The Best Places to Stay in the French Quarter, New Orleans
Food and music may be the symbols of New Orleans, but the city hotels display historic architecture and tremendous hospitality | Courtesy of Royal Sonesta New Orleans
The French Quarter in New Orleans is the centre of the springtime Mardi Gras festivities and the most charismatic – and noisy – neighbourhood to stay in. Cue towering Creole townhouses with graceful tiered balconies, rowdy bar-crawlers touting cups of Hurricane cocktails and street performers strumming guitars from the curb side. Amongst the throng of jazz clubs and Cajun snack shacks, the best places to stay in New Orleans, from boutique boltholes to palatial lodgings, are bookable with Culture Trip.
Courtesy of Place d'Armes Hotel / Booking.com
Affordable rooms are clad in charming red brick, flock wallpaper and glossy Louis XVI-inspired furniture at this 18th-century boutique hotel. The atmospheric building is wrapped around a tranquil, leafy courtyard, where a youthful crowd of couples and families can be found cooling off in the peanut-shaped pool. You’re a five-minute stroll to Jackson Square, St Louis Cathedral and the Steamboat Natchez.
Courtesy of Bourbon Orleans Hotel / Expedia
This historic building was a high-society dance hall for a spell, before making a U-turn to become a convent. Whether you’re here to party or find peace, you’ll be wowed by the deep-green marble pillars and chandeliers in the foyer which give way to sumptuous, traditional rooms in red and gold, a smart Creole restaurant and cocktail bar with live jazz. The glamour-puss courtyard pool is the place to people-watch.
Andrew Jackson Hotel®, a French Quarter Inns® Hotel
Courtesy of Andrew Jackson Hotel®, a French Quarter Inns® Hotel / Expedia
This traditional hotel on the northern fringe of the French Quarter is housed in a neat clapboard townhouse with its own ghost story – ask if you dare – and close to the bar strip of Frenchmen Street. Rooms are understated with glossy dark woods, powder-blue curtains and gold mirror frames – be aware that the old walls are thin and noise can carry. The pretty courtyard restaurant is worth a visit if you’re staying or not; its trees are strung with festoon lights and a tasty daytime menu puts a southern spin on brunch.
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Courtesy of Royal Sonesta New Orleans / Booking.com
This large-scale hotel on the main drag of Bourbon Street offers the full works – an outdoor pool serviced by a bar, 24-hour gym plus five restaurants and bars. This means a slight sacrifice on intimacy on character, but short stayers and families will be able to get hold of whatever they need, helped by the switched-on staff. The classic Creole townhouse building is a beauty, with a fountain in the tropical courtyard and lacy iron balconies from which to watch local life go by.
Courtesy of Inn on St Ann / Expedia
St Ann Street is the heart of New Orleans’ gay quarter, but all are welcome at this homely, 16-room base. Its affordable, wood-floored rooms are simple but pretty and airy, with lilac and white furnishings, while the sleepy patio is an idyllic spot for morning coffee in the sun. Ask to see the Marie Laveaux Annex while you’re here – this part of the property was a cottage belonging to the Voodoo Queen of the city in the mid 1800s.
Courtesy of Bienville House / Expedia
Chandeliers dripping with teardrop crystals, Wedgwood blues and whites, classical statues and Carrara marble bathrooms. This is one of the most palatial hotels in town. Once a rice factory, this smart townhouse has been restored to period-drama perfection and is staffed with savvy, experienced folks who will go above and beyond for you. Be aware that the cheapest room category doesn’t have windows but all include a delicious hot breakfast in the lobby dining room.
Courtesy of French Market Inn / Booking.com
With deep roots in the city as a 17th-century bakery, this compact, family-run inn now boasts snug, traditional rooms in embroidered fabrics. An oasis-like, sun-trap patio with a plunge pool adds a layer of luxury, plus there’s a scattering of tables for evening sundowners. Alternatively, bag a room with a wide balcony to watch New Orleans street life. There’s no big social scene here – it’s a quaint hideaway with a bang-on location and friendly, super helpful staff.
Courtesy of The Olivier House Hotel / Expedia
As you check in to this terracotta townhouse, with its yellow-painted window frames and twin leafy courtyards, you’ll almost feel like you’re entering a museum. A vintage furniture-stacked salon has thick embroidered rugs and oil paintings; hallways are narrow and floorboards creaky; and slightly lived-in rooms with jacquard fabrics and embellished armchairs only increase the olde-worlde atmosphere. On the corner of Dauphine and Toulouse, you’re close to main strip Bourbon Street, glam oyster bars and the city’s best museums.