Does this content look wrong? Click here to report any errors.

Ready for some football? Hotel picks for your visitors

Fall is just around the corner, bringing Halloween, holidays, and lots of football in the coming months. As out-of-towners plan their visits for these events, they often turn to local residents for lodging recommendations. If you live here, you likely don’t often stay in local hotels, so you might not be the best source of advice.

Thus, we share our outsiders’ experiences to give you a more intimate knowledge of these fine New Orleanshotels, each with its own special charm.


Though other choices exist, these three hotels are convenient to Downtown and the Superdome, while tastefully capturing the flavor of the city.

The Roosevelt, having been restored to its original opulence under the Waldorf-Astoria banner, stands as a New Orleans icon. The traditions within, such as the Blue Room, the Sazerac Bar, the Mystery Lady Timepiece, and the Christmas Lobby, distinguish this grand dame from all others. For fine dining, Domenica restaurant is a recent addition. The glitz of the lobby and the rooftop pool and lounge complement the luxuriously re-fitted rooms. The official address is123 Baronne Street, but the actual entrance is a block north on University Place. 504 rooms. Rates run to the high end, but are well-earned.

Le Pavillon is a beautiful old hotel at the corner of Poydras and Baronne. The lobby is large and comfortably appointed with an open bar area. Rooms are elegantly decorated and comfortable as well. The nifty rooftop pool area provides vistas of the city. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are served in the lobby at 10:00 pm each evening. Service ranges from helpful to indifferent. Rates are moderate to high.

The Lafayette Hotel sits adjacent to LafayettePark and the U.S. Courthouse and office complex. This is the optimum Mardi Gras parade-watching site. The tiny lobby is handsomely appointed, flanked by restaurant and bar. On our last visit the hotel showed signs of wear, but the rooms were nonetheless comfortable and quaint. Management has recently changed. 20 rooms and 24 suites, tiny staff. Rates are generally a bargain, so opt for the suite! We’ve logged three visits here.

French Quarter

There is a choice to be made in selecting a French Quarter hotel. Does a boutique suit one’s fancy, or is a “big box” the heart’s desire? Each type has its own attributes.

Big Boxes – These are large, shiny hotels that still manage to radiate character.

The Monteleone skillfully blends the old traditions of New Orleans into a high-rise hotel. Antonio Monteleone purchased an existing facility here in 1886 and established the landmark that bears his name. The gorgeous lobby is welcoming, but the revolving Carousel Bar is the star attraction. A rooftop pool affords nice views after a cool dip. The cheap rooms have no view, but are well appointed. 600 rooms, friendly staff. Rates are moderately high.

The Royal Sonesta, in the third block of Bourbon Street, is THE place for convenience to all that is noisy and fun. A beautiful lobby sets the upscale mode, and rooms are of equal character. The small rooms are a little tight, but the larger ones are quite comfortable. The pool deck is beautifully surrounded by patio rooms with a courtyard and bar. With Jazz Playhouse, restaurants, bars, 483 rooms, it is one of the best-managed properties in the city. Rates run high, but true to value. We’ve stayed here four times.

The Omni Royal Orleans is centrally located, providing convenient access to everything the Quarter offers. Elegant in every way, the lobby, bar and Rib Room restaurant show style and comfort. A rooftop pool and observation deck top the structure off. The standard rooms are the smallest this side of New York City. 346 rooms, good staff. Rates are high.

Boutiques – Keeping in mind that some of these places are as old as the city itself, don’t expect every detail to be shiny and sterile. Historical tolerance is advised. These recommended hotels provide parking, although not all boutiques do so.

Place d’Armes enjoys a splendid location only one-half block from Jackson Square on St. Ann Street next door to Muriel’s. A complex of six 18th- and 19th-century townhouses, the rooms are situated around two picturesque courtyards. With an outdoor bar, a small pool, and fountain, the main courtyard is the centerpiece, setting the mood of all that is old New Orleans. Just steps away, a smaller, more private courtyard of equal beauty and character provides more privacy. Rooms are comfortable, but perhaps reminiscent of a visit to Grandma’s house. Interior rooms have no windows. Balcony rooms are delightful. 84 rooms, nice folks. Rates are bargain to moderate. We’ve just had our fourth stay here.

The Provincial is located in the Lower Quarter, but a stone’s throw from the French Market, and a short walk to Frenchmen Street. Restaurant Stella! shares the site while Irene’s Cuisine is on the corner. Stunning courtyards grace the complex of old structures spreading from Chartres to Decatur streets. Rooms are nice with period reproduction furnishings. Building 3 has a beautiful “secret” courtyard. 2 pools, 115 rooms, wonderful staff. Low to moderate rates are money well spent. We’ve enjoyed our four visits.

Le Richelieu is a lower Quarter gem, just a block and a half down from the Provincial. The core structures built in 1842 and 1902 are steeped in character, positioned near the residential area of the Lower Quarter. With small bar, pool, and restaurant, the big feature is the self-parking lot on the premises. Parking is $20, but sometimes offered free in low season. Quaint in every appointment, rooms are comfortably sized and furnished. Cool bar and coffee shop. 68 rooms, well managed. Rates are low to moderate. We were stranded here in 2005, and one of the staff personally spirited us to safety on Sunday, the day before Hurricane Katrina.

Maison DeVille is scheduled to re-open in October after extensive renovation. Built around some of the oldest buildings in the French Quarter, this elegant landmark has been closed since 2009. Highly recommended.

If our picks fail to satisfy, please accept our apology. There are another 130 or so establishments that we have not yet visited, so perhaps a worthy property has not found our eye. But, until we have fully made the rounds, we stand by our recommended favorites.


You must login to post a comment. Need a ViaNolaVie account? Click here to signup.