Carnaval Latino Happens Just Blocks from Our Hotel

Did you know the term “French Quarter” is kind of a misnomer? Although we owe a lot to the French, who first established our city nearly 300 years ago, the beautiful patios and scrolling ironwork we enjoy year-round throughout the French Quarter is actually Spanish-style architecture. After two consecutive fires burned much of the original French architecture, the Spanish government helped rebuild the city to meticulous, sturdy standards — so sturdy, in fact, they still remain today. That’s why Carnaval Latino is such an important part of the fall festival circuit. New Orleans’ Latin roots extend back centuries, and there’s no better way to honor that history in a modern way than to celebrate through food, music, and (of course) a parade. Be sure to attend Carnaval Latino during your stay at Hotel Monteleone on Oct. 10 and 11. The festival is the perfect end to Hispanic Heritage Month, which happens Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, and most of the events are within walking distance within our hotel. ¡Viva Carnaval Latino y La Ciudad de Nueva Orleans! Carnaval Latino at a Glance On Oct. 10 and 11, the downtown and French Quarter areas transform into a hub of Latin culture thanks to the Hispanic-American Musicians and Artists Cultural Association. The festival features empowerment programs and a market (El Mercado) full of beautiful handicrafts and Latin artwork. Select proceeds will benefit local Hispanic non-profits. Cigar aficionados will love the cigar-rolling station at El Mercado, and the all-ages festival even has an interactive children’s area sure to keep the kids busy. The Parade of the Americas Carnaval meets Carnival with a...

Learn to Make the Carousel Bar’s Fleur de Lis Cocktail at Home

Certain flavors recall certain times of the year. For us, nothing says late summer more than the flavors of botanical gin, vibrant lemon, refreshing cucumber, and a slight spice of ginger. And with the Fleur de Lis cocktail – well, you can taste them all in a single sip. This delicious cocktail is a favorite at our Carousel Bar & Lounge. Created right at the bar by our own bartender Parker Davis in 2007, this libation is a perennial favorite… but we think it’s especially suited to summer. In fact, our recipe below allows you to serve it in a pitcher for easy refilling – simply scale down the amounts if you’d prefer a single-serve recipe. Can’t be bothered to make our at-home variation yourself? We feel ya. Stop in at the Carousel Bar any day of the week to try the Fleur de Lis, the Vieux Carre, a Miel Blanco, a classic Sazerac, or any other of our handcrafted cocktails.   Fleur de Lis Cocktail Recipe   Ingredients: Hendrick’s Gin Germain elderflower liqueur Fresh lemon juice Cucumber Ginger ale Club soda   Recipe: Add 3/4 cup gin and 3/4 cup St. Germain to a large pitcher, followed by the juice of about two lemons. Add about 6 to 8 ounces of ginger ale and top with club soda. Stir gently and add ice. To serve, fill a glass with plenty of ice and garnish with a cucumber. Enjoy!...

Top 5 Historic Spots in the French Quarter

The French Quarter is chock-full of history. So full, in fact, that it’s hard to even know where to begin. We’re making it a little easier with our list of the top 5 historic spots in the French Quarter. Scope them out all in one day, or tackle them a few at a time: no matter how you approach it, you’ll enjoy learning more about these historic, picturesque NOLA spots. 1. Old Ursuline Convent The oldest building in the Mississippi River Valley, Old Ursuline Convent was built on Chartres Street in 1752, where it remains today. That also makes it the oldest example of the French colonial period still standing in the United States. For just $5, you can tour the inside, where you’ll a hand-crafted cypress staircase, oil paintings featuring past archbishops, bronze busts, and religious statues. Over the centuries, the building has had many purposes: it’s been a convent, an orphanage, and even a makeshift hospital. The tour reflects all of these functions and captures the building’s vast, rich history. Be sure to seek the walled courtyard behind the main building: it’s a secluded, peaceful area where you can reflect on the principles of the founding Ursuline Sisters. Hours: Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Cost: $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $3 for students (with ID), and free for children under 6 2. 1850 House (Inside the Lower Pontalba Building) Located inside one of the historic Pontalba Buildings on St. Ann Street in Jackson Square, the 1850 House is part of the Louisiana State Museum collection and offers a glimpse of antebellum life in New Orleans....

COOLinary Takes Over for the Month of August

The menus and participating restaurants might differ, but year after year, COOLinary New Orleans offers up the same delicious idea: for the whole month of August, diners can enjoy generous two- and three-course meals for unbeatable prix fixe prices all over the city. Whether you choose a two-course lunch option or a three-course brunch or dinner option, you’ll indulge in some of the best food in New Orleans at a fraction of the normal price. You can find the whole list of restaurants here. Need help deciding on where to start? Take a look at some of our recommendations for COOLinary, outlined by meal. Lunch Don't forget @criollo_NOLA is part of #COOLinary this year. Here's what else to try! Click To TweetMidday hunger comes on strong, but usually we combat it with fast food, protein bars, or other fast eats.  Criollo: This Creole-fusion restaurant is located right inside of our hotel. The lunch meal includes two courses for just $20; choose from appetizers like compressed watermelon with feta and flavorful entrees like grilled swordfish skewers with rosemary. Unlike many COOLinary lunch offerings, this one includes dessert, too! We’re partial to the Mile High Parfait with raspberry sauce.  Grand Isle: Utilizing fresh Gulf seafood and seasonal ingredients, Grand Isle in the Central Business District is just blocks from our hotel and is another solid option. Try the stuffed boudin balls and the chili butter baked fish salad… although the marinated flank steak with bruleed lemon is equally delicious. Commander’s Palace: The martinis at lunch are just 25 cents. Need we say more?  Dinner For $39, you can eat like a COOLinary...

August at a Glance: 4 Must-Do Events

Think August is slow? Think again. In New Orleans, higher temperatures and longer days don’t discourage us from our usual festivities. In fact, August features several events worth penciling into your calendar. Here’s the scoop: White Linen Night On Saturday, Aug. 1 at 6 p.m., Julia Street in the Warehouse District becomes a catwalk for patrons wearing all white. White Linen Night is when New Orleanians (and visitors) stroll along Julia Street and admire works of art from local galleries while dressed in all white. A pure-white outfit isn’t required, but dressing the part is definitely encouraged. There will also be food, drinks, and live entertainment on hand to give the evening a festive feel.  Dirty Linen Night  The following weekend, Dirty Linen Night takes over in the French Quarter on Saturday, Aug. 8 at  6 p.m. This arts event is similar to White Linen Night, but patrons are encouraged to wear the same white linen from the previous weekend now that it’s dirty. Shopkeepers often give away themed food and drink like dirty rice and dirty martinis, but if you can’t find a drink, no problem: head to the Carousel Bar & Lounge where a bartender will make you a dirty martini to your exact specifications. So many #august events happening in #nola! Click To Tweet Red Dress Run Before Dirty Linen Night gets started, you can enjoy another NOLA tradition: Red Dress Run. Open to men and women alike, Red Dress Run does require participants to dress up (in a red dress, of course). Registration is $70 online, and proceeds benefit dozens of charities in the city.  COOLinary...

Satchmo SummerFest Honors Louis Armstrong

We have our share of famous folks with a New Orleans connection. William Faulkner, Stephen Ambrose, Harry Connick Jr., Tennessee Williams Reese Witherspoon: they all have NOLA roots in one way or another (and some of them have roots that intertwine with our very own hotel). But our most famous son is Louis Armstrong, the iconic musician, actor, and lasting cultural icon who was born and raised in New Orleans. And is it any surprise we have a whole festival dedicated to Louis, aka Satchmo? Satchmo SummerFest happens from July 31 -Aug. 2 with plenty of events going on near our hotel.  Music More than 100 artists on two stages will perform, with a focus on local brass bands as well as jazz performers both contemporary and traditional. There’s also an educational component: you can learn to swing dance for free with twice-daily lessons at the Cornet Chop Suey Stage on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.  On Friday, July 31, you can see bands and performers like Ellis Marsalis, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Preservation Hall Brass Band, Deacon John, and Donald Harrison’s All Star Louis Armstrong Tribute. On Saturday, August 1, listen for the sounds of The Ella and Louis Tribute Band, Treme Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, and Bill Summers, among many others. Sunday, August 2, marks the last day of the festival, when our very own songbird Robin Barnes (she performs at the Carousel Bar & Lounge) takes the stage, as does local favorite Kermit Ruffins.   FoodChow down on a variety of options that showcase the best of New Orleans festival food....