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 hosting a Mardi Gras lunch on Friday, February 17.

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 21, in 2023. The liveliest time to visit New Orleans for Mardi Gras is usually the two weekends leading up to the day itself. For all you last-minute travelers—you’re in luck. At press time, all of these hotels still have limited availability in February, including the final weekend of Mardi Gras between Friday, February 17, and Wednesday, February 22, 2023.

In addition to when you visit, what neighborhood you stay in is also 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.

The Peacock room and a cocktail at the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot

Inside the Peacock Room (L) and the special Mardi Gras cocktail, Carnival on the Rhine (R).

Photos by Jordan Deis/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 202-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). Between February 16–20, the Krewes of Orpheus, Bacchus, Endymion, and Muses will all pass directly by the hotel on Tchoupitoulas. Although some of the hotel rooms look directly out onto this street, they unfortunately don’t have balconies.

There’s plenty of partying available inside the hotel, too. From 5 to 6 p.m. on days parades pass in front of the hotel, the Kimpton is partnering with Casamigos tequila for a special pop-up bar in the hotel’s lobby. Then on Friday, February 17, the Peacock Room—the hotel’s cocktail lounge—is hosting a Boozy Krewe Brunch with hangover-busting dishes like bourbon pecan sticky buns and buttermilk biscuits and gravy. For a little hair of the dog, try the special Mardi Gras cocktail, Carnival on the Rhine, a play on the classic Suissesse cocktail made with Pernod Absinthe Superieure, mint, coconut cream, and egg white.

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 Krewe of Endymion, the Krewe of Iris, and the Krewe of Tucks.

Other special Mardi Gras amenities for Four Seasons guests include exclusive access to local costuming services and Mardi Gras World to see where floats are made, as well as mask-making workshops with a local artisan. To keep things sustainable, the hotel has partnered with Arc of Greater New Orleans to provide bead recycling for guests. (Arc collects, packages, and resells Mardi Gras throws online and at its store in Metairie while providing jobs for people with intellectual disabilities.)

Take advantage of the hotel’s superb restaurants by booking special packages like the Experience More offer ($100 restaurant credit) or the Bed and Breakfast package (daily breakfast for two included).

Pontchartrain Hotel rooftop bar

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 like 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.

The hotel’s public spaces are where it truly shines, attracting locals and travelers alike. Its ground floor restaurant Jack Rose is hosting a Mardi Gras lunch on Friday, February 17, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a special menu, activities including temporary flower tattoos by Lush Magnolia, and a special appearance by a Black Masking Indian. The ground floor Bayou Bar will also be open during day parades and offer fun canned cocktails, champagne splits, and daily specialty cocktails.

Hotel Saint Vincent bathroom and lobby bar

The 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 the MML Hospitality group run by hotelier Liz Lambert and Texas-based chefs Larry McGuire and Tom Moorman. Enjoyable any time of year, this hotel particularly feels ready for Mardi Gras celebrations thanks to the psychedelic marble wallpaper in the rooms, an outdoor pool, and dramatic neon lighting in the guests-only Chapel Club cocktail bar. 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.

The hotel will also be hosting several of its own Mardi Gras events on site that are open to the public, including a family-friendly Carnival kick-off event in the parking lot on February 4, with entertainment by New Orleans artist Aaron “Flagboy Giz” Hartley (who combines hip-hop and Black Masking Indian music traditions), special food and drink, face painting, and a dunk tank. And since it’s the season for glitz and glam, there will be a pop-up event on February 11 at Chapel Club hosted by glitter makeup brand Lemonhead LA and hand-poke tattoo artist Moonstone Tombstone.

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, Flagboy Giz will perform at Three Keys, Ace’s on-site lounge and music venue. Up at the rooftop pool bar, Alto, you can order a King Cake Frozen Cocktail (rum, amaretto, vanilla, banana, cinnamon, coconut, lemon). Downstairs at Josephine Estelle and Lovage, you can sip spiked juices like the Immune (carrots, ginger, cayenne, vodka) and Energy (beet, orange, lemon, tequila).

With Ace’s Carnival Catch offer, you can use the code BEADS to get up to 20 percent off a room at the Ace through March (blackout dates apply).

Maison de la Luz

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 at Seaworthy. 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, the hotel can arrange for guests to get preferred access to parade grandstand tickets in advance of their stay.

Virgin Hotels New Orleans

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, and Muses roll by but 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.)

As to be expected from a brand like Virgin, the hotel is hosting plenty of its own Mardi Gras revelry at its restaurants and bars. Every Friday in February, there will be a Bottomless Bubbles Brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and preparade happy hours from 3 to 6 p.m. at the ground floor Common Club. The final weekend before Mardi Gras offers a series of daytime parties, including a Beads & Bubbly Rooftop Mardi Gras Party on February 17 at the hotel’s 13th-floor rooftop club.

If you book the Pardi into Mardi offer, you’ll get a $50 food and beverage credit to use at the hotel’s Pool Club, Funny Library, or Commons Club.

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 the 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—Krewe Bohème, Krewe de Vieux, and ’tit Rax—offer a more handcrafted and artisanal experience and take place within walking distance of the hotel in early February 2023. On Mardi Gras day itself, the procession by the Societe de Sainte Anne of people in DIY costumes on foot passes by the hotel on its way from the Bywater to the French Quarter.

On the morning of February 16, Hotel Peter and Paul is hosting a Mardi Gras Headdress Making workshop with local artist Ellen Macomber and author Alisha Fernandez Miranda. The class includes all materials and tools, plus mimosas, live music, and a copy of Miranda’s new memoir My What If Year.

Lyndsey Matthews is the senior commerce editor at AFAR who covers travel gear, packing advice, and points and loyalty.
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