China Lights Comes to City Park

We love the New Orleans French Quarter, but there’s so much more to see when you leave our hotel’s neighborhood to explore (we’re hear waiting for you with a cocktail and live jazz when you get back!). This spring, we’re particularly excited about China Lights in the City Park Botanical Garden in Mid-City. Taking the streetcar to City Park means you’ll not only get to explore a new neighborhood, but a whole new atmosphere. The Botanical Garden will come to life with lighted sights like a 192-foot dragon, penguins, traditional Chinese lanterns and more. Check out the details below! China Lights in City Park’s Botanical Garden When: China Lights starts Feb. 23 and runs through May 1, 2016. The exhibit is open from 7 p.m. until 11 p.m. nightly except on Mondays. Where: City Park Botanical Gardens What: China Lights is a touring exhibit that has traversed the world. Most recently, it was in Rotterdam in the Netherlands before packing up and heading to New Orleans! How Much: $18 for ages 13 and older; $12 for children ages 3-12; Free for children under age 3 What to Expect: China Lights pays homage to China’s ancient history through bright, colorful lighted displays covered in silk. More than 100 artisans worked to create the structures, including a four-story pagoda tower, a huge silk dragon, welcome gates inspired by the Tang dynasty, Chinese zodiac iconography, and more. Getting There: City Park is an easy streetcar ride away from our hotel. You’ll simply walk up to Canal Street and take the streetcar marked City Park/Museums – it’s $1.25 per ride, or you can...

Valentine’s Day in New Orleans

What could be more romantic than whisking your sweetheart away to a weekend in New Orleans for Valentine’s Day, one of the most magical cities in the country? New Orleans is built for love and romance, and Hotel Monteleone is the perfect place to start. After grabbing a romantic New Orleans cocktail at our Carousel Bar & Lounge, we wanted to recommend some of our favorite things to do for Valentine’s Day in New Orleans. You can stay with us for the evening or book a weekend getaway for an extra special celebration. The Best Things To Do in New Orleans for Valentine’s Day: 1. Dine at Criollo Restaurant The elegant and handsome decor of our New Orleans restaurant, Criollo, serves as the perfect location for a wonderfully tasting menu followed by some of the best desserts in town. Sip on wine and enjoy the luxurious service of our staff, who will cater to your every wish and desire. Follow it up with a drink at the Carousel Bar & Lounge while enjoying live New Orleans music nightly! 2. Take a horse-drawn carriage While New Orleans is easily accessible by foot, bike, car or streetcar, there’s no better way to see Valentine’s Day in New Orleans than by an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage. Pick-up locations for the horse-drawn carriages are close by — just a quick stroll from our French Quarter hotel to Jackson Square! Your knowledgeable driver will serve as a wonderful storyteller of the rich history of our city during your ride through New Orleans (just as New Orleans residents used to do for hundreds of years). 3. Peruse the shops on...

Four Ways to Experience Mardi Gras at Hotel Monteleone

Carnival season spans the whole city, and even other areas within the south like Mobile, Alabama (home of the very first American Mardi Gras in 1703) and along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. However, you won’t need to travel far and wide to experience an authentic Mardi Gras. In fact, you don’t even need to leave our hotel! Check out four ways to experience Mardi Gras at Hotel Monteleone. 1. Stay in a Literary Author Suite. Our hotel features five suites honoring Ernest Hemingway, Eudora Welty, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, and Truman Capote, all of whom had a personal connection to Hotel Monteleone. Although Capote, who was born in New Orleans, got lost during Mardi Gras as a child, he still couldn’t shake the call of the Crescent City. “I get seized by a mood, and I go,” he said in a People Magazine interview shortly before his death. Another author who loved Mardi Gras? Mark Twain. In a letter to a friend written not long before our hotel opened, Twain wrote, “An American has not seen the United States until he has seen Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” 2. Drink a Vieux Carre in the Carousel Bar and Lounge. Our bar’s signature cocktail is the perfect homage to the French Quarter: a blend of Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Hennessy, sweet Vermouth, Benedictine liqueur, and a dash of Peychaud’s bitters. Quick history lesson – Peychaud himself was a New Orleanian who created his bitters in 1830. Speaking of history, bartender Walter Berferon created the Vieux Carre drink at our bar in 1938. That same year, LIFE Magazine sent photographer William Vandivert...

The Twelve Days of Mardi Gras – Countdown to Fat Tuesday!

The Twelve Days of Christmas involves lords a leaping, ladies dancing, pipers piping and, of course, a partridge in a pear tree,  but the twelve days of Mardi Gras has a list all its own. Check out our 12-day countdown to Fat Tuesday. 12 numbers on our clock. The Hotel Monteleone features an antique grandfather clock that still chimes in the lobby, surrounded by glittering chandeliers and, of course, Mardi Gras decorations to mark the season. 11 jazzy evenings. Experience live jazz music in the Carousel Bar & Lounge nightly, except for Mardi Gras night on Feb. 9. We have incredible performers on deck, like Lena Prima and the Antoine Diel Jazz Quartet. 10 painted toes. You’ll be on your feet a lot during Mardi Gras, so why not treat yourself to a pedicure at our on-site spa? Your toes will thank you – especially if you paint them purple, green, and gold. 9 types of scotch. Our Carousel Bar & Lounge has 9 different types of scotch available, not to mention plenty of bourbons, whiskeys, and cognacs. You’ll also find and extensive wine list and several signature cocktails. 8 spins around the Carousel Bar. Our famous bar revolves every 15 minutes – enjoy a couple hours (that’s 8 spins!) relaxing and soaking in the beautiful atmosphere. 7 daily benedicts. Criollo, our on-site restaurant, is open every day (even Mardi Gras!). They offer a delicious benedict every day of the week – be sure to enjoy the Garden District Benedict on Mardi Gras Day. You’ll want a hearty breakfast, and this blend of short ribs, wild mushrooms, poached eggs,...

Spring into Festival Season with Hotel Monteleone

Mardi Gras is on our minds, but with the 2016 announced Jazz Fest lineup, we’re already looking ahead to the slew of springtime festivals happening in New Orleans! As always, our hotel is a great option in terms of proximity to all the action, from St. Patrick’s Day to French Quarter Festival to New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival to everything in between. Read on for details about upcoming New Orleans spring festivals. Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival For more than 25 years, the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival has paid homage to its eponymous author through lectures, tributes, a book fair, performances, and much more. This year’s festival takes place from March 30 – April 3 (commemorating what would have been Williams’ 105th birthday on March 26). Though there are several venues helping to host the Festival, we think Hotel Monteleone is the most fitting – after all, Williams featured our hotel in his play, The Rose Tattoo, and often stayed here when he was in town. Hotel Monteleone will host several portions of the festival, including numerous educational panels. St. Patrick’s Day Irish heritage is one of many cultures represented in New Orleans, and you’ll find several ways to celebrate on and around St. Patrick’s Day on March 17. Uptown, the Irish Channel neighborhood hosts parades and parties on March 12 with live music, but the French Quarter will feature several parades as well. On Friday, March 11, you can enjoy Molly’s at the Market Irish Parade. You’ll catch throws like any other parade – but not just beads. Expect to catch edibles like cabbages, carrots,...

Ready, Set, Satire! Krewe du Vieux and krewedelusion

Many Mardi Gras parades happen Uptown, but one of our favorites – Krewe du Vieux – kicks off in the French Quarter and parades all through downtown. This means, of course, that it’s deliciously close to our hotel. The Krewe du Vieux parade is all about satire, and while some of its adult themes are enough to make you blush (the theme this year is XXX, if that’s any hint), we can still share the basics of this raunchy krewe. Don’t miss their parade on January 23 at 6:00 p.m. – and be sure to grab a drink at the Carousel Bar beforehand for a little liquid courage. Krewe du Vieux Krewe du Vieux is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year and is truly going all out for the occasion. They’ve chosen bounce artist (and resident New Orleans queen diva) Big Freedia as its monarch. The krewe is comprised of 17 sub-krewes, all of whom provide scathing satire of subjects like the government and pop culture. Unlike other parades with predictable throws like beads or cups, Krewe du Vieux prefers an element of surprise. Last year’s throws included plastic cockroaches and NSFW temporary tattoos – all in good fun, of course! Although the route isn’t yet finalized, sources say the krewe will start in the Marigny and parade through the French Quarter and Central Business District. The parade culminates in a ball (featuring performer Walter “Wolfman” Washington) at the Civic Theater at 9 p.m. – you can purchase tickets for $40 online or at the Louisiana Music Factory on famed Frenchmen Street, a short walk from our hotel. Lagniappe:...