It’s Not Too Late to Book These Hotels in New Orleans for Mardi Gras

Carnival season is here, but there’s still time to make reservations for a last-minute trip to the Big Easy.

A band performing at Jack Rose

The Pontchartrain Hotel’s ground-floor restaurant Jack Rose is famed for its themed Mardi Gras parties.

Courtesy of Hotel Pontchartrain

Mardi Gras is one of the most popular times to visit New Orleans, so it’s never too early to start thinking about booking your hotel. But if you haven’t yet, it’s not too late.

After kicking off each year in early January, the weeks-long Carnival season culminates on Mardi Gras day, which falls on Tuesday, February 13, in 2024. The liveliest time to visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras is usually the two weekends leading up to the day. For all you last-minute travelers—you’re in luck. At press time, all of these hotels still had limited availability in February, including the final weekend of Mardi Gras between Friday, February 9, and Wednesday, February 14, 2024.

In addition to when you visit, what neighborhood you stay in is important. To be close to the Mardi Gras parades that roll down St. Charles Avenue, many Uptown and Garden District hotels will place you at the beginning of the routes, a bit away from the rowdiness of the French Quarter. From there, most parades wind past some of our favorite hotels in the Warehouse District, all within walking distance of the French Quarter. (Before you go, be sure to download the WDSU Parade Tracker app for iPhone or Android to get a complete list of parade schedules, maps, and live tracking information.) If you do end up needing to use a ride share to get to and from parades, beware of getting boxed in by road closures. Consult this handy guide from for the best places to get picked up just beyond the parade routes.

With that in mind, here are eight of our favorite hotels to make your home base during Mardi Gras in New Orleans—plus all the special cocktails, events, and more they’re offering this Carnival season.

A lavish bar with a white taxidermy peacock, leather banquettes, blue leather stools, a patterned tile floor, and a chandelier that looks like white leaves

Stop at the cocktail bar Peacock Room for an official “parade potion” called the Patron Saint.

Photo by Cris Molina for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

Kimpton Hotel Fontenot

  • Neighborhood: Warehouse District
  • Book now

For a front-row seat to the biggest Mardi Gras parades, it’s hard to beat the 235-room Kimpton Hotel Fontenot’s location on the corner of Tchoupitoulas and Poydras Streets on the main parade routes (and only a five-minute walk from the French Quarter). Four parades will pass right by the hotel—the Krewes of Morpheus (February 9), Endymion (February 10), Bacchus (February 11), and Orpheus (February 12)—and during those times, the outdoor terrace above King Brasserie and Bar will host ticketed events that include food, drinks, and swag bags with beads. On January 20, for instance, you can join a Carnival Sip & Shop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., which will be held on King Brasserie’s rooftop terrace and feature such local vendors as Lab & Lounge, which is offering themed manicures and hair tinsel.

The hotel’s fun-loving cocktail bar Peacock Room will be serving an official “parade potion” called the Patron Saint, which is made with Patrón tequila, Nonino Amaro, kumquat, and honeydew. Best of all, it’s utterly Instagramable, with stripes of purple, yellow, and green. During the season, you can also try pastry chef Lanna Talley’s unique spins on king cakes at both King Brasserie and Gospel Coffee.

Chandelier Bar at Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans

Guests and visitors alike can enjoy live music and cocktails at the Four Seasons’ Chandelier Bar during Mardi Gras.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans/Christian Horan Photography

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans

  • Neighborhood: Warehouse District
  • Book now

Opened in New Orleans’s historic World Trade Center in 2021, the 341-room Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans is a luxurious sanctuary overlooking the Mississippi River, with an outdoor pool and restaurants run by Alon Shaya (Miss River) and Donald Link (Chemin à la Mer). Its Canal Street location is just a few blocks from major parade routes, including the Krewes of Endymion, Iris, and Tucks.

During your stay, you’ll notice a Mardi Gras–themed installation in the lobby featuring colorful papier-mâché flowers handcrafted by local float artists. In the lobby Chandelier Bar, you can order a special milk punch, and the pastry kitchen will for the first time offer a limited number of king cakes. And, befitting the Four Seasons’ dedication to luxurious experiences, the hotel is also offering a balcony package for parade viewing at Herbsaint, Donald Link’s flagship restaurant, which sits smack dab on St. Charles Avenue.

Pontchartrain Hotel rooftop bar with panoramic views of downtown New Orleans

The rooftop bar, Hot Tin, at the Pontchartrain Hotel offers 180-degree views of downtown.

Courtesy of the Pontchartrain Hotel

The Pontchartrain Hotel

Located directly on the Uptown parade route that runs down St. Charles Avenue in the Garden District, the Pontchartrain Hotel has welcomed guests such as Frank Sinatra and Truman Capote since it opened in the 1940s. A 2016 renovation retained that vintage glamour while bringing the hotel into the 21st century with 106 rooms decorated with an eclectic mix of European- and Caribbean-style furniture.

Its public spaces are where the hotel truly shines, attracting locals and travelers alike. Before you stake out your spot on the parade routes, stock up for parade-viewing with to-go cocktails and food from Bayou Bar (which will open early on parade days) and Silver Whistle Café. At Bayou Bar or Jack Rose, the most fun-loving options will be Mardi Gras–themed Jell-O shots, flavored with ube, pandan, or passion fruit and priced at $6 a pop.

Jack Rose, which takes its name from characters in Tennessee Williams’ The Rose Tattoo, is hosting a special lunch on Friday, February 9, featuring two Mardi Gras Indians, a long-standing tradition in which revelers get their beaded-and-feathered costume inspirations from Native American and West African culture. The next day, the restaurant will host an Iris Saturday lunch, inspired by the Krewe of Iris, the oldest and largest all-female krewe in the city, with a menu featuring special purple drinks and foods.

Hotel Saint Vincent bathroom (left) and lobby bar illuminated in dark red lighting (right)

Hotel Saint Vincent’s design is dramatic, from the wallpaper in its bathrooms to the lighting in its lobby bar.

Courtesy of Hotel Saint Vincent

Hotel Saint Vincent

  • Neighborhood: Lower Garden District
  • Book now

Originally opened as an infant asylum in 1861, Hotel Saint Vincent was transformed into a 75-room hotel in 2021. It’s now owned by MML Hospitality run by hotelier Liz Lambert and Texas-based chefs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman. Enjoyable any time of year, this hotel particularly feels prime for Mardi Gras celebrations thanks to the psychedelic marble wallpaper in the rooms, an outdoor pool, and dramatic neon lighting in the guests-only cocktail bar Chapel Club. Located on the corner of Magazine and Race Streets in the Lower Garden District, Hotel Saint Vincent is an easy walk—two blocks away—from the main parade routes on St. Charles Avenue.

While you’re staying here, there are plenty of ways to engage with the festivities in the Lower Garden District. As part of its ongoing Sounds of Saint Vincent series, the hotel is hosting live performances in Chapel Club by Plomo (January 25) and James Bangura & Tiss with NSDOS (February 4); you can RSVP online for free.

On January 21, the hotel welcomes back Little Flea Nola and its popular Mardi Gras Market (also free with online RSVP), which will feature everything from antiques and vintage furniture to locally crafted costumes, headpieces, and jewelry, plus a selection of king cakes and pastries.

The lobby bar at the Ace Hotel New Orleans

The lobby bar at the Ace Hotel New Orleans is a popular gathering spot for both locals and travelers.

Courtesy of Ace Hotel New Orleans

Ace Hotel New Orleans

  • Neighborhood: Warehouse District
  • Book now

Just one block away from the parade routes on St. Charles Avenue in the Warehouse District, the Ace Hotel’s location on Carondelet Street offers easy access to parades from the Krewes of Orpheus, Bacchus, Endymion, and Muses—to name a few. With 234 rooms in a variety of sizes and budget points, plus half a dozen bars, restaurants, and music venues, the Ace is a great place to convene on a larger group trip.

Even if you’re not checking into the hotel, there are plenty of reasons to add the Ace to your Mardi Gras itinerary this season. On February 3, musician Joshua Starkman will present his show “Have a Great Mardi Gras” at the Ace’s on-site venue Three Keys; a week later, the space hosts the Sum’n Good dance party.

Maison de la Luz's lobby bar for guests (left) and a guest room (right)

The hidden bar located between the hotel’s public Bar Marilou and the lobby (L); a room at Maison de la Luz (R).

Courtesy of Maison de la Luz

Maison de la Luz

  • Neighborhood: Warehouse District
  • Book now

For a more private refuge, Maison de la Luz is located across the street from the Ace, its sister property. Guests of this 67-room hotel, which opened in 2019 in an old City Hall annex, are encouraged to pop over to the Ace to enjoy the rooftop pool bar or grab a crawfish roll or a dozen Gulf Coast oysters at Seaworthy, which occupies a Creole cottage built in 1832. Back at Maison, however, the common areas are only for overnight guests, offering peace from the busy streets outside.

Due to its private nature, there aren’t any special events taking place at the hotel during Mardi Gras. However, in the past, the hotel has been known to surprise guests with Mardi Gras grandstand seats as a complimentary perk.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans lobby (left) and purple Mardi Gras cocktail (right)

The Virgin Hotels New Orleans is delightfully quirky, from its lobby decor to the plastic babies frozen in the ice of its Mardi Gras cocktails.

Courtesy of Virgin Hotels New Orleans

Virgin Hotels New Orleans

  • Neighborhood: Warehouse District
  • Book now

The Virgin Hotels New Orleans is two blocks from the parade routes on St. Charles Avenue (and one block away from the Ace Hotel and Maison de la Luz). Guests can easily walk over to see the Krewes of Bacchus, Endymion, Morpheus, and Muses roll by, but they can escape from the crowds when it’s time to head home. Though some of the 238 rooms offer drab views of the building’s air shaft, the upside is that you’re protected from street noise during the city’s busy season. And if you plan to be one of those rowdy revelers out there, Virgin can help: It’s offering a $299 Mardi Pardi Ice Chest room add-on, which includes your own personal cooler, stocked with ice, four local beers, soda and water, finger sandwiches, and a king cake.

As is to be expected from a brand like Virgin, the hotel is hosting plenty of its own Mardi Gras revelry at its restaurants and bars, including a drag and burlesque brunch at Commons Club before the sci-fi-themed Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus parade (January 20), a headpiece-making tutorial with Sorella’s Nola (January 27), and a Carnival Couture fashion show, featuring designs by Laura Citron (January 28). Commons Club will also be hosting special Carnival at Commons Friday brunches from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on January 28 and February 9, featuring seasonal bites and cocktails and tunes by DJ Rusty Lazer.

A guest room at Hotel Peter & Paul

Inside a guest room located in the former convent at Hotel Peter and Paul

Courtesy of Hotel Peter & Paul

Hotel Peter and Paul

For an off-the-beaten-path Mardi Gras experience, consider staying at the 71-room Hotel Peter and Paul in the laid-back Faubourg Marigny (commonly called “the Marigny”) east of the French Quarter. Formerly a 19th-century church, rectory, schoolhouse, and convent, Hotel Peter and Paul is also home to the Elysian Bar, run by the same team as beloved local wine bar Bacchanal.

Though the French Quarter is just a 10-minute walk west from the hotel, there’s plenty of Mardi Gras action in the Marigny. Unlike the tractor-pulled float parades that roll down St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street, the Marigny parades offer a more handcrafted and artisanal experience and take place within walking distance of the hotel. On January 28, from 3 to 7 p.m., the hotel is hosting a free block party that will feature a live band, a DJ, food-and-drink pop-ups, and a Carnival crafting workshop in the hotel’s church venue, which was built in 1861 and features dazzling stained-glass windows. The party will coincide with the beloved ‘tit Rex mini parade, which takes its name from the Cajun abbreviation for “petite” and features tiny (and we mean really tiny) floats made out of shoeboxes.

Nicholas DeRenzo contributed reporting to this article, which was originally published in 2023 and updated on January 12, 2024.

Lyndsey Matthews is the former senior commerce editor at Afar, covering travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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