Historic Mardi Gras Hotels
So, you're going to Mardi Gras. You're gonna have a great time! But before you can head on down to the Big Easy, you've got to find a hotel. Luckily, New Orleans is filled to the brim with historic hotels; some of the most beautiful lodgings in the entire world. To start off your Mardi Gras hotel search, we've narrowed down five chic hotels that incorporate the very best of NOLA: romantic Parisian-inspired design, friendly service and just a little bit haunting...
Historic New Orleans Hotel #1: Dauphine Hotel.
Just one block from the Mardi Gras parade route, visitors who shack-up at the Dauphine get all of the excitement right at their fingertips, combined with some exquisite peace and quiet. The Dauphine goes all the way back to the 1600's, but each building has its own story -- like the Audubon Cottage, where John James Audubon painted his infamous "Birds of America" series in 1821, and May Baily's Place, now the hotel bar, but formerly a well-known red-light district bordello.
Historic New Orleans Hotel #2: Bourbon Orleans.
Sitting right smack in the middle of the French Quarter, this favorite boutique hotel is as charming as can be. The buildings of the Bourbon started out as a jazz ballroom and theatre for the New Orleans upper-crust in the early 19th century. Following that, they were converted into a private school. Because of that, many guests claim spirits of school children, soldiers and dancers can be seen roaming the halls searching for their beloved destinations; it's a featured stop on every ghost tour. If you can, shell out for a suite; they provide excellent views of the hotel's stunning courtyard, the beautiful cathedral gardens and the French Quarter.
Historic New Orleans Hotel #3: Place D'Armes Hotel.
A block from Jackson Square, Cafe du Monde and other legendary New Orleans highlights, Place D'Armes is a perfect choice for Mardi Gras visitors and first-time New Orleans travelers -- you're just a few steps from the parade route! With 84 cozy rooms in renovated historic townhouses with exposed brick and balconies, the Place D'Armes is a chic boutique with lots of friendly staff.
Historic New Orleans Hotel #4: The Columns Hotel.
For a unique Mardi Gras hotel experience, go with The Columns, a Garden District hotel right along the St. Charles Avenue streetcar line. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the hotel came to fruition in the 1880's, designed in dramatic Italianate style with stairway murals and mahogany decor. Don't miss the Victorian Lounge and Albertine Tea Room, both applauded for their original design, or for a little luxury, call ahead to have room service deliver champagne and strawberries to your room upon check-in.
Historic New Orleans Hotel #5: Hotel Monteleone.
Hollywood loves the Hotel Monteleone and you'll love this Mardi Gras hotel, too. Films like "Glory Road" and "Double Jeopardy" as well as TV shows from E! Entertainment and the Style Network have filmed in the halls of this history laden boutique. A favorite feature is the Carousel Bar, a bar that actually turns like a carousel while making top-notch cocktails. Of course, like many New Orleans hotels, guests have reported several hauntings here, namely an older gentleman who loved to stay at the hotel and a young boy from the neighborhood -- an added bonus!
Photo via the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
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