With a load of historical, high-end and unique hotels to choose from, listing the Big Easy’s best is far from an easy task. Hotels in New Orleans are some of the world’s best, mixing Southern hospitality, a dollop of European charm and a whoosh of Caribbean color—and these characteristics make the Crescent City’s lodgings enticing to both the party animal and the socialite alike.
Beyond comfy settings, the city is famous for its culture and, luckily, with this selection of hotels, guests don’t have to go too far for a savory dish (including the best breakfast in America!), a world-class cocktail (you might even learn to make a Vieux Carré, straight out of 1930s New Orleans), great local jazz and blues, as well as the rest of the best things to do in New Orleans.
Best hotels in New Orleans
The Windsor Court Hotel brings a delicate slice of English elegance to New Orleans. An incredible 316 spacious guest rooms are stacked on 23 stories, topped with a rooftop that features a 65-foot saltwater pool. The exceptional hotel has won many accolades—and is a AAA Four Diamond winner since 2000. The famous Le Salon ‘Tea Room’ delights both tourists and locals with its famous afternoon tea service. While the hotel is a brisk walk from the city’s galleries and museums, guests can enjoy the hotel’s own impressive art collection. Ooh la la.
Hotel Peter & Paul sits in a building that used to be a Catholic church and school, but has since been reimagined into one of NOLA’s most stunning places to stay. If the gingham-clad rooms don’t win you over, with their antique furniture and snazzily-tiled bathrooms, perhaps The Elysian Bar will: this is one of the hottest places to eat in America right now.
Built originally in 1908 as the Beaux Arts Maison Blanche department store, New Orleans’s Ritz-Carlton finds its home in one of the city’s most iconic buildings. Its 15 floors were turned into a hotel in 2000, and the establishment features a historical façade with the comforts of modern luxury—exemplified in the bathrooms’ Italian marble tubs. The building sits on Canal Street, close to the French Quarter and a trolley ride away from the Garden District.
To match the city’s 504 area code, this lavish hotel boasts 504 rooms. The Roosevelt’s lobby is a destination in and of itself—glistening brass elevators, mosaic floors and dazzling chandeliers. At Christmas, many come to enjoy the tree-lined hallway and cascading lights. Celebrities like Sonny and Cher, Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe have enjoyed the locale. But the most infamous fan of the hotel was local politician, Huey P. Long, who loved it so much he had a personal suite here. The hotel houses the city’s famous Sazerac Bar, which moved there in 1949.
This upscale hotel in the French Quarter opened in 1886 under the direction of Sicilian nobleman, Antonio Monteleone. What started as a 64-room hotel has grown into 578 rooms, and the business has remained in the family since its inception. Hotel Monteleone is perhaps most known for its revolving Carousel Bar, which slowly spins 25 imbibers around as they swish their glasses and swivel in their seats. Beloved by acclaimed writers like Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Anne Rice and Truman Capote, the Hotel Monteleone is not to be missed, even for those not booking one of its opulent rooms.
For those wanting to be right in the thick of Bourbon Street nightlife, look no further than the Royal Sonesta. The structure is quintessential French Quarter architecture, with a wrought-iron balcony that wraps around the corner of the seven-story building. On the third floor is the Oasis Courtyard and pool, which overlooks the first-floor courtyard. Along with Bourbon Street’s many delights, guests can enjoy seafood at the Desire Oyster Bar or a seasonal craft cocktail at Bar R'evolution.
W Hotels are known for their signature, chic style. When renovating the W New Orleans’s 97 guest rooms in 2012, the designers sought to blend the W’s elite look with the city’s inimitable panache. That mix created an impressive outcome. With the theme of ‘rhythm and shadow’ that evokes both the city’s musical and mystical qualities, the atmosphere is sublime. Nestled within the hotel is SoBou restaurant, a contemporary concept from the family that created the classic Commander’s Palace. And as they can at Commander’s, guests enjoying weekday lunches can sip on 25-cent martinis.
With stately columns gracing the entrance, glitzy chandeliers illuminating the lobby, an ornate flair to the rooms, and that whimsical nightly ritual of sharing complimentary PB and J sandwiches, Le Pavillon is a spot Marie Antoinette would approve of. Those looking for a next-level experience should book one of the themed suites (Governor’s Suite, European Castle Suite, Plantation Suite, Oriental Suite, and Art Deco Suite), each taking extravagance to a singular level.
Located in the French Quarter, this hotel offers some of the best views of Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral. Following the sinuous steps upward, guests will discover the history-laden Orleans Ballroom, which was the scene of masquerades and political movements alike in the 1800s. While the building is of a bygone era, the amenities are modern. The hotel pool deck offers a cool reprieve from the rowdiness and heat of the city.
Luxury accommodations meet ideal location in the Omni Royal Orleans. Built in 1803, this historic building has 346 guest rooms and is near some of the city’s biggest attractions: Jackson Square, the Mississippi River and Bourbon Street. While New Orleans is known for its seafood, it also boasts savory prime cuts, especially when enjoyed at the Rib Room, located inside the Omni.
For those wanting to keep a posh setting but mingle in a less-touristy part of town, book a room at the recently reopened Pontchartrain Hotel on the grand St. Charles Avenue. The plush decor mixes classic and contemporary New Orleans. In the Caribbean Room restaurant, a portrait of New Orleans rapper, Lil’ Wayne, sits among a flurry of floral paintings. Built in 1907 with 106 rooms, the hotel had many famous visitors—Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams (who, rumor has it, wrote A Streetcar Named Desire while he was a guest at the hotel).
A boutique hotel located in the heart of the French Quarter, this setting is perfect for someone looking for that old-world “Vieux Carré” charm. Its lobby welcomes guests, then extends into the idyllic courtyard, and up the stairs to open-air hallways that lead to cozy bedrooms. For an added view, choose a room with a balcony that looks down onto Bourbon Street.
Swanky just begins to describe the new Ace Hotel in New Orleans’ Warehouse District. Design firm Roman & William went with a Dadaist, Art Deco style for the decor, adorning the lobby with found objects, moody dark tones of greys, greens, and mauve, and the original terrazzo floors that recall the building’s origins as a furniture warehouse. Enjoy onsite entertainment in the Three Keys Music Venue, libations in the Alto Rooftop bar and bites in the Josephine Estelle restaurant (by James Beard Nominee Chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman).
The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery began life in as a warehouse in New Orleans’ heyday as a port city back in 1854. The hotel was established in 2015, but keeps the artisanal vibe of its roots through its distinctive decor. The locally stocked mini-bar features Swamp Pop, Zappos chips, Sucré chocolate and Zydeco power bars. Of particular note are the hotel’s Artist Loft Suites, where local artists have tailored rooms to their unique sensibilities. Make sure to grab a bite at Chef Nina Compton’s restaurant, Compère Lapin, conveniently situated within the hotel.
History buffs will love the quaint Hotel Maison de Ville, a local landmark and among the oldest buildings in New Orleans. In the late 1700s, colonist Jean Baptiste Lille Sarpy constructed the townhouse on Rue Toulouse—or, as the French would call it, “Maison de Ville.” In 1944, the 14 rooms of the carriage house were converted into what is now the hotel. Many a famous name has graced the hotel, most notably Tennessee Williams, who has a suitenamed in his honor.
New Orleans is full of stunning architecture, from Creole cottages to French wrought iron balconies, but one of the loveliest buildings is James Feret's house. The local architect dreamt up plans for Melrose Mansion in 1884, when it became home for the Lanaux Family. Now anyone can visit and stay in the Victorian Gothic style beauty, which is situated in the Marigny neighborhood. Each of the nine suites are chic and romantic, echoing the sumptuous surrounds. Unsurprisingly, it is often booked up for weddings.