This is a little like deciding on a scoop of ice cream—so many tasty options to choose from, and different people like different flavors. We’ve tried to narrow down the selections based on specific criteria.
* Best Moderately Priced Lodging: In general, you’ll get the biggest bang in the off-season (including the heat of summer), when even luxury properties drop their rates to levels that are hard to pass up. In the Central Business District, the Drury Inn is surprisingly reasonable and an easy hop to the Quarter. In the B&B category, the Chimes, a delightful family-owned guesthouse in the Garden District, has generated legions of loyal return guests.
* Best Luxury Hotel:At the intimate Audubon Cottages, the luxury commences when your 24-hour butler greets you at the private, unmarked entrance. For sheer opulence, attention to your every need, and vast expanses of room, our vote goes to the Windsor Court. A Club Level suite, of course.
* Best Service: All those in the “Luxury” category above excel in the service category. We’re also continually impressed by the attentive Loews. Of the more modest accommodations, the Campo family makes you feel at home at the Villa Convento, as do the Uptown Maison Perrier and Maison de Macarty in the Bywater.
* Most Romantic: Romance is wherever you make it, but Ashtons encourages long, languid mornings. Stumbling distance from Napoleon House, the sweet exterior of the St. Helene (508 Chartres St.; www.hotelsthelene.com) belies its sexy, sleek rooms and near-private pool; and The Saint’s outlandish, fiery Lucifer Suite was made for misbehavior (931 Canal St.; www.thesainthotelneworleans.com).
* Best for Families:It’s not fancy, but we like the Homewood Suites for the spacious two-room suites, location, and freebie meals. The Richelieu and Maison Dupuy also offer easy comfort and swimming pools.
* Best Faaabulous B&B: A lot of B&Bs are crammed with over-the-top antiques, but at the Antebellum, they all come with a story. We love the tawdry over-the-topness, hidden hot tub, and actual bordello bed.
* Best for Hipness: The elaborate Melrose Mansion is a Victorian mansion on the outside, an oasis of upscale cool inside. In the CBD, the innovative minimalist style and ultra-hip Loa Bar at the International House brings serious swag, as does the Quarter’s violet-hued Le Marais.
* Best Funky Little Spot: We’re fond of the sweetly oddball B&W Courtyards, the Frenchmen-adjacent Royal Street Inn, and the hodge-podgey but well-located ex-brothel now called the Dauphine Orleans.
* Best Hidden Gem: Just beyond the French Quarter and veiled behind high walls is an enchanting cluster of old plantation buildings in the Tremé, the stunning Jazz Quarters Bed & Breakfast. The Claiborne Mansion’s superb suites and splendid pool are a serene oasis a block from the Frenchmen Street mayhem.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.