marble and granite bathrooms, Faulkner is said to have stayed in this room back in 1951 while receiving the French Legion of Honor Award. Nobody gets writer’s block at Hotel Monteleone.
Food & Drinks at Hotel Monteleone – The Carousel Bar & Lounge
Not that revolving bars are a new thing, but this is the only one in New Orleans and it offers 25 seats of spinning fun on a flashy merry-go-round. Don’t worry about spilling your drinks or watching your food being flung off the planet. It’s powered by a ¼ hp motor, so slower than watching your dad pushing a lawnmower.
Installed in 1949 atop 2,000 large steel rollers, you’ll go full circle about every 15 minutes giving you a change of scenery with each cocktail. Order some comfort food off the bar bites menu, the Oysters Rockefeller with seafood gumbo should give you the classic “big enjoy” we all look for in the Big Easy.
The Saint Hotel – Canal Street
Many tout Canal Street as one of the top places to stay in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, or indeed, at any other time of the year. Not least because it’s the dividing line between the historic French Quarter and the city’s central business district (CBD). The Saint Hotel stands out in particular for its modern fixtures, bright bedrooms, and sleek lines.
You’ll also find innovative Louisiana fare in the hotel restaurant, Tempt, staying true to The Saint’s hip feel and bold design. So, while easy access to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street might draw you in, the hotel’s prime location is only one of several convincing reasons to stay here during Mardi Gras.
Archangel Michael Suite
If Mardi Gras makes you feel like you’ve tipped the scale on the sin side, you might want to retire to the Archangel Michael Suite at the end of the evening.
This 2,2000 sq. ft. executive suite has 2 bedrooms, 2. 5 bathrooms with Carrera marble, and claw foot bathtubs. You also get a kitchen complete with a refrigerator and microwave.
Michael was the strongest of all the angels, so this suite should offer enough clemency and redemption until you hit the next party.
Food & Drink – Burgundy Bar
Eclectically decorated with a chill vibe, this modern-day jazz club brings you live entertainment while you sip your fave cajun inspired. concoction.
With gumbo, hush puppies, fish sandwiches, and tasty desserts, this is a cool place to hole up in. Word on the street is one of the trumpet player’s day job is brain surgery. Guess everyone finds their own way to unwind.
Ashton’s B&B – Esplanade Avenue
Some folks are fully committed to not getting a wink of sleep during the entirety of Mardi Gras, but if you don’t plan on being “that guy,” then stay at Ashton’s B&B. With 8 comfy luxury guest rooms, you’ll be lucky to land a room during Mardi Gras, but definitely worth a shot.
Staying here lets you blend peace and quiet with your partying. Located 9 blocks off the beaten path from the French Quarter in a quiet neighborhood, that’s about the perfect buffer between sanctuary and mayhem and debauchery.
Cajun Kitchen Suite at Ashton’s B&B
Located in the Patio Wing, this used to be the kitchen and guest quarters back in the 1860s. The original masonry cooking hearth still adds warmth to the room and you get direct access to your private patio overlooking the gardens.
Breakfast at Ashton’s B&B
If the breakfast element of your bread-and-breakfast booking is as important to you as a comfortable bed, Ashton’s B&B is the one for you. Decadent delights such as Mardi Gras eggs Benedict or Bananas Foster waffles are more than hearty enough to set you up for a full-on day of parades and partying.
Beyond the breakfast feasts, the B&B stands in a stunning 1861 Greek Revival mansion, full of dramatic chandeliers, spacious parlors, and high ceilings. What’s more, despite its tranquil Esplanade Avenue location, Ashton’s is only a short, pleasant walk away from the buzz of Mardi Gras.
Hotel le Marais – French Quarter
Luxury accommodation in New Orleans doesn’t come much chicer than the French Quarter’s Hotel le Marais. Impressive yet unassuming, this boutique hotel stands out in a sea of famous hotel chains and huge historic properties for its colorful modern design and generous hospitality.
Expect a warm welcome and extras such as breakfast, bottled water, and Wi-Fi included as standard, as well as an exquisite heated saltwater pool.
Plush purples and lilacs add to the subtle drama of the hotel, while its location around the corner from Bourbon Street allows you easy access to the party while also ensuring that you’re set back enough from the excess to sleep it off afterward.
The Premium King Suite
Slipping into this room is reminiscent of mid-century Paris, where you’ll find yourself saying, “ahh, those were the days.” With a wrought-iron balcony that opens to a brick courtyard and plush pillow-top beds, you can escape the entire decade in this masterfully crafted guestroom.
Vive! Cocktail Bar
Sipping trademark drinks in a lush courtyard has cozy written all over it, and that’s part of the charm in the Big Easy. Rumor has it the barkeeps hold lots of secrets and it’s not too hard to get them to spill their guts exposing the hidden treasures only known to locals.
A signature specialty is the Poire Violette. This perfectly crafted pear martini is made with Absolut Pears, Triple Sec, Apple Pucker, crème de violette, and fresh-squeezed lemon.
Royal Sonesta New Orleans – French Quarter
The Royal Sonesta often comes up as one of the most recommended places to stay in New Orleans for one simple reason – you can join in on the carnival spirit without even leaving your room.
While almost every parade route is within quick walking distance of this section of the French Quarter, rooms with Bourbon street-facing balconies allow you to throw your beads down at the throngs of people below.
Although this resort-style hotel promises plenty of rowdy elegance for anyone lucky enough to snag one of these highly-desired rooms, another of its top benefits is how it offers something for everyone.
From families to businesspeople, winning touches such as the child-friendly sunny pool deck and one of the best dining experiences in the city make the Royal Sonesta a destination in itself.
Bourbon Balcony Guest Room
A balcony overlooking Bourbon Street is prime real estate during Mardi Gras, and the ones with these rooms keep you a good safe distance from getting swept away by the crowd.
You can literally be carried down the street without your feet touching the ground, but that’s another story for another time. Put on the complimentary robe, grab a drink from the mini-fridge and start tossing beads from the balcony. What happens from that point on is between you and your primal instincts.
The Jazz Playhouse
Hmm. Do we go to New Orleans for the great food or the great jazz? For the Royal Sonesta, we’re gonna pick jazz, especially since we’re talking about the Jazz Playhouse. Because of limited seating and the talent this place showcases, you’ll need to buy tickets.
Balcony Guest House B&B – Marigny (bonus accommodations well worth considering)
The Marigny neighborhood might not boast many of the best places to stay in New Orleans, but its hip, up-and-coming status makes it more than worth a visit. And especially if you want to be close to the magic without being right in the thick of it.
The seven blocks that separate the Balcony Guest House and the French Quarter mean that you’re more likely to secure a booking here than at many of the other prime locations on this list. But, being able to escape to a tranquil yet colorful idyll after a wild day among the throngs of tourists is a bonus that’s sure to appeal to many of you.
With a wrap-around balcony, think of this as your training ground for tossing beads like there’s no tomorrow. When you can do this without spilling your cocktail, you’re ready to hit the parade. If you do keep spilling your cocktail, maybe you’re better cut out for this tomato fight in Spain.
The Creole-style rooms of this guest house radiate a unique kind of charm while watching the locals getting ready to party from your balcony offers a more authentic take on the Mardi Gras mayhem.
As this list of the top places to stay in New Orleans shows, the French Quarter is usually where it’s at when it comes to Mardi Gras accommodation.
The city’s Crown Jewel is full of true Louisiana appeal at any time of the year. But during Mardi Gras, staying in this historic neighborhood guarantees you the best seat in the house for an unforgettable celebration. Here’s more travel splurges you’ll never forget!
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