As our final stop in our road-trip, we ended in the amazing New Orleans. Everyone I know kept recommending it, but wow what a surprise. IT DID NOT FEEL LIKE THE US AT ALL. First of all, public drinking seemed to somehow be legal? But more than that, there was this huge sense of culture, food, sports, street art/performance, architecture, and of course partying all in one spot. It somehow retained its classy French-like heritage while advancing to what seemed to be the biggest tourist destination in the South. While looking at places to stay, we knew we wanted somewhere in a prime location, with great food, and great music. We chose the Royal Sonesta, and it was like staying in my own room at a palace.
The only street I actually knew of was Bourbon Street. A pedestrian walkway at night, and full of lively music and bars, this is definitely the center of everything. Royal Sonesta is located right on that street, making it walking distance to literally anything. If you end up driving, you can park your car at the on-site valet, or look for a cheaper garage nearby. We used an app called Spot-Hero to help us find the cheapest parking in the city.
The rooms have all been newly renovated, and while the building itself still has that old-time French feel, the inside is completely new. We stayed on the top floor (7th) and had access to the lounge because of it. The Wi-Fi was superfast, water pressure was perfect, and the provided shampoo and conditioner left the best scent of mango coconut in my hair for days to come (seriously, so good!) We stayed for 2 nights, but definitely wish we had stayed more.
One of my favorite parts of the hotel is the lounge located on the top floor. They have complimentary breakfast in the mornings with eggs, bread, muffins, grits, yogurt, fruit, and all of the breakfast meats your heart could desire in buffet format. During the day I came over to do some work and found it such a good atmosphere to do so. During the evenings they have happy hour from 5-7 with complimentary wine, beer, and bubby! Needless to say, this might have been my favorite part of the day.
I felt like I was eating nonstop in New Orleans because THE FOOD WAS JUST SO GOOD! Royal Sonesta had 4 food venues, each with a different style. We ended up choosing to eat at their Desire Oyster Bar, which offers a little bit more casual New Orleans flavor with a touch of seafood. We tried everything from their appetizers to desserts and were blown away with them all. Be sure to at least get one item with oysters, it won’t disappoint! The other options are Restaurant R’evolution that has a mix between Cajun and Creole (definitely going here when I go back), PJ’s Coffee Café that has your finest bakery delights, and Le Booze (great name if I must say so myself) that is known at the Whiskey destination on Bourbon Street. I wish I stayed here longer so that I could have tried them all. After our dinner at Desire Oyster Bar, we headed right next-door (still on property, the place is huge!) to end the night with some live music at their Jazz Playhouse.
The Jazz Playhouse
Another big reason I wanted to stay here was because of their nightly live music. The Jazz Playhouse is onsite and has complimentary general-admission shows every night (tipping is highly encouraged, the performers most certainly deserve it! There is also a one-drink minimum and is 21+ for that reason). We watched Big Funky Sam’s show and it was amazing. The show lasts about 2-3 hours and is done in 2 parts. There is a bar on-site with wait service, and you can also order food from the restaurant next door. I’m a huge music fan and love how big of a scene it is in New Orleans and would definitely recommend coming to a show at least once during your stay in the city.
Things To Do in the Area
Being in such a good location we did manage to make it out and wonder by foot. The World War II museum was one of the best I’ve seen. Taking a stroll down Bourbon street by day and night is always an adventure. And trying out all the food is a must! Be sure to try a Po’ Boy (one of the best sandwiches you’ll have in your life), Beignet’s (fried dough type things covered in powdered sugar. We went to the famous Café du Monde to try these out.) Walking along the water and just taking in everything is also a must! Truly an amazing city.
The staff here was amazing, the building and facilities were amazing, the location was spot on, and the food is phenomenal. I honestly felt like a princess while staying here, and highly recommend it for anyone else looking to have a taste of royalty! Find out more here at the Royal Sonesta New Orleans website!