After the Storms

New Orleans recovers quickly from hurricanes Gustav and Ike

By: By Cheré Dastugue Coen

The city cleaned up and reopened after the storms. // (c) Jasmine Delilah
The city cleaned up and reopened after the storms.

Folks in New Orleans hate to use those ominous words that bring back memories of 2005, but New Orleans did dodge a bullet from hurricanes Gustav and Ike. And, like the day after Mardi Gras, the city cleaned up quickly and returned to business as usual.

Most hotels never lost power and are now back to promoting their fall and winter packages, some as low as $67 a night. Only the La Quinta Inn & Suites on Camp Street will be closed due to fire damage and is scheduled to reopen after a complete renovation in February.

The Marriott and Renaissance hotels of New Orleans, located in all the tourism areas of the city including the French Quarter, the convention center area and the Warehouse District, briefly housed emergency responders and relief workers when evacuations were enforced but are now offering a SaintSational package to coincide with the Saints football season. For $119 on nights close to a home game, guests will receive breakfast in-room and tailgating essentials.

The Queen & Crescent boutique hotel has brought back its Sizzler Special, where visitors purchase one night and receive one night free, through Oct. 30. The Hotel Monteleone will bring out its ghosts for its annual Haunted Weekend Oct. 31-Nov. 2 at $479 a person.

Also unfazed by the storms and just completing a multimillion-dollar renovation is the Dauphine Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter. The hotel modernized its 111 guestrooms and suites, reconstructed the courtyard pool and restored its historic integrity by capturing colors reminiscent of the time, according to marketing agent Elizabeth Goliwas Bodet.

The Inn on Bourbon is also undergoing renovations, scheduled to be completed in June. The hotel remains open, with only certain sections closed off.

Fall festivities are numerous in New Orleans and include the inaugural Krewe of Boo parade on Oct. 31 to raise funds for city police, fire fighters and EMS personnel and the Voodoo Music Experience from Oct. 24-26 that features music by R.E.M., Wyclef Jean, Erykah Badu, Lil Wayne and Panic at the Disco, among others.