This is a very nicely appointed hotel right in the heart of the action about three blocks from Canal on Bourbon Street with plenty of entertainment and food options nearby. You are right across the street from Jazz Legends Park, an outdoor sitting area with New Orleans Jazz bands all day and night, an outdoor bar and a small food counter. There are several casual oyster bar-type places within 2 blocks, a couple of upscale eateries with nicer "casual business attire" required also within 2 blocks, including the bar with carousel in the lobby (that's about 2 blocks away and around the corner). There's also a great little bar called the 21st Amendment that's a block down Bourbon and around the corner where jazz quartets bang out Dixieland Jazz all night. If you want to head all the way over to Pat O'Brien's and Preservation Hall, it's about four blocks, maybe 10 minutes. We strolled over to Jackson Square in about 20-30 minutes our first afternoon, but we were really taking it slow; you could do it faster. You're also just two blocks from Canal which is where you pick up the trolley to the WWII Museum and the Garden District (highly recommend both).
The only problems with the hotel? As of 10-7-17, Public Works crews were still digging up Bourbon Street in front of the hotel and down in the next block to lay new pipes. This made negotiating the street difficult. They had started to re-open the block in front of the Royal Sonesta on our last day, so maybe that's getting better soon. The next block was still crammed with dump trucks and tractors, though, with only a wee narrow sidewalk on either side of the construction zone to squeeze through. Regardless of the construction, all the local businesses and bars/restaurants were still open.
Another issue some will have is the obvious one: noise. If you stay on Bourbon Street, you have to expect a lot of music and people sounds late into the night. Actually, in the late afternoon and evening, we really enjoyed the moderate hubbub from our balcony on Conti Street, about five rooms down from the Bourbon Street corner). At night, we had a white noise machine which muted a lot of the noise and made it possible to sleep. Bring a good one of these and you should be fine.
The worst problem was that at 5:58 am on our first morning, either the construction crews or trash pick up guys decided it would be a good idea to start making a noise for about a half hour that sounded like somebody was dropping large metal drums into a dumpster. Boob, boom, boom. Even our noise machine couldn't keep us from hearing that -- and yes, we had our windows closed. Yikes! Another morning, we had the engine of a Coca Cola delivery truck backing down the side street to contend with. Nothing the hotel can do about all this early morning action, I guess, but it sure ain't pleasant. Again, this was all happening on Conti. Maybe rooms on the Bienville side would be better, but over there, you have the cab pick-up spot, so maybe not if there are lot of people checking out early. If you think this is going to be a big problem, you can ask for an interior room or try somewhere else, say, over on Royal Street which isn't quite as busy as Bourbon.
One last thing, the band that plays at the bar at Conti and Bourbon is a top 40 rock band, so if you're expecting to hear Jazz lulling you to sleep or wafting across your outdoor balcony, that's not what you get on the Conti side of the hotel. The electric bass from this band does penetrate the white noise machine a bit more than if this was a jazz band with an upright bass, too. Rooms that face Bienville may be slightly more sheltered from this bar.
As for the hotel itself, it's upscale, clean, and has a very friendly staff. But then, almost everyone in New Orleans is friendly, so I don't know that they have the market cornered on that. We thought it was a nice, well-run hotel overall, though. New Orleans is a blast and so much fun.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Royal Sonesta New Orleans is the most Authentic French Quarter Experience located on world famous Bourbon Street, within steps of world-famous restaurants, antique shops, and premier tourist attractions. A landmark in New Orleans since 1969, its atmosphere reflects a strong European influence and Southern charm, with its elegant marbled lobby, tranquil fountains and sparkling chandeliers. The 483 room hotel including 36 suites features a secluded tropical courtyard, a beautifully landscaped outdoor pool, fitness center and five unique restaurants and lounges. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sonesta Hotel New Orleans
- New Orleans Royal Sonesta
- New Orleans Sonesta Hotel
- Sonesta New Orleans
- Royal Sonesta Hotel