Kermit Ruffins at Satchmo Summerfest.
Summer is always a slower time for New Orleans tourism, due to the
Deep South heat and humidity. Less than two years out from the
damaging force of Katrina, business could be better. “This summer
is a little slower than we wish it would be because of the
misconceptions,” said Mary Beth Romig, publicity director of the
New Orleans Metropolitan Convention Visitor’s Bureau, adding that
some people think the tourism segment of New Orleans has not
But that couldn’t be further from the truth. New hotels have
opened, the majority of the city’s restaurants are back online and
some hotels, such as the Ritz-Carlton, have renovated their
properties and reconfigured to allow more services to their
clients. The Ritz spa, for instance, has been moved to a more
spacious floor and summer amenities include cooking instruction,
etiquette classes for kids and mixology advice.
In addition, free events abound, such as Satchmo Summerfest,
Aug. 2-5 in the French Quarter, that includes live music on four
stages at the Old U.S. Mint, jazz- related seminars, a Second Line
parade, special food events and a Jazz Mass at St. Augustine
Catholic Church. For more information on Satchmo Summerfest, visit
Some of the city’s hotel specials designed to entice tourists
through September include:
Ritz-Carlton New Orleans: Rates are being
slashed as low as $149 for July and August and visits include
afternoon tea, live music and a Snowball Sommelier serving up
authentic New Orleans “snowballs” with a gourmet culinary
Chateau Sonesta Hotel: The French Quarter
Forever package begins at $89, per night, and allows special views
of the French Quarter, courtyards or the outdoor pool, plus a
bottle of champagne upon arrival.
Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel: The Dusk ’til Dawn
package starts at $199 and includes breakfast for two at the
delectable Riche by Todd English restaurant.
Ritz-Carlton New Orleans: Hilton Garden Inn:
The Sizzlin’ Southern Summer Special package features a $89 rate
with free parking, in-room movie and two sodas from Pavilion
Hotel Monteleone: Guestrooms are offered for
$99-$109, with suites as low as $169 in the Suite Summer Deals
InterContinental New Orleans: Guests receive a
$40 gas card and free valet parking with the It’s a Gas Giveaway
package. Rates start at $129, per deluxe room, with a minimum stay
of two nights required.
Loews New Orleans Hotel: Summer rates start at
$149 per night.
Royal Sonesta Hotel: The French Quarter Romance
package for $275 features breakfast in bed one morning, brunch at
Court of Two Sisters in the French Quarter, dinner in Begue’s
Restaurant in the hotel, two drink coupons and romantic evening
turndown service with champagne and truffles.
Windsor Court Hotel: Summer Escape rates run
$129 for a guestroom to $169 for a suite. The Suite Dreams package
starts at $179 and includes complimentary breakfast for two. The
Stay Another Day package gives guests the opportunity to stay three
nights with the fourth night free, although it’s not available
during citywide conventions and festivals. Additional rooms for
families are available for $99.