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Best hotels in New Orleans 2023: Where to stay in the Big Easy, from the French Quarter to boutique breaks

Whether you’re looking for opulence or indie cool, here’s where to lay your head in the Louisiana city

Jacqui Agate
Tuesday 14 March 2023 17:12 GMT
The soulful city is home to unbound creativity and sultry Southern charm
The soulful city is home to unbound creativity and sultry Southern charm (NOPSI Hotel)

New Orleans, Louisiana, has heart and soul. It’s a place of unbridled creativity, known for stomping jazz, vivid carnivals and time-honoured restaurants rooted in Creole and Cajun traditions.

Happily, the Big Easy’s hotels are as eclectic and imaginative as the city itself – and they’re not confined to the bustling French Quarter either. Lodgings spill out into NOLA’s other districts, sitting nose-to-nose with Greek Revival mansions Uptown, or close to cool indie music joints in the Marigny district.

With plenty of boutique hotels alongside luxury and classic properties to browse in the US city, you may plump for an opulent, chandelier-adorned stay within walking distance of buzzing Bourbon Street in the centre of the French Quarter. Or perhaps reclining by a rooftop pool with some of the best city vistas that the Big Easy has to offer will have your Louisiana wanderlust piqued.

From whimiscal and artsy settings to architecturally historic builds, whatever decor and district you prefer, we’ve rounded up our recommendations on where to base yourself during a trip to New Orleans.

The best hotels in New Orleans are:

Best for bookish travellers: Hotel Monteleone

Neighbourhood: French Quarter

(Hotel Monteleone)

The grande dame of the New Orleans hotel scene, the 1886-built Hotel Monteleone drops you in the heart of the French Quarter, not two minutes’ walk from Bourbon Street.

It’s deliciously opulent – the lobby is festooned with chandeliers, frescoes and a wood-carved grandfather clock, and the 500-plus rooms and suites have luxurious soft furnishings along with watercolours in gilded frames. There’s an impressive literary heritage too: a who’s-who of American writers have laid their heads here, from William Faulkner to Tennessee Williams. They all favoured the Carousel Bar, a sumptuous watering hole where the pièce de résistance is the revolving, circus-themed merry-go-round – stop by for a whirl and sink a classic cocktail or two.

Best for epic city vistas: NOPSI Hotel

Neighbourhood: Downtown New Orleans

(NOPSI Hotel)

You’ll get some of the finest views in the Big Easy from the rooftop of this sophisticated hotel. Head to the ninth-floor pool deck Above the Grid for a sundowner, or hide from the sultry Louisiana heat by day under a generously sized cabana.

NOPSI has stood proud in the Central Business District since the Roaring Twenties and the vibe throughout its common areas is modern meets Jazz Age – think chintzy rugs, velvet throw cushions and intricately carved columns. Guest rooms are more muted and streamlined with neutral tones and plenty of dark wood.

You’re right in the thick of things here, a stone’s throw from Canal Street, one of NOLA’s shop-lined main arteries, and close to Sazerac House, an exhibit-filled ode to cocktail culture in the city.

Best for a taste of the South: The Chloe

Neighbourhood: Uptown New Orleans

(Paul Costello)

What boutique property The Chloe lacks in size (there are just 14 rooms at this converted Uptown mansion), it makes up for in sultry Southern charm.

Potted plants and rocking chairs dot a columned porch and the pool area is decked out in pastel blues and pinks (don’t miss the pool bar happy hour from 3pm to 5.30pm). Rooms are a real home from home – an advertisement for that indomitable Southern hospitality – with record players and vinyl, a turn-down service and handmade robes. And when it comes to food, the stylish restaurant, spearheaded by chef Todd Pulsinelli, draws on both Creole and Cajun traditions with contemporary flair.

Price: Doubles from $419 (£345), bed and breakfast

Best for exploring a new neighbourhood: The Frenchmen Hotel

Neighbourhood: Marigny

(The Frenchmen Hotel)

This artsy boutique hotel sets you up to explore one of the city’s hippest neighbourhoods. It’s ensconced in NOLA’s offbeat Marigny district, well away from the French Quarter craziness – and you’ll find it along its namesake, Frenchmen Street, which is home to liberal bookstores, funky murals and snug jazz clubs.

Though it originally opened in 1860, the hotel is fresh from a 2022 remodel, with a design inspired by Surrealist artist Leonor Fini, who’s known for her powerful depictions of women. The hotel art collection holds three works by Fini herself, plus a series of flamboyant prints, bold murals and objets d’art by other female creators.

The 27 stylish rooms and suites come complete with Smeg fridges and curated snack baskets, and you should make time for a dip in the courtyard pool and hot tub too.

Best for French Quarter adventures: One11

Neighbourhood: French Quarter


Debuted at the end of 2020, One11 was the first new hotel in the city’s historic French Quarter to open in more than 50 years. Built into an old sugar warehouse down by the Mississippi (this area was once at the heart of the city’s sugar industry), it’s an exercise in industrial-chic with original wooden beams, exposed brick, leather bar seats in jewel tones and rooms with cool mid-century accents.

The small but sleek pool area is a boon – it’s surrounded by a paved courtyard with a firepit – and there are stellar views over the Big Muddy from the rooftop terrace too.

Best for design-lovers: Maison de la Luz

Neighbourhood: Downtown New Orleans

(Stephen Kent Johnson)

Daring and design-led, Maison de la Luz is set in New Orleans’ Warehouse District, immediately south of the buzzing French Quarter. Its playful tangle of rooms will keep you intrigued – get lost in common spaces with Egyptian-inspired art and clashing colours, and languish in suites home to floral sofas and whimsical works from local creatives.

The whole place centres on the Living Room, where the nightly cheese and wine service is a lovely touch, while the Breakfast Room will get your day off to a cracking start – the blue crab and gruyère omelette is a house favourite.

Best for trusted service and style: Omni Royal Orleans

Neighbourhood: French Quarter

(Omni Royal Orleans)

Expect classic, timeless luxury from this property under the Omni umbrella. It’s got a first-rate location in the French Quarter, moments from big hitters such as Jackson Square, Bourbon Street and Preservation Hall, and its 345 elegant rooms range from petite yet comfy digs to sprawling suites with balconies and living areas.

The food and drink offering is impressive too. There’s the lauded Rib Room, which has 60 years of practice turning out fine steaks and seafood dishes (the weekend jazz brunches are a real treat), or the more laid-back Touché Bar off Royal Street. Seek out the French Quarter panoramas from the rooftop pool area before you leave.

Best for architecture buffs: Hotel Peter and Paul

Neighbourhood: Marigny district

(Hotel Peter and Paul)

Hotel Peter and Paul offers a lesson in how to convert historic buildings into boutique lodgings with style and care. It’s spread over four 19th-century buildings – a church, schoolhouse, convent and rectory – and the remodel has retained original features, such as marble fireplaces, moulding and stained glass. Some rooms have colour palettes inspired by religious paintings, while others are white-washed oases with pops of warm blue.

The Elysian Bar, in the rectory building, is a destination in itself. It’s the brainchild of Bacchanal, a revered local wine shop, and it serves a menu of updated Southern classics and craft cocktails amid chequered drapes, elaborate fretwork and a swirl of sunset tones. The hotel is located in the funky Marigny district too.

Neighbourhood: Downtown New Orleans

(The Roosevelt New Orleans, a Waldorf Astoria Hotel)

The reputation of the Waldorf Astoria name precedes it and the Roosevelt New Orleans doesn’t disappoint. It’s got a glittering list of past patrons, having played host to showbiz heavyweights such as Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.

It opened more than a century ago, but a multi-million-dollar renovation post Hurricane Katrina means it’s lost none of its sparkle. The work polished up gorgeous original features, including murals by American artist Paul Ninas, and a state-of-the-art spa will have you rejuvenated after a night on Bourbon Street.

Yet the hotel’s highlight is the African walnut-clad Sazerac Bar. It would be criminal to order anything other than a signature sazerac, a heady cocktail of rye whiskey, bitters and sugar in an absinthe-rinsed glass.

Best for hipster hangouts: Hotel Saint Vincent

Neighbourhood: Garden District

(Hotel Saint Vincent)

The Lower Garden District makes a great NOLA base, replete as it is with artisan coffee shops, concept restaurants and vintage stores. Hotel Saint Vincent – pooled into a landmark red-brick building that dates back to ​​1861 – fits in seamlessly and does a great job of blending the original and the new. The old wrought-iron gates and grand staircase sit alongside sleek mid-century furniture and psychedelic wallpaper, with rooms ranging from smart Kings to the mighty Superior Suite.

It’s worth stopping for a bite at San Lorenzo. This all-day restaurant serves up Italian coastal food with a New Orleans flourish – think Gulf shrimp risotto and Creole oysters with Parmesan butter.

Price: Doubles from $329 (£270), room only

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