10Best New Orleans hotels: pamper yourself at these swell sleeps

Photo courtesy of The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
Photo courtesy of Loews Hotel New Orleans
Photo courtesy of W French Quarter New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Whit Preston
Photo courtesy of French Quarter Hotel Collection
By Beth D'Addono, New Orleans Local Expert

When choosing a hotel in New Orleans, location is key. If you plan on touring the French Quarter, or are coming for a sporting event at the Superdome, staying at a central location is key. If you want to be within walking distance to everything, the French Quarter and Central Business District (CBD) is the top choice.  But in these days of ride sharing apps, cocktailing needn't be curtailed by the need to drive home.  Virtually every neighborhood in New Orleans is within a 10-15 minute drive and there are plenty of bike lanes to accommodate two-wheeled touring, an ideal way to leave the tourist track behind and dig a little deeper into the city's charms.

Being close to bus and street car stops is another way to explore all parts of the city that you wouldn't be able to walk to by foot. At $1.25 per ride, it can't be beat.  Renting bikes is also a great option if you like to get out and explore the neighborhood,

When you have your location figured out, it's time to figure out the degree of luxury, design, amenities and value you are looking for in a place to stay. New Orleans has it all. From comfortable bed and breakfasts along Audubon Park to world class five star hotels like the W French Quarter and Audubon Cottages, the options will have you sleeping easy.

10. The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
Photo courtesy of The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery

The Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery on Tchoupitoulas Street in the Warehouse District of New Orleans comes by its industrial pedigree honestly. Home to Top Chef fan favorite Chef Nina Compton and her restaurant Compere Lapin, the 167-room Old No. 77 is set in three restored 19th-century warehouses that originally housed coffee, among other goods. That industrial chic vibe adds eye-pleasing design details throughout the common spaces and guest rooms. Ideally situated just three blocks from the French Quarter, this funky hotel is covered in striking art, from the Where Y'Art annex located just off the lobby to the art from students of the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. Located at the intersection of Tchoupitoulas and Lafayette Streets, the hotel is an easy stroll to Harrah's Casino and the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

9. Maison de Ville Hotel New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Carly & Art

The Maison de Ville Hotel is another property located right in the heart of the French Quarter, steps from all must-see attractions. Guests are treated to true Southern hospitality at this historic (and some say haunted) property, with its lovely courtyard and wrought iron balconies. One of the building's first residents invented the now official state cocktail - the Sazerac - while at the hotel and Tennessee Williams penned his famous "A Streetcar Named Desire" in room number nine. The hotel is as Old World New Orleans as it gets, with rooms containing period furniture, antiques and interesting art work.

8. Windsor Court Hotel
Photo courtesy of Windsor Court Hotel

This uber luxe 23-story landmark hotel in the Central Business District has long been the go-to spot for celebrities, athletes and corporate thought leaders. Still fresh off its stem to stern renovation the hotel has never looked better. Rooms feature Frette linens, oversized Molton Brown bath products, personalized turndown service, plush terry robes, iHome docking stations and flat screen HD TVs. The highly rated Grill Room restaurant features elegant modern cuisine from chef de cuisine Gabriel Charpentier and stellar desserts created by pastry chef Shun Li. The Polo Club Lounge is a sophisticated live music venue sure to impress, with head bartender Roger Blais celebrating two decades of shaken and stirred service.

7. Loews New Orleans Hotel
Photo courtesy of Loews Hotel New Orleans

This former office building in the heart of downtown has been reimagined into one of the best sleeps in town. From its West Indies--style lobby to its well appointed spacious guest rooms enriched with local artwork, the Loews makes a body feel right at home. Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, both on the lobby level, are run by the same Brennans that own Commander's Palace Restaurant. Accessible to everything that counts downtown, Loews is just .8 miles from the arena and close to Harrah's and the river. little farther out, is farther from Bourbon and Royal than others on this list, but still within walking distance. A full service spa, ballroom and lap pool round out the amenities of this stellar hotel.

6. Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Hotel Monteleone

Hotel Monteleone on Royal Street emanates European luxury with 600 sprawling rooms, and boasts one of the highest inventories of suites (55) in town. The vibe throughout is retro-European, from the guest rooms' rich fabrics and marble bathrooms to the liveried doormen, and the 16-story building's distinctive Baroque façade. With its central location in the French Quarter, a few blocks from Canal St., Jackson Square and the River Walk, the Monteleone is an ideal home base for exploring the Crescent City in style. The hotel features a heated rooftop pool and 24/7 fitness center availability and in-room dining. Ernest Hemingway made note of the Monteleone's famous Carousel Bar, a 25-seat, slowly circumnavigating lounge that features live music and great cocktails.

5. W New Orleans - French Quarter
Photo courtesy of W French Quarter New Orleans

The W in the French Quarter marries urban chic with traditional Vieux Carré architecture in a fabulous location, the best of all worlds. Spacious rooms themed jazz or tarot are decked out in bold art and niceties like Bliss spa products and uber comfy bedding. The central pool is a chill lounge scene. You'll want to sit a spell at the bar at SoBou, the latest venture from the Commander's Palace branch of the Brennan family. Bar chef Laura Bellucci concocts brilliant craft cocktails using fresh herbs, tinctures and homemade bitters. Move into the dramatically lit dining room for chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez' playful menu of modern Creole bites.

4. The Troubadour A Joie de Vivre Hotel
Photo courtesy of Whit Preston

Of the current gaggle of new hotels that have opened in the past year or so, The Troubadour is an 11. Cocktails and global street eats at the Monkey Board Bar on the 17th floor is just one of the reasons to check into this new hotel, part of the eclectic Joie de Vivre Hotel group. A bold contemporary design is another, with arresting original art scattered throughout the public spaces. Guest rooms are crisp and comfy, there's a 24-hour fitness center and no charge for Wifi. More good news: if your lovers' retreat needs to include Fluffy, the pet-friendly Troubadour is happy to oblige. Add in the stellar location, within strolling distance of the French Quarter, the Superdome and the lively dining and entertainment scene in the Warehouse District, and the Troubadour is a romantic getaway just waiting to happen.

3. Royal Sonesta New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Royal Sonesta

The Royal Sonesta is where to go when you want to experience New Orleans full on. The 500-room, seven story hotel opens out onto Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter. Its architecture combines European flair with Southern charm and amenities are endless. After a long day of touring, take a dip in the Sonesta's secluded pool, set in a walled picturesque garden. Poolside massages, proximity to the city's hot spots, a top shelf jazz club and swank restaurant r'evolution make the Royal Sonesta one of the best spots to stay in New Orleans. If you seek peace and quiet, this is not your hotel.

2. The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Britt Reints

The Ritz-Carlton name speaks for itself, and its New Orleans location is one of the brand's landmark properties. Located on Canal Street in a historic renovation of a pair of architectural landmarks: the Kress and Maison Blanche buildings, this Ritz drips class and elegance. The 25,000 square foot European style spa is a huge draw for both locals and visitors in need of pampering. Crooner Jeremy Davenport entertains at the Davenport Lounge, accessible from M Bistro, which allows the under 21 set to hear live music while munching on top shelf seasonal comfort fare. The club lounge is VIP heaven.

1. Audubon Cottages
Photo courtesy of French Quarter Hotel Collection

Imagine staying with a rich friend, who is touring Europe but is generous enough to give you the key to her secluded French Quarter hideaway. That's what it feels like to stay in one of the seven recently refurbished seven Audubon Cottages, named forformer resident, John James Audubon. If it's high end, uber private and intimate digs you seek, seek no more. Each cottage is unique, and among the many notable details you might find hardwood floors, separate living areas, dining tables and/or antique furnishings. Additional perks include complimentary breakfast, free Wi-Fi and a heated saltwater pool, as well valet parking at the nearby Dauphine Orleans Hotel. In room spa services are offered by Spa Atlantis.