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New Orleans has taken a particularly cautious approach in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a city known for its vibrant nightlife, many bars and restaurants have closed or operated under heavy restrictions as the city experienced record infection rates.
However, New Orleans responded responsibly, and as cases dwindled, the historic French Quarter began to slowly and cautiously reopen. Restaurants accommodate patrons in remote dining rooms in the courtyard, and bars now sell take-out drinks.
With so many recent changes, I decided to read up on how local hospitality has adapted in my hometown and stayed overnight at the Hotel Monteleone. This iconic property is one of the city’s oldest and most famous hotels.
In fact, I consider it one of the best hotels in New Orleans and a rarity, as an independent luxury property in its fifth generation of family ownership. It’s a beloved place for locals like me, as well as visitors, for its famous Carousel Bar which has become somewhat of a New Orleans landmark.
It opened in 1886 with 64 rooms and has grown over the decades to its current total of 570 rooms, making it one of the largest in the city. It comes with a proud literary history: Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, and William Faulkner all stayed there regularly, and Truman Capote (wrongly) claimed to be born there.
After a short closure, the hotel is open again, and with attractive prices much cheaper than the norm. I booked a traditional entry-level king room for $ 151 for one night, which is $ 50 less than the amount I would generally expect to pay for a midweek reservation.
Most of the facilities, such as the pool, restaurant, and spa, were open, but with restrictions to ensure guest safety. This was my first hotel stay in New Orleans since the start of the pandemic, and it turned out not only to be great value for money, but also reassuring and invigorating, and I would stay there again gladly with confidence. Read on to find out why.