6 Reasons to Stay at the Orleans Hotel
It can be tough to choose a hotel in New Orleans. Read on to discover why you should book your stay with the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
You have your choice from any number of hotels to stay in when you are visiting New Orleans. Whether you are looking for something affordable, or something glamorous, you have tons of options—so why should you consider staying in one place over any other? The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is one of the best hotels to stay in when you are visiting this vibrant city. Read on to discover the top 6 reasons why you should stay at the Bourbon Orleans over any other New Orleans area hotel.
Deeply Rooted in History
Like many buildings in the New Orleans area, the Bourbon Orleans has a rich history that goes back a long way. The hotel was originally built simply as a ballroom, by a man named John Davis in 1817. The ballroom was Davis’ contribution to the social lifestyle of the up-and-coming city of New Orleans. It was a very popular location, and dozens of balls were held in the Orleans Ballroom every year. Some of the balls were less acceptable to modern sensibilities than others; for example, the ballroom held frequent Quadroon Balls, which were intended to showcase beautiful African-American women with fair skin who could become wives to affluent men of the area.
From these (sometimes questionable) beginnings, the ballroom was expanded to include the Orleans Theater, where many operas were held. By the end of the 1800s, however, the ballroom and theater both were being used as a convent and Catholic school, which remained on the premises until 1964, when the buildings were purchased for hotel use and the site regained its social status.
Take a walk around the hotel and its attached buildings to truly understand its background as a social gathering place.
New Orleans is considered to be a very haunted city. Whether or not you believe in that sort of thing, it can be fun to stay in the Bourbon Orleans Hotel and try to catch a glimpse of one of its many ghosts. None of the rooms specifically are haunted, and you won’t have a chance of experiencing your luggage being thrown across your room or anything like that, but hunting ghosts in the Bourbon Orleans is nevertheless a tradition of its many visitors.
The ghosts of nuns and children who lived in the hotel when it was a convent are some of the most commonly witnessed spooks among these walls. On the sixth floor, many guests have reported seeing and hearing a little girl who is rolling a ball down the hallway and sometimes down the stairs to the floor below. Believers think that these ghosts came from a period when yellow fever brought the deaths of many of the convent members. The ghost of a Confederate soldier can also sometimes be seen on the fifth and sixth floors, and a spectral woman has been spotted dancing in the ballroom on some dark nights.
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is part of the Ghosts & Spirits Walking Tour of New Orleans. This tour runs nightly from 7:30pm to 9:30pm.
The French Quarter is one of the most popular areas of New Orleans. It is the oldest section of the city, and the entire French Quarter is a national historic landmark. Unlike the majority of the rest of the city, the French Quarter did not take a great deal of damage from Hurricane Katrina, and the damage it did sustain was largely reversible. All of these qualities add up to make this area one of the most highly sought after tourist locations in the city.
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is situated right in the heart of the French Quarter. For anyone visiting from out of town, this is a prime location for enjoying all of the sights, sounds, and flavors of the city without having to travel too far in any one direction. It is located just between Jackson Square and the St. Louis Cathedral, both of which should be stops on any must-see tour of New Orleans. Footsteps away from the front door of the hotel, you’ll find Bourbon Street, known for its nightlife, fine dining, and incredible shopping experiences. You won’t have to walk more than a block away to find yourself in the heart of jazz music and true Southern hospitality when you stay at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel.
The concierge will be glad to offer you recommendations of things to see and places to eat close by the hotel.
Rooms to Suit Any Need
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel offers many different options for your room selection. Choose a Traditional Room, which is set up like most hotel rooms in modern hotels. These rooms can come with one queen bed, one king bed, or two double beds. Most of the Traditional Rooms have views of the beautiful courtyard inside the walls of the hotel. Opt for a slight upgrade with the Vieux Carre rooms, which are fitted with plantation style shutters to create a true New Orleans ambience. These rooms have wet bars included, and can come with two queen beds or one king bed. They also overlook the courtyard. If you like to have a chance to get some fresh air from your hotel room, try the Petite Balcony rooms, which feature small private balconies overlooking St. Ann Street. These rooms can come with two double beds or one king bed.
If your budget permits, however, definitely book your stay in one of the French Quarter Suites. Although all of the rooms in the hotel are excellent, beautiful, and decadent, there is nothing quite like a stay in one of the suites at the Bourbon Orleans. Each suite includes two floors with a queen bedroom and bathroom upstairs, and a living area downstairs. There are several different types of suites available; some include large private balconies, while others include direct views of Bourbon Street below. The most expensive suite in the hotel is the Governor’s Suite, which includes a parlor and a Jacuzzi as well as all the other suite amenities.
Although the suites are an excellent choice for a luxurious stay at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, there is no need to shell out the funds for the Governor’s Suite.
Excellent In-House Bar
The hotel features an in-house bar called the Bourbon “O” which features lots of delicious specialty cocktails and more run-of-the-mill drinks as well. From Wednesday through Saturday every week, the bar features live jazz and blues musicians who perform at 5:00pm and 8:00pm. There are also frequent events that take place at the bar, and you can even do a little gambling at a poker machine if you feel like it.
If you stop in the bar, be sure to keep an eye out for seasonal cocktail specialties. For example, in the fall, try out the sweet potato pumpkin pie cocktail, complete with a toasted marshmallow (and rum). For something with a New Orleans flair, sample the Gumbo Bloody Mary—a traditional Bloody Mary garnished with Andouille sausage and pickled okra along with its olive. Or, if you prefer something a little bit more traditional, try the historic drink of New Orleans: the gin fizz. Order your gin fizz as a 6 minute or a 12 minute to determine how long the cocktail will be shaken before it is served!
The Bourbon “O” Bar is open Sunday through Thursday from noon to midnight, and Friday and Saturday from noon to 1:00am.
The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is grand enough on its own, but it also includes a delicious restaurant—the Roux on Orleans—that provides you with the opportunity to sample high-class New Orleans cuisine without having to leave the comfort of your hotel. Some of the items on the menu can even be ordered via room service, which can give you a sense of luxury and refinement. This is also a great option if you happen to be enjoying a romantic escape at the hotel.
All of the ingredients used to prepare the food at the Roux on Orleans are very fresh and locally sourced whenever possible. Although the restaurant serves a limited breakfast, its dinner is really where the quality of this food comes through. Try the bayou shrimp pasta for a tasty, slightly spicy sample of New Orleans seafood and seasonings. The restaurant also serves red fish, which is a very popular New Orleans food, and a fried shrimp Po’ Boy. There are better places in the city to try a Po’ Boy, but if you’re dealing with a limited amount of time in your travels, you might want to grab one from the Roux on Orleans instead.
You can order several items for in-room enjoyment as well, including a bowl of chicken noodle soup with a glass of club soda—a perfect remedy for a hangover. You can even have cookies and milk sent up to your room from the Roux on Orleans.
The Roux on Orleans is open for breakfast from 6:30am to 11:00am Monday through Friday, and 7:00am to noon on weekends.
It is open for dinner every night from 5:30pm to 10:00pm.
Room service hours run from 11:00am to 10:00pm.
By now, you should be well aware of how incredible the Bourbon Orleans hotel really is. A stay here is sure to provide you with plenty of excellent benefits, and you definitely won’t regret choosing this hotel from the myriad of others in the area. So the next time you are planning a trip to New Orleans, you know where to stay!
Lead image: flickr photo by Infromation https://flickr.com/photos/infrogmation/9691475060 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
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