I took my first (but definitely not last) trip to New Orleans this past summer, which turned out to be an amazing time to take in the Crescent City and soak up the heat. We stayed in the heart of the French Quarter at the historic Hotel Monteleone—and here are 10 reasons you should do the same.
Almost everywhere we went was walkable from the hotel, including Jackson Square and the Old French Market. Located on Royal Street, it’s only steps from antique shops, galleries, and our favorite breakfast joint, Cafe Beignet.
The Hotel Monteleone, a member of Historic Hotels of America and Preferred Hotel Group, is one of the last big family-owned and -operated hotels in New Orleans. Since 1886, five generations of Monteleones have made the hotel the premier place to stay. It’s even known for hosting a few ghostly spirits from the past.
3. Literary author suites
Several distinguished Southern authors have long made the Monteleone their home away from home. As a result, the hotel features suites dedicated to these famous American writers who have frequented the hotel, written about the hotel, or both.
The author suites showcase decor that recreates the individual style of these literary icons along with panoramic views of the Mississippi River, French Quarter or downtown skyline. Choose from suites designed for Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Eudora Welty. In June of 1999, the hotel was also designated an official literary landmark by the Friends of the Library Association.
4. Comfy beds
The hotel has 600 luxurious guest rooms—all featuring comfortable beds. This was a godsend after overnighting at a nightmare-esque airport hotel in Houston en route to New Orleans.
My friend Beth and I both took full advantage, having several naps and restful evenings in our traditional guestroom with two double beds during our girls getaway in the Big Easy. Nothing better than getting to sleep whenever you want. (Especially when you have a toddler at home!)
5. The spa
When I travel, I always like a bit of pampering. I mean, that’s what vacation is all about, right? So Beth and I made our way to the hotel spa, Aria, and each got a relaxing massage. It was a great way to unwind from the stress of airports and flights, and prepared us for a few days of exploring New Orleans. The spa is fully equipped, also offering reflexology, mani/pedis and body treatments.
6. Carousel Bar & Lounge
The hotel’s famed Carousel Bar & Lounge is a hopping hotspot for both locals and visitors. It’s home to the city’s only revolving bar, and for decades, guests have taken a spin on the 25-seat, circus-clad Merry-Go-Round. In 2011, the Carousel was given a reno to modernize and upgrade the space, but the authentic carousel top and hand-painted chairs around the revolving bar remain. The Carousel offers signature cocktails, tasty bites and live entertainment around a unique revolving bar; can’t ask for much more!
7. Rooftop pool and bar
For an early morning splash or after a long day of sightseeing, revive yourself in the heated rooftop pool. Open year-round, the pool offers picturesque views of the city, not to mention refreshing drinks at the poolside bar.
8. Criollo Restaurant
Criollo, the Spanish word for Creole, is the name of the stylish hotel restaurant. It features Louisiana cuisine with a contemporary twist, using home-grown ingredients. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Criollo has just launched a new value-driven comfort food lunch special. Every Monday to Friday, a different Louisiana lunch special—chicken and waffles, anyone?—is on offer for only $12.
9. It’s pet-friendly
Even though I didn’t travel with my puppy on this trip, I’m always partial to hotels that are willing to host our furry friends. The Hotel Monteleone is one of the few New Orleans luxury hotels that offers pet-friendly services, including a bag of treats and a brochure filled with places in the city where your pets are welcome.
10. Excellent service
Bottom line, this place is classy and elegant, and it has the service to go with it. From the moment the doormen greet you right through to the warmth of the housekeeping, concierge and restaurant staff, I was never disappointed with the level of service and the N’awlins hospitality. Cannot wait for my next stay!