There are very few places on Earth we love more than New Orleans. The food is mouth-wateringly good (it’s home to one of the best BBQ restaurants in America), the nightlife is buzzing and the vibe is laid-back, friendly and alive with possibility. One of our favourite spots is the French Quarter (rightly thought of as one of the best attractions in the USA), but frankly any visitor is spoilt for choice when it comes to the best things to do in New Orleans. In fact, there’s so much on offer the last thing you want to do is blow your budget on the hotel bill. We’ve rounded up the best cheap hotels around, finding you the places that are both affordable and worth staying in. Just don’t blame us if you never want to leave.
Best cheap hotels in New Orleans
Located just between the Garden City and Central City districts, this delightful hostel is the perfect base for exploring the city’s bars, restaurants and live-wire night spots. And, if you’re too tired to head back out, there’s also the option of an on-site bar that’s ideal for a oh-go-on-then last drink of the night. Although The Quisby keeps luxury to a minimum, it’s not without its own charms. Inside, you’ll find a lovely mixture of vintage and contemporary flourishes, ensuring the whole place has a quirky, personalised feel.
Fan of a good bit of folklore? This Creole townhouse, built in 1833, might just be the house famously known as “The Rising Sun”. And, if you believe that, then you’ll also be keen to know the joint’s former Madam is said to haunt it. Whether or not that’s true, it’s certainly a lovely, idiosyncratic place to stay in and, for money-saving travellers, there are three low-cost rooms available.
With its shabby chic décor, stone-paved courtyard, whimsical garden and views of the Mississippi River, this recently renovated French Quarter hotel is a gem. Built originally in 1772 for a baker by the name of Dreux, the ground floor functioned as a boulangerie for many years. The imminent Baroness Pontalba converted the bakery into an inn in the 1830s. Staying in a historic French Quarter hotel for cheap is a tough ask, but booking one of the Value Rate Rooms here (which can go as low as $73 a night, depending on the season and time of booking) is one of the best deals around town. Plus, it helps that the rooms are effortlessly charming, with exposed brickwork, muted tones and plush features aplenty.
Le Marais is so peaceful and serene, it’s easy to forget that you’re actually in the thick of the French Quarter. This reprieve sits quietly next to the Bourbon Street bustle and the Royal Street hustle, offering guests full hotel amenities and comforts. It draws its name, ‘marais’—which translates to “marsh," a nod to New Orleans swampland—from the famous Parisian neighborhood.
With burnt rouge hues and rich shrubbery that recall past eras, The Olivier House Hotel has 42 unique rooms that make up one of the best budget crash-pads in New Orleans. Beginning life as a private home to Madame Olivier, the Creole Greek revival style home passed through a fair few families until 1970, when it was acquired by the Danner family to be run as a boutique hotel. And though it may be just a tad pricier than the other hotels in the city, the location is pretty impressive. At three blocks away from Jackson Square, it's totally worth the extra pennies. Plus, if you want to travel with your furry friend you're in luck, because this hotel is pet-friendly.
‘Auberge Nouvelle Orleans’ is French for “New Orleans hostel.” This cozy hostel is clean, accommodating and offers a mix of shared and private rooms to the wanderer. Like all hostels, it’s great for those looking to make new friends. The Auberge is located in the budding neighborhood known as Central City, home to a new restaurant seemingly every day, and is convenienty located between historic uptown and downtown NOLA.
Made by Marriot with millenials in mind, Moxy started in Milan, Italy and will soon be found across big cities all around the world. The hotel is known for sleek and tech-forward rooms, but the New Orleans Moxy stands apart for its infusion of city-specific flavor. Guests are welcomed with a cocktail at check-in and can enjoy onsite frivolities like burlesque shows, having their futures foretold with tarot cards, or acupuncture. Rates start at $114 a night.
Nestled right in the heart of the French Quarter’s historic section on Chartres Street, Hotel Provincial is an elegantly decorated dwelling for a traveler looking for a transporting experience. But all those plush drapes and curtains might be hiding something sinister as the hotel is believed to be haunted by a Civil War soldier, from the days when the plot of land was home to a military hospital. With various buildings making up the hotel, this ghost has quite a bit of roaming to do. Weekday prices can dip to $109 in August for a standard room and the hotel offers AAA, AARP and military discounts—but the price does not guarantee a ghost-free visit.
Named after the “Father of New Orleans,” Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, this gracious 83-room hotel captures New Orleans’ historical style and renowned hospitality. The elegant lobby greets guests with Old World sculptures, murals, a patio and a pool. Those of you who don’t want to deal with a car, rejoice: the hotel is located on Decatur Street, in the heart of the French Quarter and a stone’s throw away from Café du Monde. Cocktail aficionados should check out Latitude 29, a tiki-themed venue designed by exotic drinks expert Jeff “Beachbum” Berry. Our tip? Sip on a 'Missionary's Downfall' for a true taste of sweet tiki goodness.
Cute and quaint, the Creole Inn boasts old-fashioned décor in its historic house. It is located in the Faubourg Marigny district of New Orleans, only a 10-minute cab ride from the French Quarter. The rooms have very idiosyncratic names—like the Memories Single suite or The Cowboy Two Bedroom suite (which is saddled with a live edge wood bed frame and a deer head hangs on the wall). Depending on the season and the room, rates can go as low as $60 a night.