New Orleans is a dream to me. I love the city and it feels so different than anywhere else I’ve been in the US. I hope to make a visit back sooner than later and I’ve already been planning out what I’d like to do and where I’d like to stay. If you’re visiting soon, I’ve listed below the best neighborhoods and hotels or Airbnbs to stay in in New Orleans.
For a Classic Experience
Hotel Monteleone just oozes with New Orleans culture. This is an older hotel, purchased in 1886, but the luxurious rooms are timeless. And with it’s age comes great history. Hemingway and Faulkner stayed at Hotel Monteleone when visiting the French Quarter. Anne Rice, Stephen Ambrose and John Grisham have also been regular guests. With so many literary visitors, the hotel was even named an official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association in 1999. And if you’re interested, there is also quite a bit of haunted history. Many guests and staff members have stories of doors opening and closing on their own or seeing ghostly figures. You shouldn’t let that scare you, however, because all the stories seems to be of friendly ghosts.
I stopped at Hotel Monteleone during my last visit to New Orleans during the holiday season. It was SO decked out for the holidays it was simply stunning. If you stay here you’ll not only get to enjoy the decor and atmosphere, but you’ll also get first dibs to what has to be one of the most famous (but classy) bars in New Orleans – The Carousel Bar. The CB is located inside Hotel Monteleone and just like the title implies, the bar rotates just like a carousel. When you’re sitting at the bar the motion is so slow you hardly notice. And if you can’t get a table at the bar, you’ll still enjoy the ambiance and service.
Hotel Monteleone is located in the French Quarter on Royal Street and within walking distance or a short UBER to anywhere you’d like to visit during your trip. While Hotel Monteleone may not be for budget-seekers, I would consider a bucket list item for New Orleans and worth the price for a luxurious stay.
For a Budget-Friendly Option
The Chateau Hotel
From the pricier end to something a bit more pocket-friendly, but certainly not lacking, I bring you The Chateau Hotel. The Chateau Hotel is located in the French Quarter but not right near Bourbon Street, which is a huge plus in my opinion. You can easily walk over there to check out the sights, but you’re not right in the middle of all the noise and rowdy drinkers. In addition to Bourbon Street, you can walk to Jackson Square, Cafe Du Monde, and the French Market within minutes. The hotel offers modest accommodations and when I stayed here you could hear people in the hallways, but it was never too loud that it woke me in the middle of the night. And while the rooms aren’t huge, there’s plenty of space for sleeping and getting ready, plus who needs a spacious hotel room when you’ve got New Orleans right outside your door? There is also a pool available for guests which is a huge win during the hot spring and summer months. In my experience the staff was friendly and prompt with any requests. A simple breakfast is available for guests consisting of juices, fruits and some pastries. However, I’d skip that and save all my calories for Cafe Du Monde. (Not kidding!) Our room even had a small deck which was nice for getting some fresh air.
For Amenities and Entertainment
Royal Sonesta New Orleans
If you want to be right in the action and have entertainment and dining options galore, then the Royal Sonesta hotel is for you. Located right on Bourbon Street, the Royal Sonesta really seems to celebrate their place in the city. They regularly offer different specials around the holidays and parades and they were even the location of the Thrillist Hotel takeover, #ThrillestHotel. They have a heated pool, which would be perfect if you’re staying in the fall months when it’s still warm and they have several restaurant and bar options on-site that sound amazing including the Desire Oyster Bar, Jazz Playhouse and Le Booze which offers a huge whiskey selection. This is definitely a place to stay for a hotel of fun in luxe surroundings.
For Rest & Relaxation
AirBnb in Garden District
The Garden District is a great neighborhood to stay in. You’ll be close to all the culture, but also get some peace and quiet. Plus, depending on where your Airbnb is located, you’ll likely be a short walk to the streetcar which takes you to all the other neighborhoods you’d want to see for just a few dollars. And the Garden District has a lot of affordable options. This might just have to be the place where I stay next time I’m in NOLA.
For a Unique Experience
The Frenchmen Hotel
If you’ve already been to New Orleans, you know that there’s so much more to see than Bourbon Street. I personally prefer all the fun on Frenchman Street. So why not stay in the same neighborhood. The Frenchmen Hotel is a smaller boutique hotel that is right in the middle of Frenchmen street and walking distance to SOOO many live music venues. Plus, they have a pool and rooftop bar.
Have you ever been to New Orleans? Where have you stayed or where would you love to stay?!
Casey is the founder of Casey La Vie & has been running this travel and lifestyle blog since 2016. She’s on a mission to balance her career as a social media manager with exploring her home of New York City and seeing more of the world.