New Orleans’ Classic Bars and Hotels
From classic craft cocktails to luxurious hotels, here are some tried and true favorites in the Crescent City.
In 1838, a New Orleans pharmacist by the name of Antoine Amedie Peychaud created the rye-whiskey-based Sazerac. While it was allegedly created to soothe an upset stomach, the Sazerac marks the birth of NOLA’s cocktail culture. Absinthe Frappe, Brandy Milk Punches, the Ramos Gin Fizz and many others followed.
The Crescent City invites you to raise a glass.
The Carousel Bar
A New Orleans fixture since 1949, this 25-seat vintage carousel is fitted with bar seats instead of horses and rotates at a rate of every 15 minutes. Overlooking Royal Street and part of The Monteleone Hotel, the Carousel Bar counts Truman Capote and William Faulkner as past clientele.
Enjoy a Vieux Carre (Rye Whiskey, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters, Cognac, Sweet Vermouth, Benedictine.)
The Sazerac Bar at The Roosevelt
One would not be out of place in a tuxedo or ball gown in this historic spot. Restored in 2009 under the auspices of the Waldorf-Astoria, patrons can appreciate a Sazerac on the plush banquettes under the chandeliers and imagine the storied former Louisiana governor Huey P. Long holding court at the bar.
Owned by the Impastato family for 101 years, this 200-year old landmark oozes charm. Impastato family portraits mix with those of long-time wait staff and Napoleon along the patinated walls. Legend has it that the place took its name because of an 1820’s plan to rescue the former Emperor Napoleon from exile and bring him to New Orleans. However, Napoleon died before this plan could take place.
The house drink is the gin-based Pimms Cup.
After your evening of libations, you’ll want to rest your head in a luxurious bed. Fortunately, many historic New Orleans hotels have recently reopened after extensive restorations including the following:
Now owned by the Waldorf Astoria, the 125-year old hotel offers old-world elegance paired with modern amenities. Beautifully restored to its’ original beauty – including original elements like handmade plaster work and mosaic tile – it’s not uncommon to spot a wedding party or join in a second line (traditional brass band parade) right in the spacious marble lobby.
Past guests include Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Ginger Rogers, and several presidents.
The Pontchartrain Hotel
Tucked among the mansions and live oaks of St. Charles Avenue is The Pontchartrain Hotel. Serving as a hotel since the 1940’s, the hotel closed in 2015 and reopened in 2016 after a $10-million-dollar renovation and includes a rooftop bar. The Pontchartrain counts luminaries like Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth and former presidents among its guests.
The Jung Hotel and Residences
In 1925, “The Jung” opened with a lobby filled with roses and a live band to welcome guests. In 2017, it reopened after a $140-million-dollar restoration that cements its spot as a luxury hotel in downtown New Orleans. Furnished with an eye to mid-century modern aficionados, the 207-room hotel features executive rooms with full kitchens and walk-in showers.
Whether you have a day or 10 days, the Crescent City offers the discerning traveler many options for relaxing and recharging. ■