French Quarter Hotels
214 Royal St., French Quarter
So here's the story: Antonio Monteleone, a shoe-making nobleman from Sicily who moved to New Orleans in the 1800s and established a cobbler shop, bought this 64-room hotel in 1886. And then he bought another one and merged them together. It's still in the same family today, and it's still a four-star hotel, thanks to multiple renovations over the course of the last century. Incidentally, it's also supposedly haunted, with many reports of ghost sightings and other strange occurrences. Not necessarily a bad thing, since many luminaries have made the hotel their home, including Tennessee Williams, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, and Truman Capote.
130 Roosevelt Way, French Quarter
After Hurricane Katrina, The Roosevelt—which had been operating as one of New Orleans' more opulent hotels for more than 100 years—shut down. But now, after a full restoration, which uncovered some of its original wonderful details that had been layered over by intervening remodels, it's back, and as luxurious as ever (it's now part of the Waldorf Astoria family). Besides being home to The Sazerac Bar (and the birthplace of the drink), The Roosevelt also claims that the construction of the Airline Highway—which connects Baton Rouge and New Orleans—is all thanks to them, since former governor Huey Long spent so much time there he wanted a shorter drive.
The Soniat House
1133 Chartres St., French Quarter
All of the 31 rooms at this small, luxury boutique hotel are furnished with New Orleans antiques, which is just one of the many ways that the owners, Rodney and Frances Smith, make it clear that they care. In the 80s, they bought a handful of adjacent historic homes, and strung them together into Soniat, preserving them all in the process. There are two things to remember: 1. The hotel isn't haunted; 2. They serve homemade biscuits in bed every morning.
Windsor Court Hotel
300 Gravier St., French Quarter
This four-star hotel just underwent a $22 million dollar restoration—it's a really nice, solid option, with all the requisite amenities (and no ghosts).
Ritz Carlton New Orleans
921 Canal St., French Quarter
This historic Beaux Arts building on the edge of the French Quarter was a department store in its past life. Now it’s home to the Ritz-Carlton, which brought new energy to the city’s hotel scene when it opened in 2000. Although the hotel is part of a big luxury chain, the feeling is unmistakably New Orleans, with opulent guest rooms swagged in silk curtains and intricately patterned textiles that give off a fun, nineteenth-century vibe. And the location on Canal Street means you’re in walking distance of almost everything you’ll want to see over a few days in the city (like the French Quarter, Louis Armstrong Park, and the Central Business District). There’s also a 25,000-square-foot spa for all manner of massages, facials, body scrubs, and mani-pedis.
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