Time seems to have slipped over the Crescent City.
The best hotels and guesthouses in New Orleans have the distinct
feeling of the past still thriving in the present.
Here are a few of the notables:
The Hotel Monteleone is steeped in literary tradition and is a
true New Orleans classic. One of the last family -owned hotels in
the French Quarter and one of its most elegant, the Monteleone was
a favorite among some of America’s greatest writers.
In 1999, the Friends of Libraries USA honored the hotel as a
Literary Landmark, one of only three, for its popularity with
writers such as William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Tennessee
Williams, Eudora Welty and others.
The hotel is undergoing a $25-million renovation, adding luster
to a true gem. The rooms and lobby are elegant; and the revolving
Carousel Bar is a must-see.
Rates: $135-$400, regular rooms; $330-$3,000 for suites.
Packages: The hotel has seven, all commissionable for
Two special packages are being offered this year, in conjunction
with the “Treasures of Ancient Egypt” and an exhibit celebrating
the Louisiana Purchase, both at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The Columns Hotel is true to its word, offering “affordable
grace, comfortable elegance.”
The European-style guesthouse was built in 1883 and is the only
surviving example of the Italianate style homes of the late 19th
Without a doubt, parts of The Columns Hotel are breathtaking:
the mahogany staircase and stained glass windows; the elegant
Victorian lounge; the beautiful balcony facing the streetcars
shuttling down St. Charles Ave.
But a few of the guesthouse rooms are in disrepair, with poor
plumbing and water-stained ceilings.
Yet, even that is a part of the charm.
Its location in the Garden District and proximity to the
streetcars make it a great spot for getting around.
Rates: Normal rates, outside of Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest, range
The Melrose Mansion is a pristine restored Victorian mansion on
Esplanade, at the eastern edge of the French Quarter.
It has an immaculate interior and a décor that mixes antique
furniture with fantastic reproductions.
High ceilings, large windows and the attention to architectural
detail evoke 19th century New Orleans but the Melrose Mansion is
Once owned by a New Orleans club owner who let the girls in his
conga line stay there, it still appears more like someone’s home
than a bed and breakfast.
Wine and cheese is served in the evenings and breakfast can be
served in the rooms, in the parlor or by pool.
Rates: Master suites range from $300-450; junior suites range
from $225-$275; Napoleon suites run $325-$375.