Our Tips for a Romantic New Orleans Date Night

You never really need an occasion to set aside a romantic evening for you and your favorite plus one, but with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you might want to consider our top tips for a romantic New Orleans date night. Read on to craft your own intimate New Orleans evening! Get Cocktails at Carousel Bar We’re a bit biased, of course, but we think our hotel is a great place to start your night off right. Carousel Bar & Lounge has a list of signature cocktails like the French 007 (sparkling wine and pomegranate liqueur are a fantastic combination), or you can consult our knowledgeable bartenders for the perfect glass of wine. The atmosphere is bustling, yet intimate – live jazz music in the background sets the tone for romance. Carousel Bar also features a food menu for a light dinner. Pair the blue crab and crawfish beignets with a glass of Carabella Pinot Noir, or share the shrimp potstickers with the refreshing Fleur de Lis cocktail – its refreshing blend of gin, ginger ale, and cucumber brings out the Asian flavors of the pot stickers. Cruise on the Mississippi Head to the waterfront for a moonlit cruise on the Mississippi River. The Steamboat Natchez and Creole Queen steamboat both offer Valentine’s Day river cruises sure to elicit lasting memories. Wander Jackson Square Sometimes, the most mundane activities are the most romantic. A slow stroll through Jackson Square under starlight can be incredibly romantic – perhaps you’ll hear live music from a street musician and dance, or maybe you’ll share a beignet at Café du Monde across...

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 countdown to Fat Tuesday – it’s exactly twelve days away! 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. 17. 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...

An Intertwined History: Hotel Monteleone and Mardi Gras

Hotel Monteleone is a family-owned property with a rich history that started in Sicily, Italy. We’ve found over the years that our own hotel’s history has coincided with that of New Orleans Mardi Gras. Learn more about the deeply intertwined history of Hotel Monteleone and Mardi Gras below! A Bold Start Our founder, Antonio Monteleone, moved from Sicily, Italy during the 1880s. When he came to New Orleans, he found a robust Mardi Gras celebration that had seen more than 150 years of fine-tuning (the first reference to Carnival on record in New Orleans is from 1721). Back in Italy, a new Carnival celebration was just beginning. Although there are references to celebrations before Lent in Europe as early as the 1500s, Sicily developed its own version, Carnevale di Acereale, in 1880. Similar to our Mardi Gras, Carnevale di Acereale incorporates floats, parades, and masks. Learn more about Carnevale di Acereale here. Changing Times By 1964, Hotel Monteleone saw a completely new renovation with grand guest facilities, ballrooms, dining rooms, and a cocktail lounge, plus a sky terrace with a rooftop pool under the direction of Bill Monteleone, Antonio’s grandson. These beautiful amenities provide guests with an incredible New Orleans experience. Around the very same time in 1968, another New Orleans businessman had an idea to improve Mardi Gras itself. Owen Edward Brennan invented the Super Krewe of Bacchus, extending Mardi Gras by an additional weekend and creating open krewe admission for anyone who wanted to join. This bucked the trend of closed societies and cemented Mardi Gras as an incredible experience not only for locals but also for...

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...

Plan for Parades with Our Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

Mardi Gras only lasts a day, but Carnival season spans weeks, giving our hotel guests ample opportunities to check out a parade or two (or three). You’ll also have a chance to try king cake throughout the Carnival season. Some of our favorites are from Haydel’s Bakery, Manny Randazzo, and Cake Café, all of which pair perfectly with a cocktail from our Carousel Bar & Lounge or on-site restaurant, Criollo. Once you’re feeling sated and spirited, step out into New Orleans for a Carnival experience throughout the city. We’ve put together a Mardi Gras parade schedule for the whole season for parades rolling in Uptown and the French Quarter. Take a look! Saturday, Jan. 31 Krewe du Vieux rolls through the French Quarter at 6:30 p.m. with Krewe Delusion following directly afterward. Both parades are in our neighborhood, and we love seeing our guests come back through the lobby bedecked in beads after the first major parades of the Carnival season. Friday, Feb. 6 Uptown, Krewe of Cleopatra, an all-female krewe, rolls just after Krewe of Oshun. If you’re at our French Quarter hotel, the Krewe of Cork (as in wine cork) parade is in the area. Be sure to have a glass of wine from The Carousel Bar in hand, or celebrate the parade afterward by heading to Criollo – their wine list is full of playful whites, interesting reds, and bubbles to keep the party going. Saturday, Feb. 7 This Saturday is a big one for parades. In Uptown, five Krewes will roll from 1:00 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. Krewe of Pontchartrain, Krewe of Pygmalion, and the...

Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial: How to Celebrate

First things first: a history lesson. The Battle of New Orleans wasn’t just one battle. Actually, it was a series of military scuffles that together created the final major battle of the War of 1812. Though they were outnumbered, Andrew Jackson and the Americans held off Edward Pakenham and his British combatants from seizing New Orleans on Jan. 8, 1815. Many attributed the win to a miracle – after all, the Americans were outnumbered, and the Ursuline nuns prayed all night on behalf of the American soldiers. To this day, 200 years later, the city still takes time to remember the battle and its lasting effects. Here’s how to commemorate the Battle of New Orleans bicentennial: Attend a Wreath-Laying Ceremony The United States Daughters of 1812 will conduct its annual wreath-laying ceremony in Jackson Square. The ceremony takes place at noon today, but later in the evening, fireworks will ignite over the Mississippi River at 8 p.m. There’s also a wreath-laying ceremony tomorrow at De Le Ronde Ruins, which served as British headquarters during the war. Take a Trip to Chalmette Battlefield Battle reenactments take place Jan. 9-11 at Chalmette Battlefield. An armory, field assembly, marching lane, and battlefield with British and American sides are all on-site, as are reenactors dressed in authentic costumes for the period. Gates open at 9:00 a.m. each day; while Friday’s reenactment is free, Saturday and Sunday events cost $10 with tickets available online. Learn About the War’s Impact on the Gulf South At Our Hotel Reflection on the bicentennial continues throughout the month of January – and Hotel Monteleone is paying tribute! On Jan. 23...