A trio of 1830s townhouses, Soniat House exudes an Old World elegance, from its wrought iron balconies to its white-jacketed porters. Rooms and suites have just the right amount of character so that they feel of an era without being precious or overly frilly. Last year, the hotel renovated all of its bathrooms and some guest rooms, and there are flat-screen televisions, Wi-Fi, and other modern conveniences—but the point here is really to take a step back, put your gadgets away, and enjoy the leafy courtyard. It’s the kind of place where you feel you ought to be wearing a frock and a fascinator (for ladies) or seersucker (for the gents), where time slows and an afternoon cocktail feels very appropriate. Luckily, there’s an honor bar on the first floor next to reception. Pour yourself a stiff drink and take it up to the veranda, where you might catch a ghost tour in progress or just take in the street scene.
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Soniat House is technically in the French Quarter, but it’s on such a serene stretch of Chartres Street that you feel a world away from boozy Bourbon Street. A few blocks from the hotel are two iconic spots: Café du Monde for beignets coated in powdered sugar, and Central Grocery for muffulettas (warning: they’re massive). For modern tiki-style drinks, Cane and Table, just around the corner, is another must. And if you’re keen to explore a more local N’awlins nightlife scene, Frenchmen Street is the place to hear live music (try Three Muses). Even better, it’s within stumbling distance of the hotel. Diehards should end the night with go-go dancers and ’80s tunes at One Eyed Jacks.
Need to Know
Rooms: 30 rooms, including 17 suites. From $325. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Late check-outs after 2 p.m. are charged half the nightly rate. Dining options: There isn’t an on-site restaurant, but breakfast of homemade buttermilk biscuits, strawberry preserves, and café au lait is included. You can have it served in the courtyard or delivered to your room. Spa and gym details: There’s no gym or spa, but in-room massages are available on request.
Who's it for: Luxury leisure travelers with a yen for classic architecture and Southern hospitality. Our favorite rooms: All rooms have Frette linens, down pillows, and Molton Brown toiletries, but Grand Suites have separate sitting rooms, art on loan from the New Orleans Museum of Art, and private balconies overlooking Chartres Street. Good to know: If you’re looking to experience the hotel at a gentler price, Superior rooms are available by request only and start at $245 a night.