*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 feature enticingly lower rates. In the CBD, the Drury Inn (p. ###) is surprisingly reasonable and an easy hop to the Quarter, and same goes for the spiffily redone Fairfield Inn & Suites. 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, it's the Windsor Court. A Club Level suite, of course. The Pontchartrain Hotel is slightly less soignée but still worthy.
*Best Service: All those in the “Luxury” category above excel in the service category. We’re also continually impressed by the attentive Loews and Omni. Of the more modest accommodations, congeniality and overall graciousness awards go to Uptown’s Maison Perrier; the Bywater's Maison de Macarty; the Chimes in the Garden District; and Mid-City's 1896 O'Malley House.
*Most Romantic: Romance is wherever you make it, but Ashtons encourages long, languid mornings. The Saint, particularly its outlandish, fiery Lucifer Suite, was made for misbehavior (931 Canal St.; www.thesainthotelneworleans.com). No one will find you in the secluded Audubon Suites.
*Best for Families: It’s not fancy, but we like both Homewood Suites locations for the spacious two-room suites, amenities, and freebie meals. The Richelieu offers easy comfort, top notch service, and a swimming pool.
*Best Faaaabulous 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 Ace is the place du jour, and we like the sexy, comfy worn-leather steampunk vibe at the Q&C. The Renaissance Arts is film-crew central, for what that's worth. The stealthy Catahoula is giving them all a quiet run for their money; the Troubadour brings high style and a happening rooftop-bar scene. The Drifter, though not for everyone, is on a whole 'nother hipness plane.
*Best Funky Spots: We’re fond of the sweetly eccentric B&W Courtyards, a Marigny gem; the Frenchmen-adjacent Royal Street Inn; and the hodge-podgey but well-located ex-brothel now called the Dauphine Orleans.
*Best Hidden Gem: The uneventful location of the Henry Howard belies its stunningly renovated interior and comfortable, hip vibe. The Claiborne Mansion’s two 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.