The Best Hotels in New Orleans
While you might be furiously organizing your spreadsheet of restaurants or collecting names for your bar crawl, perhaps the most critical decision you’ll make in planning a trip to New Orleans is finding the right hotel. With the right base camp, you can find yourself within walking or biking distance of the city’s best restaurants, coffee shops, museums, and boutiques, giving you a true feel for the neighborhood and cutting down on those Uber fees.
In fact, many of New Orleans’ best hotels are destination spots themselves for visitors and locals alike. Here are our favorite places to set up camp before exploring the Crescent City.
The Ace Hotel New Orleans
Neighborhood: Central Business District; acehotel.com
What’s inside: A lively lobby that acts as part music venue and part cocktail lounge; an outpost of Stumptown Coffee Roasters; a rooftop pool and bar serving adult slushies; lush, sophisticated osteria Josephine-Estelle; and intimate oyster bar Seaworthy.
What’s nearby: City-pride shop Defend New Orleans; The Paramount building that houses buzzy bakery Willa Jean among other restaurants; boutique Hattie Sparks; the recently restored Civic Theater for concerts.
The Pontchartrain Hotel
Neighborhood: Lower Garden District; thepontchartrainhotel.com
What’s inside: Vintage interiors mixed with modern touches (like La Labo toiletries); the reopened Caribbean Room for fine dining and that oft-Instagrammed wall of paintings featuring NOLA native and rapper Lil Wayne; penthouse bar Tin Roof with the best view of the city.
What’s nearby: A streetcar stop for a rolling view of the mansions that line St. Charles Avenue; Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, home to Cafe Reconcile and the Southern Food and Beverage Museum; the one and only Commander’s Palace; Lafayette Cemetery; and dive bar Verret’s Lounge.
The Henry Howard Hotel
Neighborhood: Lower Garden District; henryhowardhotel.com
What’s inside: A historic double-gallery mansion with 18 bright, polished rooms with carefully curated fixtures; original elements like exposed brick fireplaces; a cozy courtyard; and an elegant lobby inside the house’s former parlor.
What’s nearby: Surrey’s for fresh seasonal juice and the best brunch; coffee shop High Volt; beloved Vietnamese spot Lilly’s Cafe; unconventional donuts at District; runaway hit Turkey and the Wolf for sandwiches and a dream-haunting lamb roti; boutique Grandmother’s Buttons; and po’boys at Parasol’s.
The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery
Neighborhood: Central Business District; old77hotel.com
What’s inside: A refined industrial vibe in the lobby made for meetings and working away from the office; restaurant Compère Lapin; high ceilinged rooms that reveal the building’s original details; and a counter for quick breakfast items like avocado toast and pastries.
What’s nearby: Revelator Coffee for iced coffee on steamy days; al-fresco cheese plates at St. James Cheese Company; the city’s best seafood at Donald Link’s Pêche; Emeril’s; and for those feeling lucky, Harrah’s Casino.
Neighborhood: The French Quarter; hotelmonteleone.com
What’s inside: The famous Carousel Bar, an actual spinning 25-seat bar frequented in the past by William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Ernest Hemingway, making it one of three hotels that have been designated literary landmarks; old-fashioned, attentive service; a rooftop pool with a panoramic view of the city.
What’s nearby: The city’s best antique shopping down Royal Street; brunch at Brennan’s; Preservation Hall for traditional jazz played by the masters; Pimm’s Cups and muffalettas at the historic Napoleon House; dinner in the hauntingly beautiful courtyard of Sylvain; mandatory beignets at Cafe Du Monde; sunglasses shopping at Krewe du Optic; cocktail destination Cane and Table; unorthodox sandwiches at Killer Poboys in the back room of Erin Rose; and the newly installed Rampart Streetcar line.
Neighborhood: Central Business District; catahoulahotel.com
What’s inside: Mid-century-inspired seating in the lobby; Piscobar for contemporary cocktails plus another rooftop bar overlooking a checkerboard-tiled courtyard; sparse but striking rooms with spa-like showers; floor to ceiling windows; and a mélange of tropical plants at every turn.
What’s nearby: The Mercedes-Benz Superdome; oyster happy hour at Chef John Besh’s Lüke and his fine dining stalwart August; Vietnamese dishes at Pho Tau Bay; one of the country’s oldest restaurants, Antoine’s; the Saenger Theater; Chef Michael Gulotta’s Maypop; and cocktail hideaway Cellar Door.
Neighborhood: Mid City; thedrifterhotel.com
What’s inside: A restored motor court motel with Instagram-inspired interiors; retro lounge chairs and umbrellas around the pool; an outdoor walk-up bar with fruit-driven drinks; and rooms featuring Casper foam mattresses and Aesop toiletries.
What’s nearby: Bayou Beer Garden for crawfish boils and day drinks; legendary po’ boys at Parkway Bakery and Tavern; Morning Call for beignets and the New Orleans Museum of Art all within City Park, a magical, verdant 1,300 acre park; The New Orleans Fairgrounds for Jazz Fest happenings in March and April; Willie Mae’s Scotch House for some of the South’s best fried chicken; Dooky Chase’s Restaurant; and Italian gelato at Angelo Brocato’s.
The Columns Hotel
Neighborhood: Touro; thecolumns.com
What’s inside: The legendary front porch facing St. Charles Avenue where brunch is an hours-long affair; the historic house’s original mahogany staircase that leads to a stained glass skylight; 20 rooms with furniture and fixtures echoing the 19th and early 20th century time period; and live music in the lounge downstairs.
What’s nearby: Old-school oyster bar Pascal’s Manale; Upperline for the city’s best creole classics in a former house that doubles as an art museum; James Beard Award-winning Israeli cuisine and stunning desserts at Shaya; the original sno-ball at Hansen’s Sno Bliz; shopping along Magazine Street; the seafood tower and whole gulf fish at Cavan, a former historic mansion; and just a bit further, acclaimed cocktails in the courtyard of Cure.
Neighborhood: Lower Garden District; thequisby.com
What’s inside: A stylish, upgraded hostel with affordable rooms designed for groups of friends or girlfriends on a getaway, especially for those who don’t plan on spending a lot of time in them; private en suite bathrooms; a convivial lobby and cocktail bar offering passionfruit Hurricanes; and a mini library.
What’s nearby: One the country’s best folk art collections at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art; The World War II Museum; thought-provoking exhibits at the Contemporary Arts Center; Chef Donald Link’s award-winning Herbsaint and his meat lover’s paradise Cochon Butcher; Howlin’ Wolf for live music; French Truck Coffee; and luxe bourbon lounge Barrel Proof.
Maison de Macarty
Neighborhood: Bywater; maisonmacarty.com
What’s inside: Six spacious rooms in a former Victorian home dating back to the 1860s; unfussy, understated fixtures that don’t scream bed and breakfast; an oasis-like pool with a walk-up bar; private balconies; and pet-friendly policies.
What’s nearby: Piety Street lined by favorites Pizza Delicious, Piety Street Market with a flea market and sno-balls, and Euclid Records; delightful dive Markey’s; walking trails at Crescent Park; build your own cheese boards, wine, and live music in the courtyard of Bacchanal Fine Wine and Spirits; BBQ at the Joint; Music Box Village; and hidden coffee shop gem Solo Espresso.