If you're planning a trip to New Orleans, or are a local looking for a staycation or a change of pace, this city boasts a wealth of beautiful hotels. Including fancy old favorites, newer hipster haunts, and hotels that may actually be haunted, here are our 15 favorite hotels to stay and play.Read More
New Orleans' 15 Essential Hotels
1. The Drifter Hotel
Since opening in 2017, the Drifter Hotel has eclipsed the Bywater’s Country Club as the trendiest place to see and been seen. In addition to a heavy slate of events (poolside yoga, dance parties), the circa-1956, 20-room motel has a stylish mid-century modern vibe that’s put Tulane Avenue back on the map for all the right reasons: it was named one of America’s “chicest motels” by Architectural Digest.
2. The Pontchartrain Hotel
This circa-1927 hotel in the Lower Garden District boasts some of the best food and beverage options you’ll find even in the high-stakes game that is New Orleans’ service industry. Its penthouse bar, Hot Tin, serves up potent craft cocktails alongside stunning, panoramic cityscape views, while Jack Rose, its culinary crown, serves Louisiana fare and a jovial brunch with bottomless Veuve Cliqcuot. Don’t forget to take a selfie by the Lil Wayne painting.
3. Hotel Peter and Paul
A circa-1860s Marigny church now serves as a 71-room boutique hotel. Designed by architect Henry Howard, the church’s four buildings were restored by studioWTA. The team preserved many original elements—cypress moldings, stained glass windows, and marble mantels among them. New York-based design team ASH layered on a selection of antiques hand-sourced from Europe, estate sales, and local artisans. The hotel’s muted color palette is lifted straight from a Renaissance painting. The result is a richly patinaed, Old-World setting where no two rooms are exactly the same.
4. Le Pavillon Hotel
Located on Poydras Street, only a brief walk from the French Quarter, Le Pavillon’s European influences shine. On the list of National Register of Historic Places, the building was constructed in 1902. Crystal chandeliers in the lobby, European antiques, and marble columns will delight those with traditional taste. Le Pavillon has 226 hotel rooms and suites with themes like “European Castle” and “Art Deco,” and offers a nightly PB&J service for nighttime snackers.
5. Ace Hotel New Orleans
This Portland, Oregon-based brand opened in a 1928 Art Deco building (it was previously Max Burnett’s Furniture Store until the 1970s) on Carondelet Street in the Warehouse District. In addition to 234 rooms, the Ace also has music venue Three Keys, which hosts frequent performances. Stumptown Coffee, a Portland-based roaster, has opened its first Southern location in the property, and Josephine Estelle, the hotel’s restaurant, offers Italian and Southern inspired fare.
6. Melrose Mansion
New Orleans, LA 70116
Contemporary meets Victorian in this renovated mansion that combines modern luxuries with all the charm of an old, private New Orleans residence. Located on Espanade Avenue on the edge of the French Quarter, guests get the conveniences of being located near all the activity the Quarter has to offer, without having to be right in the thick of it. The Melrose Mansion offers guest rooms and suites with marble bathrooms (some with Jacuzzi tubs), cathedral ceilings, and hardwood floors. Unwind by the outdoor pool, and enjoy complimentary wine and cheese served from 4:30-5:30 p.m. each evening.
7. The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
This Waldorf Astoria hotel has been a New Orleans legend since 1893, and today offers some of the best dining and drinking New Orleans has to offer. The hotel’s Domenica restaurant is a must for Italian cuisine lovers. At the legendary Sazerac Bar, you can enjoy the namesake drink known as “America’s first cocktail.” The rooftop pool and the stunning lobby—if you’re in town during the holidays, come check out the splendid decorations—are enough to blow you away, too.
8. Ritz Carlton
New Orleans, LA 70112
Plush linens, feather bedding, marble bathrooms, and top-notch service — guests know what to expect from the Ritz-Carlton name, and the New Orleans location is no different. This 1908 Beaux Arts building on Canal Street used to be the flagship Maison Blanche department store, which closed its doors for good in 1998. The Ritz-Carlton’s luxurious spa, with more than 100 services, can easily compete for the title of best in the city.
9. The Eliza Jane In The Unbound Collection By Hyatt
Named for Eliza Jane Nicholson, publisher of The Daily Picayune and the first woman to own a major newspaper in the U.S., the boutique hotel connects nine historic warehouses, one of which formerly housed The Daily Picayune. In the lobby, hex-tiled floors, a custom brass lighting feature, and paneled, antique-strewn bookshelves create a timeworn feel. There are 50 suites among the 196 nonsmoking guest rooms, which feature high ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and walk-in shower and tub combinations.
10. Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans
The classy Royal Sonesta can provide a bit of an escape from the bustle of Bourbon Street. As far as entertainment goes, the Royal Sonesta has dining and nightlife covered. Jazz lovers will feel right at home in the Jazz Playhouse, a live music club where you can see some of the best jazz the city has to offer most nights of the week. The hotel’s Restaurant R’evolution was named one of America’s 100 Best Wine Restaurants by Wine Enthusiast in 2015.
11. Hotel Monteleone
New Orleans, LA 70130
This landmark has been run by generations of the Monteleone family since the 1880s, when it started out as a 64-room hotel, and since then has grown to 570 rooms, 55 of those suites. The Monteleone has been home to the legendary Carousel Bar and Lounge since 1949, which got a major overhaul a few years ago, but still retains all its original charm and legendary rotating bar. The hotel is also known for its literary legacy—it’s the hub for the annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival— and was a favorite spot for Williams, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Truman Capote, to name a few.
12. Le Meridien Hotel
This hotel opened up in 2014 after a $29 million renovation (it was previously a W Hotel, another Starwood property). Le Méridien’s amenities include a rooftop pool and fitness center, and through its Unlock Art program, the hotel has partnered with local cultural institutions the Contemporary Arts Center, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and the New Orleans Museum of Art. Le Méridien guests can receive free access to these institutions by presenting their Guest Pass from the hotel.
13. Windsor Court Hotel
Located right outside of the French Quarter, the Windsor Court offers a luxurious experience with all the amenities you’d expected from an upscale establishment, including an outdoor pool, fitness center, and a lauded spa. Guests can enjoy an elegant afternoon tea service at Le Salon and high-end dining at The Grill Room. The plush Polo Club Lounge, which hosts live jazz five nights a week, is a swanky place for a cocktail and a nibble.
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14. W New Orleans - French Quarter
Can’t spring for a full-on staycation? Enjoy the W just for a day with a pool pass—it’s $20 and includes a food and beverage credit. Framed by lush vegetation and iron work fences, this courtyard is a beautiful place to unwind, and a meal at SoBou tops it off.
15. Soniat House
New Orleans, LA 70116
Originally three townhouses built by Joseph Soniat Duffossat in the 1830s, this charming French Quarter property was acquired and renovated into a boutique hotel by Rodney and Frances Smith in 1982, and is widely considered to be one of the best hotels in the city. The Soniat House has works of art lining the walls, and celebrates the original homes’ architecture with high ceilings and European antiques and furnishings. This may not have modern amenities like a fitness center or a pool, but guests who stay at the Soniat House are usually seeking some Southern hospitality and a traditional New Orleans experience.