It's Not Too Late to Plan for Mardi Gras 2011

not too late for mardi gras


Believe it or not, it's not too late to book a hotel for Mardi Gras 2011. From an out-of-this-world package at the Ritz-Carlton, complete with a ride on a float, to more reasonable deals, would-be revelers still have time to plan a trip.

For a visit to the Big Easy that you'd never forget, for $59,500, you and three friends could book the "Lundi Gras Ride of a Lifetime" at the New Orleans Ritz (921 Canal Street; 504-670-2817 ).

You get to ride with the Krewe of Orpheus, and its headline entertainer, Grammy-nominated artist Jeremy Davenport. Orpheus was founded by crooner Harry Connick, Jr. A penthouse suite for two days, a limo at your disposal, a videographer, tuxes and ball gowns to borrow, tickets to the famed Bacchus Ball and breakfast in bed, are all also included

If that's a bit too pricey, the Ritz has offers starting at $429, with services such as a Recovery Concierge, who will be on hand to make "Bite the Hair of the Dog that Bit You" Bloody Marys and a "Cure" Royal for those who party too much.

The Holiday Inn Downtown-Superdome (330 Loyola Avenue; 504-581-1600) still has rooms, with rates as low as $135. And while the hotel does not have a specific room package centered on Mardi Gras, it is selling tickets to a private viewing stand on St. Charles Avenue, a prime location to view the parades. Tickets start at $35 per person that include catered food and beverages and, somewhat key, indoor bathrooms.

The Royal Sonesta (300 Bourbon Street; 504-586-0300) also has rooms available, starting at $189, but a three-day booking is required. No party perks are included, but its excellent location on Bourbon Street means you wouldn't have to go far to find a party.

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