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Tripadvisor; Alyssa Powell/Business Insider
- With its colorful festival culture, buzzy food and drink, vibrant music scene, and historic neighborhoods, New Orleans is an attractive destination year-round.
- There are dozens of hotels from international chains to unique, independent inns and historic hotels that have been family-owned for generations. A new wave of trendier, design-forward hotels are springing up as well.
- Outside of festival seasons, entry-level rooms can be found at four-star hotels under $100 a night, rising just to $350 for the top-tier properties. Our top hotels were chosen based on recent stays, expert insight, and reviews from trusted travel sites.
- Read all Business Insider hotel reviews here.
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New Orleans remains one of North America’s most idiosyncratic cities. It is culturally rich and has — certainly in the French Quarter — one of the most alluring historic neighborhoods anywhere in the world. Add world-class music and culinary scenes, a year-round festival circuit, racially diverse heritage, and a bohemian reputation, and you have quite the destination.
The city has long been a hugely popular tourist destination with over 18 million annual visitors in recent years — a million and a half of these coming for the city’s biggest event, Mardi Gras. This, coupled with a healthy convention industry, has driven strong hotel growth.
Preservation restrictions forbid the construction of large hotels in the French Quarter itself, but a rash of new properties have opened up in the neighboring Central Business District (CBD), with many large national chains, as well as smaller, character-filled boutique properties in converted historic buildings. Many brands pick New Orleans to try out niche collections.
I’ve been visiting since 2001 and have lived in New Orleans since 2011, and the variety of hotels is impressive. I’ve stayed in every hotel on this list multiple times, through openings, rebrandings, and refurbishments. They all offer excellent value while maintaining very good standards of hospitality and are well-placed for business and tourism.
I’ve chosen properties based on my own experiences, with a starting price point under $100 rising to just shy of $350. All are well-rated on sites such as TripAdvisor and Booking.com. Most are newer, contemporary, and design-forward to create a real sense of place, though some are wonderful historic hotels, and others are familiar corporate brands. In their own ways, each reflects the culture of New Orleans.
Thanks to New Orleans’ healthy roster of huge festivals, prices can vary wildly. Rooms are very expensive around Mardi Gras (February to March) as well as Jazz Fest weekends (April to May), Essence Fest (July) and VooDoo Fest (October). The summer months are cheapest since the humid climate makes it a less comfortable time to visit.
New Orleans attracts a lot of visitors for a wealth of reasons, and everyone has a preference when it comes to hotels. Thankfully, the Crescent City’s properties appeal to all tastes, with value as strong and attractive as the city itself.
Traveling elsewhere? Read our list of the best hotels in other popular cities:
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Keep reading to discover the best hotels in New Orleans, sorted by price from low to high.
Old 77 Hotel and Chandlery
It’s not every day you get to stay in a converted chandlery (maker of supplies for ships) but this art-forward, converted 19th-century warehouse in the CBD offers guests that exact opportunity.
The interior boasts refined dark wood fittings that contrast with exposed brickwork, and a rotating display of work from local and regional artists creates a reassuringly cultural space. There’s even a vending machine with miniature pieces of original art.
The brickwork continues as a visual motif into guest rooms themselves, which also come with a pleasing amount of space and light. Expect some cheeky modern art, a very comfortable white-tiled bathroom with a walk-in shower, and the option to order a selection of pillows and inspirational books.
Downstairs, the Caribbean brasserie of Compere Lapin is one of the city’s most exciting restaurants, complemented by a bar with a well-curated craft cocktail menu.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 83 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.3 out of 10
Pros: The interior design is one of the most pleasing in the city, and having such a high-quality restaurant on-site is a real bonus. The comfortable rooms offer excellent value.
Cons: There’s no swimming pool, though there is a small exercise room for keeping up those fitness regimens.
The Troubadour Hotel New Orleans
This intriguing property lies at the far edge of the CBD, and outwardly, seems to be just a fairly nondescript 1960s office block. But through the doors is a different story, with a kaleidoscope of colorful, sleek retro interiors and patterns, striking sculptures of musical instruments, and design flourishes that switch between decades seamlessly. There are plentiful sofas for lounging on the ground floor and mezzanine, some nooks feel futuristic, others are straight out of a scene in Mad Men.
The rooms are a delight and the entry-level Troubie King dazzles with floor-to-ceiling windows and visually exciting geometric patterns amid blues and gray tones. Light fittings are just shy of kitsch, as are the locally-sourced artworks, and there are aspects of both 1970s and contemporary luxury about the place. The self-service cocktail kit and huge walk-in shower feel decadently adult.
The rooftop bar, Monkey Board is as sexy as any in the city, with its taco stand and views, and restaurant Jayne has a great selection of elevated casual favorites.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 75 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.6 out of 10
Pros: Don’t let the lower Trip Advisor ranking fool you, the design-forward rooms offer some of the best value accommodations in the city.
Cons: The rooftop bar space is crying out for a small pool, but sadly there isn’t one.
The Pontchartrain Hotel
This hotel reopened in 2016 after a 60-year hiatus and the refurbishment was a panoramic triumph. Though the hotel is away from Downtown in the Lower Garden District, it’s a true destination property with 1940s glamour that was lovingly recreated throughout the building. Details such as the gold leaf in the original elevators, staff uniforms, antique mirrors, curated art, and the cinematic period front desk that issues actual metal door keys to guests, all curate a retro aesthetic that is completely on point.
Guest rooms are equally vintage feeling and unmatched in style in the city. European and Caribbean influences are apparent with tiki-style decor, velvet headboards, and chaise lounges that add to the plush feel. Antique medicine cabinets in immaculately-tiled bathrooms and original wardrobes complete the aesthetic.
Stand-out food and beverage options include the artfully decadent Jack Rose restaurant, but the real jewel is the rooftop bar, Hot Tin, which serves up the best views of the city alongside craft cocktails.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 8 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10
Pros: The attention to detail in the refurbishment is astounding, making The Pontchartrain Hotel one of the most evocative hotels in the city.
Cons: The location is slightly away from the main action of Downtown, but some visitors may prefer the quieter ambiance the slight distance provides.
Hotel Peter & Paul
The Marigny is a mostly residential neighborhood next to the French Quarter, and this hotel a considerate, discreet addition to its streets. Housed in a converted church, both the sacred space and the associated properties such as a school house, rectory, and convent were all repurposed to welcome guests.
The original architecture still very much on display and interiors pay dutiful homage to the former lives of the buildings. Stained glass windows and swathes of richly colored fabrics frame the spaces and there’s a casual holiness to the captivating ambiance.
The rooms are spread across three of the buildings, and given that the original structures have been preserved, come in a wide array of styles and sizes. There’s a pastoral feel to most, with contemporary rustic decor and gingham furnishings. Religious iconography pops up, landing the rooms somewhere between a farmhouse and a seminary.
The Elysian Bar is a destination spot with its decadent wall hangings and the striking curved and colorful columns of the bar itself.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 13 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 9.3 out of 10
Pros: The sense of place and former life of these buildings has been honored respectfully and thoughtfully, and it’s a truly memorable place to stay with affordable prices.
Cons: Due to the age and design of the original buildings, some of the rooms can feel quite small.
Operational since 1886, this hotel is one of the very few family-owned properties of its kind, now under fifth generation management. Exterior lights up Royal Street with elegant Italianate architecture, and the lobby feels alive with old-school European charm. Exhibition cases show off a proud literary history with artifacts from Truman Capote and Tennessee Williams. Service harks back to the Golden Age of travel, and the hotel’s famous Carousel Bar (literally designed around a slowly-rotating carousel bar) is a major tourist draw and has been welcoming guests and locals for cocktails for over 100 years.
There’s a traditional, almost imperial feel to the rooms with brocaded curtains and striped wallpaper, but it’s the hotel’s public spaces that really shine. As well as the Carousel Bar, the flagship restaurant Criollo serves Southern Classic and live jazz. On the rooftop, one of the city’s best pools awaits guests, and the day spa, Aria, is also suitably welcoming.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 21 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10
Pros: The feeling of staying in a truly unique property is unmatched the access to Carousel Bar is a major advantage. Hotels like this one don’t really exist any more in the United States.
Cons: The entry-level rooms are more functional than showstoppers, though the suites are among the best in town.
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans
This large convention hotel – still fresh from a $275 million renovation – lies in a plumb spot just behind the Louisiana Superdome. In terms of service and breadth of amenities, it stands alone in the city. Seven award-winning dining options and an outdoor saltwater pool are just a couple of the highlights. The interior is a symphony of glass and steel, with futuristic elevators and striking windows that are a work of art in themselves and stretch for several stories with views of the stadium beyond.
There are 1,200 rooms, arranged in a horseshoe pattern around the central public space. They are cleaned to hypoallergenic standards and deliver everything you might expect from a successful international brand including a high standard for business design, with gold and ivory accents and a tech-forward feel.
The restaurants run the gamut of high-end to casual, with coffee shops, stores, and a 32nd-floor gym, meaning you don’t have to leave the property if you don’t need to.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 81 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.9 out of 10
Pros: Solid quality accommodations with so many amenities that leaving the hotel isn’t necessary. The Trip Advisor ranking belies how good the value of this hotel is.
Cons: If it’s a sense of place and character you’re looking for, a smaller boutique property would be better. This is definitely a chain business and convention hotel and feels as traditional as you’d expect from a big name.
The Royal Sonesta
There are odd touches of class to be found along New Orleans’ tackiest thoroughfare, Bourbon Street, and this grand dame of a hotel is one of them. Taking up a whole city block, stepping inside immediately transports you away from the neon and noise outside into an elegant Art Deco lobby, replete with floral arrangements and sleek sofas. The hotel boasts a 6,000-piece art collection, making it the most cultural spot on the street.
Thanks to a 2016 complete renovation, the rooms feel fresh with royal blue bedding, maroon flourishes, and decor that feels whimsical without straying into pretension.
The hotel’s flagship restaurant, R’Evolution, is one of the finest in the city providing a gourmet romp through the best cuisine in the South. There’s an on-site jazz lounge for taking in the local music scene, and an outdoor heated pool that’s a blessing year-round.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 51 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Pros: Staying at Royal Sonesta places you right in the thick of the action, surrounded by the entertainment district of the French Quarter, without feeling overburdened by it.
Cons: Some guests might see the location as a minus, as it can be one of the noisier spots at peak times.
The Higgins Hotel New Orleans
Not many hotels in the world can say they are the sister property to a museum, but that’s the case here at this unusual property. Neighboring the National World War II Museum, The Higgins reflects a retro 1940s chic feel. The imposing, Gothic exterior gives way to a glorious lobby, with Art Deco aesthetics and huge, floor-to-ceiling murals. Wartime artifacts and music from the period create an impressively evocative atmosphere, all designed to welcome the veterans and history buffs that make up most of the clientele.
The entry-level rooms are impressive, with inviting royal blues and gold hues in King Rooms that complements the military precision of clean lines and general tidiness. There’s wartime-inspired artwork and kitsch posters as well as panoramic city views.
The hotel’s amenities continue the theme, with Kilroy’s lobby bar and rustic French restaurant Café Normandie both offering additional military aesthetics. Hilton Honors members can use the lounge, which boasts General Patton’s piano.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 1 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 9.2 out of 10
Pros: A truly interesting and memorable property that is right next door to the world-class National World War II Museum, and certainly takes inspiration from it. It’s a must for history buffs.
Cons: Younger travelers may find the clientele on the mature side, but there’s every respect paid to veterans and servicemen and women.
The Roosevelt New Orleans
One of the oldest hotels in New Orleans (it dates back to 1893), this magnificent building combines architectural styles from the Gilded Age, as well as Art Deco and Beaux-Arts flourishes. The block-long lobby is stunning, all done up in golden sophistication with murals, elaborate light fixtures, and period furniture. Uniformed lobby staff dart between guests, and there’s an ambiance of a grand, European hotel, including old-school touches such as a shoe-shine stand.
Off the lobby are famed local institutions, such as the wood-paneled Sazerac Bar and legendary event space, The Blue Room, while live jazz music floats from The Fountain Bar. There’s a traditional feel to the rooms, with dark woods and floral patterns, and suites offering a particularly good value. On-site restaurant Domenica offers upscale Italian classics, and the Waldorf Astoria-branded spa and rooftop swimming pool are elegant relaxation areas.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 45 of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Pros: The wealth of amenities and services give guests a reassuring feel of a true full-service five-star hotel.
Cons: Some of the walls in the standard rooms can be thin, but it’s not a hotel that books in many large parties of young people.
Soniat House Hotel
It’s easy to walk right past this early 19th-century complex of high-end Creole cottages tucked away on a tranquil, residential stretch of the French Quarter.
Stepping through the door, though, guests see flickering gas lamps and tropical foliage framing a stone-flagged courtyard. Wrought iron balconies and public spaces bedecked with period antiques hint at the levels of sophistication within, and the hotel serves as a timeless iteration of Southern elegance.
The 31 accommodations differ in size and layout but all reflect a rustic sophistication. Entry-level cottages come with canopy beds, gold and green color palates, chandeliers, and antique ornaments. Doors open out onto the courtyard, where guests can enjoy freshly-baked biscuits, preserves, and freshly-squeezed orange juice for breakfast, and there’s also a well-stocked honor bar in a plush guest lounge for pre-dinner cocktails.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 60 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 9.1 out of 10
Pros: The feeling of privacy and exclusivity while still staying in the French Quarter is unmatched.
Cons: With only a breakfast menu (though it is available for most of the day), guests have to rely on dining out options. Amenities on-site are quite limited.
The Ritz Carlton New Orleans
The New Orleans branch of the global luxury brand dominates a city block on Canal Street and the edges of the French Quarter, in an imposing Beaux-Arts building. Once a high-end department store, it’s now a sprawling, five-star property with all the amenities and comforts visitors would expect of a brand such as The Ritz. The elevator to the lobby delivers a reassuring degree of exclusivity, and the lower floor is dedicated to the hotel’s high-end spa and gym.
Rooms err on the traditional side, with opulent curtains, oversized embroidered headboards, and a plush blue velvet armchair that create a certain antebellum charm. There’s a club level in its own annex with even higher levels of indulgence.
M Bistro, the flagship restaurant, has a Southern menu that locks in a sense of place, and the Davenport Lounge sees local jazz trumpeter Jeremy Davenport entertain with classic songs for free on weekends.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 44 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 8.8 out of 10
Pros: There’s an assured confidence of booking into a Ritz Carlton property and the standards that come along with that. This outpost certainly does not disappoint.
Cons: The Ritz Carlton New Orleans is one of the more expensive options and the interiors don’t really reflect the city in a very noticeable way.
Windsor Court Hotel
For an unlikely slice of British refinement in the CBD, this 5-star hotel comes complete with afternoon tea service and fine art depicting hunting scenes and high society.
The exterior is unswervingly modern, but inside offers a traditionally luxurious experience following a $22 million refurbishment. The public spaces feel like a private members club with leather sofas and a lingering air of refinement and the heated pool is easily the most alluring in the city.
The suites (it’s an all-suite hotel) scream classic English vogue, with blue and gold overtones accentuating traditional patterns and views of the river from small private balconies. The all-marble bathrooms elevate the ambiance even more, and though the rooms are decidedly unflashy, they reflect a high standard of design.
The restaurant, The Grill Room, is one of the highest-rated in the South, with its murals and leather-backed chairs, and the Polo Lounge is a sophisticated spot for an after-dinner cocktail.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 9 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 9.4 out of 10
Pros: A high-end, full-service hotel that instantly delivers a real sense of refinement and elegance.
Cons: Windsor Court is very traditional, and fans of modern design may feel it’s on the stuffy side.
Maison de la Luz
This new (opened 2019) luxury hotel is a side venture from the Ace Hotel brand, and The Ace Hotel New Orleans is just across the street.
This newer concept, however, is not like the minimal mod Ace properties you’ve come to know. Rather, it’s far more exclusive and luxurious. The 67-room property feels like you’ve slipped into the townhouse of a global traveler, who returned to New Orleans and decorated her property with curios she collected. The lobby is framed by glorious twin staircases and retro Art Deco flourishes complete the look.
The rooms enjoy expert interior design, as well as indulgent amounts of daylight with high ceilings and huge windows. Quirky touches such as zodiac-themed coffee tables and sculpted snakes for shower door handles ramp up the visual curiosity, while stand-alone tubs and high-end mini-bar liquor reflects the 5-star status.
The lounge and restaurant downstairs evoke feelings of an Egyptian museum and French brasserie respectively, and the scarlet library of front bar Marilou is a decadent escape that also houses a secret bar within a bar behind a bookshelf for hotel guests.
Trip Advisor Ranking: 2 out of 176 hotels in New Orleans
Booking.com Rating: 9.8 out of 10
Pros: The hotel has truly elevated the level of exclusive luxury in the city, and there are no properties quite like it in town.
Cons: Maison de la Luz is priced higher than most New Orleans hotels, and besides the bar and restaurant, there are no real amenities. For a pool or exercise room, guests need to use those at the Ace Hotel, though this is only a minute’s across the road.
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