I fell in love with New Orleans immediately on my first visit. The energy of the city is just amazing— it really sucks you in. After a 2nd trip there, I’m already planning a third. There’s just no shortage of fun things to do in New Orleans!
With so much going on here, it’s important to figure out where to stay in New Orleans. Early birds and light sleepers will want to avoid the madness of Bourbon Street, while party animals will feel right at home there.
The good news is that there are plenty of excellent choices when it comes to places to stay in New Orleans.
In this post, I’ll provide a detailed look at the best areas in the city for tourists, along with a few hotel recommendations for each.
The French Quarter: Where to Stay in New Orleans for First Time Visitors
The French Quarter is a great place to stay in New Orleans if you’re looking for:
- Historic Buildings
- Boutique Hotels
- Mississippi River Views
- Famous Restaurants
- Vibrant Nightlife
If it’s your first visit and you’re wondering where to stay in New Orleans, you can’t go wrong with the French Quarter. It’s also known as Vieux Carré, which actually translates to “Old Square.”
This is the historic heart of the city and is even known as the “Crown Jewel of New Orleans.” Although it’s called the French Quarter, much of the architecture you see is actually Spanish. That’s because the area was ravaged by fire and was later rebuilt during the brief period of Spanish rule.
The French Quarter is also the center of tourism in NOLA. It’s home to a vast array of hotels, restaurants, shops, and bars, making it a convenient base to explore the city. You’ll never be hungry or bored in this part of the city!
Located right on the Mississippi River, the French Quarter is a very scenic place to stay. There are a few riverside parks that make for a nice stroll. The area is also home to the historic Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral. If you enjoy discovering a city on foot, then the French Quarter is one of the best places to stay in New Orleans.
Here are a few of the best New Orleans hotels located in the French Quarter:
This place consistently comes up when you search for where to stay in New Orleans, and for good reason. It’s a historic hotel that dates all the way back to 1838.
Fun fact: gumbo, one of the most famous dishes from New Orleans, was invented here! You can try this and other classic New Orleans cuisine in their award-winning Rib Room.
This excellent hotel also boasts a heated rooftop pool and a nice fitness center for when you need to work off those extra calories! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
W New Orleans French Quarter
The courtyard-style architecture of this hotel makes it one of the coolest places to stay in New Orleans. It’s located right in the heart of the French Quarter, just a short walk from both Jackson Square and Bourbon Street.
After a big day of exploring the Crescent City, it’s great to return here to lounge by the pool in the courtyard. Some rooms even come equipped with their own private hot tub and patio for extra relaxation!
If you’re in town on a weekend, this is a great place to stay. Their “Legs and Eggs” Sunday brunch at the on-site SoBu features a burlesque show and is tons of fun. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
This charming hotel is located close enough to Bourbon Street to be near the action but far away enough to not deal with the noise. It’s a great choice if you want to party there but also want to get some decent sleep afterward.
One of the best things about staying here is the Carousel Bar. It’s not just a clever name as the bar is centered around an actual carousel. It’s definitely one of the best bars in New Orleans to grab a drink at! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Bourbon Street: Where to Stay in New Orleans to Party
Bourbon Street is a great place to stay in New Orleans if you’re looking for:
- Raucous Nightlife
- Mardi Gras Celebrations
- LGBT-Friendly Bars
- Center of Tourism
While it’s technically a part of the French Quarter, Bourbon Street deserves its own section in this guide on where to stay in New Orleans. Famous for its raucous nightlife, epic Mardi Gras celebrations and other fun festivals, this is a pretty wild place to stay.
Many of the hotels on Bourbon Street are literally right on top of the party, so this isn’t the place to stay if you want some peace and quiet on your trip. It’s better to stick with one of the French Quarter hotels mentioned above.
Click here for an in-depth look at staying on Bourbon Street. This post goes into detail about the layout and history of the street. There are recommendations for 10 different hotels to choose from as well.
For now, here are 3 of the best hotels located on or near Bourbon Street:
This is definitely one of the top places to stay in New Orleans. It’s actually more like a resort than a hotel, with several on-site restaurants and bars.
Many rooms feature wrought-iron balconies overlooking Bourbon Street — the perfect spot for some people watching. If you can snag one of these for Mardi Gras you’ll be right in the thick of all the action.
It’s hard to imagine all the chaos of Bourbon Street is just outside when you’re sitting in the tranquil courtyard here. It’s an oasis in the middle of the huge party that’s raging just beyond the hotel walls. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Lafitte’s Guest House
Whereas the Royal Sonesta is a massive hotel with some 500 rooms, this place feels more like staying in someone’s home. After all, this boutique hotel is actually set in a restored house. With only 14 rooms, it certainly has a homey vibe.
If you’re not a fan of the typical Bourbon Street bars with their offensively loud music, you’ll enjoy staying here. It’s right next door to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar & Shop, which is the oldest, and one of the best bars in New Orleans. It’s still candle-lit to this day. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Ok, so this hotel isn’t technically on Bourbon Street, but it’s right around the corner. You’re still within stumbling distance from the party if you stay here!
Before you hit the party on Bourbon, make sure you grab a drink in their 21st Amendment Bar. This Prohibition Era-inspired speakeasy is the perfect spot to kick off a night out in NOLA with a cocktail or two.
As far as the rooms here, they’re definitely pretty fancy. We’re talking crystal chandeliers and gold leaf accents! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Garden District: One of the Most Beautiful Places to Stay in New Orleans
Garden District is a great place to stay in New Orleans if you’re looking for:
- Antebellum Mansions
- Oak-Lined Streets
- Fine Dining
- Boutique Shops
If the over-the-top party vibe of Bourbon Street is too much for you, then the Garden District is a solid choice. This is one of the most scenic and peaceful places to stay in New Orleans.
When it was first developed, there were only a few homes per block here. The extra space allowed for large gardens, hence the name given to the area.
Thanks to development, there aren’t that many actual gardens here anymore. These days there are some pretty incredible mansions here, many of which are owned by celebrities.
Staying in the Garden District is a good choice for those who are looking for a more laidback experience in New Orleans. There are still plenty of choices for accommodation, dining, and shopping here, but it’s not overly touristy.
Here are some of the best places to stay in New Orleans in the Garden District:
Rooms at this Garden District hotel are well-appointed with chic decor. They have several options ranging from standard rooms to huge suites.
Those looking to squeeze a workout in will be happy to hear that there’s a nice fitness center here. There’s also a business center if you actually need to get some work done on your trip.
Getting to and from the French Quarter is easy as this hotel is located right across from a streetcar stop. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Parisian Courtyard Inn
This is a proper B&B and a beautiful place to stay. As the name would suggest, a delicious breakfast is included when you stay at the Parisian Courtyard Inn.
Guests who have stayed here rave about the amazing staff. If you’re trying to figure out where to stay in New Orleans where you’ll have a more personalized experience, this is a great choice.
There are only 10 rooms here, all featuring hardwood floors and antique furniture. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Henry Howard Hotel
There’s no doubt that this is one of the most gorgeous places to stay in New Orleans. Set in a historic 18-room townhouse, this place is a real beauty.
Even the decorations in the rooms just scream New Orleans here, with trumpets and saxophones hanging from the walls. You’ll also enjoy hanging out in their Parlor room, which feels more like a friend’s living room than a hotel lobby. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Faubourg Marigny/Bywater: Where to Stay in New Orleans for a Local Experience
Faubourg Marigny/Bywater is a great place to stay in New Orleans if you’re looking for:
- Bohemian Atmosphere
- Live Music
- Affordable Restaurants
- Artsy Vibe
Just east of the French Quarter along the river is the small neighborhood of Faubourg Marigny. Known by locals simply as “The Marigny,” this is one of the oldest ‘hoods in the Big Easy.
When the city of New Orleans began to grow, some plantation owners decided to break up their land to develop residential property. Bernard Marigny was one of the first to do this in the early 1800s and the neighborhood still has his name.
The Marigny has gone through lots of changes over the years. One significant development occurred on Frenchmen Street, which grew to become the premier location for live music in the city. There are tons of music clubs as well as roaming marching bands, making this one of the best places to stay in New Orleans for music lovers.
The adjacent Bywater has become somewhat of a hipster haven in recent years. This began in the 1980s when real estate speculation and profiteering led many residents to move downriver to the Marigny and Bywater areas.
The artistic community once found in the French Quarter is now largely based here. In the Bywater, you’ll find the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts — a school that’s training the next generation of Crescent City artists and creatives.
Staying in either the Marigny or Bywater is a great choice if you want a more local perspective on your trip to New Orleans. Here are some of the best hotels in this area:
Royal Frenchmen Hotel & Bar
Set in a 19th-century Creole home, this boutique hotel is the perfect place to stay for bar-hopping on Frenchmen Street. Rooms here feature elegant furnishings and neighborhood views, some from private balconies overlooking the famous street.
Before hitting the town, hang out in their scenic courtyard or at the Royal Bar. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth it to drop by for the $3 martinis during their Happy Hour from 4-8 PM. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Hotel Peter and Paul
There’s a lot of history in this Marigny hotel. The former church, schoolhouse, convent, and rectory dates all the way back to 1860. A 4-year restoration process turned it into the upmarket hotel you see today.
The result is an absolutely stunning hotel. A lot of attention to detail went into the design of the rooms, and no two are alike. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places to stay in New Orleans.
In addition to the gorgeous guest rooms, this hotel boasts a few parlors for relaxing and socializing, a sunroom, cafe, bar, and even an ice cream shop. Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Royal Street Courtyard
This excellent B&B is set in a 1850s Greek Revival mansion. It features eleven well-appointed suites, each with a unique design. It’s just a few blocks from Frenchmen Street as well as the riverside Crescent Park, making for a great home base to explore the area.
There’s a lot to discover beyond your room here. You can relax in a rocking chair on their front porch or take a dip in the hot tub in the backyard. How cool is that?
You can even rent out the entire B&B for a wedding or other special event. Talk about an awesome event venue! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Central Business District (CBD): Where to Stay in New Orleans for Events
Central Business District is a great place to stay in New Orleans if you’re looking for:
- Proximity to Arena and Stadium
- Sporting Events and Concerts
- Local Restaurants and Bars
If you’re headed to the Big Easy for a conference, sporting event, or a big concert/festival, you may want to choose an area closer to the action. The city’s Central Business District is a great place to stay if you’re going to an event at the Superdome or the Smoothie King Center.
Home to the NFL’s New Orleans Saints, the Superdome also hosts events like the NCAA Final Four and the Essence Music Festival. I went to WrestleMania there a few years ago and had an absolute blast!
Over at the arena, the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans play ball. The season lasts from the fall through the end of spring, and there are home games very often during this time. They also have big concerts here quite often.
Staying in the CBD puts you super close to the stadium and arena and it’s really not that far to get to the French Quarter. The streetcar makes a quick and affordable trip between the two.
Here are a few of the best choices for accommodation in the Big Easy’s Central Business District:
It’s hard to beat this location if you’re headed to a sporting event in New Orleans. This 4-star hotel is just a stone’s throw from both the Superdome and the Smoothie King Center.
They have a wide variety of rooms here to suit all budgets, all the way up to some super fancy executive suites. There are quite a few restaurants and bars on-site, as well as a well-stocked fitness center if you need to work off all those calories! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
There’s a lot to love about this hotel, starting with the location. You’re close to landmarks like Lafayette Square and the World War II Museum and right up the street from the scenic Riverwalk. It’s also just a few steps from the streetcar that’ll bring you to the Quarter.
The Drury Plaza has a nice outdoor pool with a jacuzzi and 24-hour fitness and business centers. Oh yeah, and you also get breakfast as well as free snacks and drinks in the evening when you stay here.
This place has thousands of positive reviews! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
This hip boutique hotel is an excellent choice if you prefer something a bit more exciting than average chain hotels. Suites here come with living rooms featuring things like turntables and guitars, a nod to the importance of music in NOLA.
Speaking of music, there’s a venue right on-site here. Three Keys is open late and has live music most nights as well as a full bar and snacks.
During the day, you can recover up at the rooftop pool. There’s also a bar up there for when you want to get the party going again! Click here to see the latest price from Booking.com.
Now You Know Where To Stay in New Orleans!
As you can see, you have plenty of awesome choices when it comes to places to stay in New Orleans. Wherever you decide to stay, I’m sure you’ll have a blast in the Big Easy.
One word of advice about booking a place during big events like Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest -—do it early! Rooms go fast and the prices keep on rising during these types of events in New Orleans.
Have you been to New Orleans and have a great recommendation for where to stay, eat, or drink? Drop a comment below and let us hear about it!
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