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Royal Sonesta

Hot Hotels

New Orleans, Louisiana By: Kelly Magyarics

Get jazzed about this richly appointed hotel that’s right on Bourbon Street. If you are headed to the Big Easy and want to stay smack dab in the middle of everything, book a room at this 483room hotel located directly on the French Quarter’s famed Bourbon Street. Looking for a front seat of the action? Select a room with a wrought-iron balcony that faces the iconic pedestrian thoroughfare--which bustles all hours of the day and night, and not just during Mardi Gras. But if you are seeking something a bit quieter, the rooms that face the pool or the courtyard fountain are a bit more subdued. All rooms feature traditional gabled windows, and niceties including a Keurig coffee maker and refrigerators, pillow top mattresses and flat screens up the comfort factor. You can also upgrade your NOLA experience with one of 36 suites or a room on the sixth or seventh floor; the latter gives you all access to the R Lounge, where you can leisurely take breakfast before a day of exploring the city--and then return during happy hour for hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail or glass of sparkling wine on the terrace. Downstairs at Restaurant R’Evolution, chefs John Folse and Rick Tramonto creatively reinterpret Cajun and Creole cuisine. Start with fire roasted oysters with smoked Bienville butter; then order shrimp and grits, which are crusted in cracklin’ and serve with mascarpone grits and a savory Bloody Bull cocktail-inspired zabaione. Or, head there for a classic New Orleans Sunday Jazz Brunch, where Eggs Sardou, with artichokes, crabmeat and shirred eggs, gives Benedict a run for its money. Next door, Bar R’Evolution shakes and stirs cocktails in a setting that evokes thoughts of an 1800s carriageway--gas-lit lanterns and all; the Liquor Library houses some of Folse’s personal booze stash. Need more bivalves? Desire Oyster Bar serves them up chilled, grilled, baked or fried--any preparation method is just fine next to a well-chilled French 75 with Bombay Dry Gin, lemon juice and Montmartre Sparkling Wine. And while you’ll definitely want to check out live music at Preservation Hall, a bastion of a music hall that’s just a few blocks away, you only need step into Irving Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse adjacent to the hotel lobby to hear the town’s top talent in a cozy spot awash in crimson, while sipping a Sazerac, the classic cocktail invented in N’Awlins. Mornings or lazy afternoons after an evening cavorting and carousing at the Quarter’s many bars are made for that aforementioned courtyard pool, always heated and fitting for a dip (or a deck-side nap to conjure up energy for another late night); the Oasis Bar mixes up the much-needed hair of the dog or eye-opener And the lobby? Just like Bourbon Street itself, it’s a people-watching paradise. ■ 121

Los Angeles Travel Magazine 2016 Fall-Holiday Issue  
Los Angeles Travel Magazine 2016 Fall-Holiday Issue