The Big Easy is already well into the throes of Mardi Gras madness: beads are flying and parades are marching in our favorite southern city. But the final crescendo comes next week on Fat Tuesday, with revelers planning to go all out one more time. Some of our favorite hotels in NOLA are conveniently situated for those looking to join the debauchery—so choose your favorite and then, as they say in New Orleans, let the good times roll.
1. Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans
The Royal Sonesta is party-centric Bourbon Street’s swankiest hotel. Revelers can request a balcony room and watch the eclectic parades of people go by at all hours--be sure to have beads ready to toss out to the masses below! Live jazz and a hopping pool scene make for an even better Mardi Gras experience.
2. Four Points by Sheraton French Quarter
This Sheraton is no ordinary chain hotel: Boasting a priceless spot in the heart of Bourbon Street, the music from Mardis Gras keeps the hotel's bass line jumping well into the night. The coveted Bourbon balcony rooms, like the one seen here, overlook all of the action. The Sheraton is also located on the site of the historic Old French Opera, and today's young opera singers often perform in the lobby bar--if you want to experience a different kind of beat while you're in town.
3. The Saint Hotel, Autograph Collection
The Saint is a sleek hotel located on the border of the French Quarter and the Central Business District, perfect for those who want to leave the revelry behind when they finally succumb to sleep. Still, there are great nightlife options on-site: a rooftop bar--offering expansive city views--and the sexy Burgundy Bar with live music.
4. Hotel Mazarin
The Hotel Mazarin is an upscale boutique located in the heart of the French Quarter. The popular wine bar with outdoor seating is a great space to get the party started--and also serves as a welcome retreat from the crowds of Bourbon Street.
5. W New Orleans
The W New Orleans is a hip upper-middle-range hotel located in the Central Business District, within walking distance the French Quarter. For fans of the brand and those wanting some distance from the main drag, this stylish hotel will charm with a great outdoor pool and two lively bars.
6. Hotel Monteleone
The Hotel Monteleone--a French Quarter landmark--has made literary history and cocktail history since its opening in 1886. Truman Capote, William Faulkner and Tennessee Williams have all visited the property, and the legendary Carousel Bar actually revolves (so patrons can take comfort in the fact that the room spinning isn't just the result of drinking one too many).
7. Bourbon Orleans Hotel
A grand Southern hotel with a haunting past, the Bourbon Orleans has a delicious Creole restaurant, a signature cocktail in its popular bar, and elegant rooms featuring covetous balconies over Bourbon Street. The hotel's intriguing history (ask about the resident ghost) and stunning outdoor saltwater pool are just the icing on the cake.
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