Chic Hotel in the Bustling Center of New Orleans
The forest-green St. Charles streetcar, one of the world's oldest continuously operating transit vehicles of its kind, still rumbles down the street outside the Royal St. Charles Hotel, located just a block away from the historic French Quarter. The contemporary boutique hotel is chic and convenient, providing easy access both to the old-school New Orleans of streetcars and jazz joints and to the hard-partying New Orleans of bawdy, boozy Bourbon Street.
The hotel's deluxe queen rooms are tastefully decorated with a red-and-white color scheme, original artwork, and handmade furnishings. In the morning, pop into PJ's Coffee in the lobby for a pastry or pick-me-up en route to the included swamp tour from Jean Lafitte. During this 90-minute tour, a Cajun guide acquaints tour-goers with the lore and legends of the bayou. Peering through moss-draped cypress trees and murky waters, you're liable to spot alligators, snakes, and egrets, all from the safety of a large 360-passenger boat.
Alternatively, you can exchange your swamp-tour tickets for a 50% discount on a paddlewheel tour aboard the Creole Queen. The riverboat casts off near Canal and Poydras Streets and floats past the French Quarter while the captain expounds on nearby landmarks, history, and river lore. Passengers can disembark at Jean Lafitte National Historical Park to tour Chalmette Battlefield, the site of the 1815 Battle of New Orleans, in which saxophonists squared off with a school of catfish for cultural domination.
New Orleans: Southern Melting Pot with Great Food, Music, and Cultural Landmarks
New Orleans's unofficial motto is "laissez les bons temps rouler," a Cajun-French phrase that translates roughly to "let the good times roll." The glittering southern metropolis is a cultural feast that engages each and every one of the senses. Meals in particular are an event. The flavors and aromas of French, American, and Caribbean cuisines blend harmoniously at the city's many bistros, greasy spoons, and fine-dining restaurants.
Each New Orleans neighborhoods has a distinct flair: on Frenchmen Street, a host of live-music venues overflow with the sounds of jazz, blues, and reggae. In the French Quarter, a block north of the hotel, the wild nightlife attracts revelers into the wee hours. And in the genteel Garden District, Greek Revival and Italianate homes stand alongside antique shops, restaurants, and spacious gardens.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.