February 12, 2013 marks Fat Tuesday, or en français, Mardi Gras, and no city celebrates quite like New Orleans. If you’re contemplating an escape to the Big Easy, take a quick gander at our guide to the area’s hotels.
For Close Proximity to the Parade Route…
Contemporary: On Chartres Street, two blocks southwest from Tolouse where the parade passes by and two blocks southeast of Bourbon Street, the W New Orleans French Quarter puts you conveniently close, but not too close to the flying beads and doubloons. While the hotel’s exterior is gothic, the interior is coolly modern. If you aim to lent on Ash Wednesday, then a binge at the hotel’s Italian restaurant BACCO the day before is a given.
Classic: Much of the parade heads down Royal Street, and there, three blocks out of the immediate fray you’ll find Hotel Monteleone. Traditionally decorated, it’s precisely the place for those who favor the Old World charm of crown-molding and plush, frilly beds. And you’re in good company—Truman Capote, William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway are a few of their famous past guests.
For Slightly Quieter Quarters…
Contemporary: The boutique 18-suite Loft 523 or the other W New Orleans nearer to the water and the Central Business and Warehouse Districts are your best bets if you want a hip temporary home that’s a bit off-the-beaten-path of the touristy Fat Tuesday festivities but not short on things to do. A short stroll and you’ll stumble into some cool, cultural venues and clubs.
Classic: Offering that same out-of-the-way-of-revelers experience yet with more classical styling are the International House and Windsor Court Hotel. Guests are perfect crossroads; two blocks from the French Quarter and around the corner from exciting nightlife yet simultaneously set apart from it all in the coziest classical rooms.