We're super excited about next Tuesday's boozy, beaded party known as Mardi Gras. Multiple parades make their way through the Central Business District and up until the French Quarter, with hundreds of revelers lining the streets to peek at the eye-catching costumes, floats, and borderline insanity. But before you can let your hair down -- or lift your shirt up -- you'll need to find some primo digs to stay and play at. Just remember that the parades don't go on Bourbon Street, even if the majority of the partying does. Check out our fave Fat Tuesday hotels -- we promise that at least a few of them will let you catch some shut-eye.
The Hotel: Hotel Monteleone; French Quarter
The Draw: A true Southern Gem, the Monteleone is a block from Bourbon Street and has a rich in New Orleans history — with all the Creole stylings to prove it. Most notable is its Carousel Bar, which is a veritable, well, carousel, that features kitchsy decor and a chill vibe that’s all its own. Hop on one of the rotating chairs and order up a Ramos Gin Fizz, a drink that actually originated in the city itself.
Best Feature: Aside from the obviously posh accommodations, its location on Royal Street is ideal for watching the parade and reveling with the Bourbon Street partiers.
Find out more about our fave Fat Tuesday hotels after the jump!
The Draw: Despite its corporate atmosphere, the Intercontinental is a great choice for those looking to stay away from Bourbon Street’s drunken haze yet still get a prime parade view. While amenities are sparse, and generally cater to those on a business trip, the hotel provides a bed to sleep in without non-stop reveling outside your window.
Best Feature: It’s right next to the St. Charles streetcar line, making a trip to the French Quarter incredibly simple.
The Hotel: Bourbon Orleans; French Quarter
The Draw: Another Bourbon Street spot, this hotel has the great balconies but without the over-the-top price tags. Again, it gets loud — especially when your room is on the street — but the Bourbon Orleans definitely has a fun vibe. The on-site restaurant offers up some awesome, seasonal Creole fare, but make sure to get in — it’s sure to be crowded come Fat Tuesday.
The Hotel: The Whitney Wyndham Hotel; Central Business District
The Draw: This is another spot in the CBD that is super-close to the St. Charles streetcar line that also has that awesome parade proximity — and French Quarter proximity, too. The folks at the front desk usually suggest walking there over riding the streetcar, and since each room offers a mini-fridge, you’ll be able to walk to Bourbon with something cold to drink on the way. (Bourbon, perhaps?)
Best Feature: Its history. The hotel has made great use of the city’s first Whitney Bank branch, built in 1890, by preserving much of the old bank’s lobby and even restoring its vintage vault as a private dining room.
The Hotel: Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans; French Quarter
The Draw: The Royal Sonesta has major appeal as the only luxury hotel on Bourbon Street. If you’re not tossing (or receiving) beads, you can check out the live jazz on-site, take a dip — and then have a drink — at the pool and the cabana bar. Be prepared for noise, though — this is not the spot for those seeking a quiet haven from the party.
Best Feature: The room’s balconies to take in the parades and eclectic crowd. You literally don’t have to leave your room to have one of the best Mardi Gras fetes.
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