High scoring sleeps within easy walking distance of all the action

Photo courtesy of Moxy New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Fairfield Inn & Suites New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Loews Hotel New Orleans
By Beth D'Addono, New Orleans Local Expert

When you are in town specifically for an event or events at the Smoothie King Center you would, in a perfect world want to stay as close as possible. Why waste time commuting to and from when you could be spending that time enjoying the action?

In the general proximity of the Smoothie King Center there are great hotels of all shapes and sizes, with different price levels, amenities and styles. Whether you want to treat yourself to a swank hotel with a full service concierge, or would rather save that money to spend on po-boys, you have options. 

The closest hotels to the Smoothie King Center are the nicest ones. The Hyatt Regency and Le Pavillon are quick walks away, yet very different sleeps.  The Hyatt Regency is super modern with tons of space and great views. Le Pavillon is all opulent formality in a fabulous building dating back to 1907.

There are more "budget" types of hotels close by too, offering the handy option of being closer to attractions by the river and the  French Quarter. If you want to save some loot, and imagine yourself splitting time between the Arena and the Quarter, checking out these types of hotels would be ideal. 

10. Cotton Exchange Hotel

The historic Cotton Exchange Hotel, situated in the actual former cotton exchange building, is located on Carondelet in New Orleans on the St. Charles Streetcar line. You won't need to hop on though unless you plan on going to the Garden District or Uptown, because everything else is in walking distance. The hotel features a great workout facility and a rooftop pool with immense privacy for peace and quiet. There is a business center, valet parking and a hot buffet breakfast available each morning. A stay at the Cotton Exchange is great when traveling for work or with friends and family. Room rates are relatively affordable.

9. Wyndham Garden Hotel Baronne Plaza
Photo courtesy of Wyndham Garden

Located between Poydras and Canal, the Wyndham Garden Hotel-Baronne Plaza is just a block off Canal, with easy access to all things French Quarter and CBD. The rooms aren't fancy but they're comfortable and the price is right. The hotel has a self parking option which will save you some money, with no extra cost for in and out privileges. The famed Original City Dine, open 24/7, is located in the hotel, with an extensive menu of breakfast dishes, seafood platters, salads and po'boys. If you plan to come during Mardi Gras, this place is situated right off the parade route.

8. MOXY New Orleans Downtown French Quarter
Photo courtesy of Moxy New Orleans

Staying at MOXY has its perks, the first of which is location, location, location. Walk to the Smoothie King Center, Superdome, Canal Street or Convention Center no problem. A full list of amenities includes daily continental breakfast, complimentary 24-hour coffee and tea in the lobby, free wired high speed internet access and a great fitness center. The spacious guestrooms all have HBO, refrigerators (great for leftovers) and microwaves (ditto). Relatively inexpensive garage parking is available across the street. Hint: the always popular Domenica is located literally steps away. Be sure to check it out during it's daily 3-6 pm happy hour.

7. Fairfield Inn & Suites New Orleans Downtown/French Quarter
Photo courtesy of Fairfield Inn & Suites New Orleans

Another hotel situated right in the middle of the New Orleans downtown on Baronne, the Fairfield Inn and Suites is a budget hotel that offers great proximity and amenities for the price. With easy access to the St. Charles and Canal St. Streetcars, guests can easily reach the French Quarter, Garden District or Uptown areas to explore, dine and shop. The hotel is smoke free, offers free Wi-Fi and has an exercise room.

6. Drury Inn & Suites New Orleans
Photo courtesy of Drury Inn & Suites

Located in the historic Cumberland Phone Building, this all-suites property boasts a solid location and a bevy of extras. Guests can enjoy a rooftop swimming pool, spacious guestrooms and an impressive menu of complimentary food. Hot breakfast is free every morning and the 5:30 pm "Kickback" happens dishes more free hot snacks and cold beverages. Drury is close to everything, less than one-half mile from the Arena and the French Quarter. Drury is right next to the St. Charles Street Car line, which conveniently connects guests to the Central Business District, Garden District and Uptown. Whether in town for business or leisure, Drury Inn & Suites, which recently expanded its room footprint, is a comfortable and economical choice.

5. Holiday Inn New Orleans - Downtown Superdome
Photo courtesy of Holiday Inn

Best known for the iconic 150-foot long clarinet painted on its outside tower, the newly renovated Holiday Inn Downtown Superdome is close to both the Dome and Smoothie King Center. Located on the Loyola Streetcar line if you're heading uptown, visitors can enjoy quick walks to both Poydras and Canal for easy access to all French Quarter attractions. There is a heated rooftop pool for year-round swimming, excellent in-room dining and a 200-piece collection of regional art. Rooms aren't cookie cutter, so prepare to be impressed with your quarters. Business and leisure travelers, appreciate complimentary and fast wifi service throughout the hotel.

4. Homewood Suites New Orleans

For an extended stay that combines business with pleasure, Homewood Suites fills the bill. Spacious one and two-bedroom suites offer fully equipped kitchens, free WiFi and plenty of elbow room for working and relaxing after a day or night on the town. Hot breakfast is complimentary, as are dinner and drinks Monday-Thursday. The staff will be more than happy to do your grocery shopping so your kitchen can be stocked with goodies. A fitness center and pool are available so guests can unwind after a hectic convention schedule or busy day at the park with the kids. The hotel is right on Poydras, an easy walk to anything in the downtown area.

3. 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 branch of the Brennans that own Commander's Palace Restaurant. Accessible to everything that counts downtown, Loews is just .8 miles from the Smoothie King Center and the Dome and close to Harrah's and the river. Bourbon and Royal Street within easy walking distance at a half-mile. A full service spa, ballroom and lap pool round out the amenities of this great hotel.

2. Le Pavillon Hotel

Le Pavillon is in a class by itself, with afacade borrowed from ancient Greece complete with carved statues and an air of old world elegance. The rooms are unique, with antique treasures scattered throughout. One room even has a 17th century hand carved mantle that is considered one of the best in the world. The bar was salvaged from a Chicago hotel that Capone frequented. Hotel tradition calls for hot chocolate and crust-less PB&Js every night at 10 pm to assure you won't go to sleep - or out on the town - hungry. The hotel's Crystal Room can serve you a world class meal, or you can opt for room service.

1. Hyatt Regency New Orleans

The Hyatt Regency is a visual spectacle close to both the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome and the Smoothie King Center. The curved glass exterior is eye popping, but come inside and the massive lobby, with its incredible escalator, comfy seating areas and multiple bars and restaurants, and you'll really be impressed. The fitness center sits atop the hotel, with panoramic views of the city. The pool area is secluded in the back offering a haven from urban activities. Have pizza delivered to your pool chair, or hit up the bar for a frozen cocktail. In room, be treated to a massive flat screen televisions and beds you will never want to leave.