Many hotels that you walk into in New Orleans are bright and plush with extravagant décor and lush floral prints; they look like they were built for French kings whose portraits you can often find on their walls. But younger generations of travelers don’t want to sleep in hotels made for royalty; they want to party like “rock stars.” Hotel moguls have caught on to the desires of the millennial traveler, and a handful of hotels have popped up around town made just for them. With their contemporary décor, a focus on entertainment, and an air of mingling, these aren’t your grandma’s hotels.
The AC Hotel is attracting those who are in between older and younger generations of travelers that are looking for a modern hotel experience with the charm of modern Europe. Anthony Frederick explains the AC’s target consumer, “We are attracting Generation X and Baby Boomers. This AC brand was created in Spain from renowned hotelier Antonio Catalan; this contemporary design carries over from its European roots and is a brand standard for all AC Hotels worldwide.” Hotels that serve breakfast are always great, and AC puts out a special spread. “Being that our breakfast is European inspired, I find that our guests enjoy the fact that we offer items outside of the traditional fare. I’ve been told that it’s an enlightening change from the normal American breakfast.” The AC also serves excellent on-tap cocktails including Montezuma’s Gold, 43 Degrees South, and the Berry Bang Bang.
AC Hotel New Orleans Bourbon/French Quarter Area, 221 Carondelet St., 504-962-0700, achotels.marriott.com/hotels/ac-hotel-new-orleans
Residing in a historic building, The Troubadour Hotel will make a stand to be the top hotel for travelers who want to experience the culture of New Orleans in every way possible. Even their elevators are lined with vinyl record covers stacked together, and the check-in area leads guests in with a guitar neck design. Petit Lion has food and drink lovingly crafted by Chef Phillip Lopez whose name and cuisine you’ll know from prestigious places like Root. He explains his menu, “In this case, we’re going to take the true classics that you find in French food and breathe new life into it. I do crazy experimental food. French cuisine is the architect of modern-day cooking. It’s about not being afraid anymore of classic French technique and making it fun again, and bringing it to the city.” Try the fried chicken with wildflower honey hot sauce and a Gentleman in Question cocktail. Kristi Artigues, Director of Sales and Marketing, discusses why she loves the hotel so much, “I love that it invites you, and it doesn’t force you. There’s a hint of New Orleans everywhere and a hint of music everywhere. The troubadour was a lyric poet; we’ve named him Troubie.” There’s a touchpad in each room to call up your call, look up local events, and call room service. You can get a taste of Louisiana flavor at the mini bar stocked with locally-made items. And the literati will appreciate the Desire streetcar sign in each room. The next big party spot in New Orleans will be Monkey Board, the rooftop bar with a full view of the entire city that will boast a menu of food truck delicacies.
The Troubadour Hotel New Orleans, 1111 Gravier St., 504-518-5800, jdvhotels.com/hotels/louisiana/new-orleans-hotels/the-troubadour
If you’re looking for something very intimate, there’s no better place to stay than the Henry Howard Hotel in the Garden District. The building was constructed in 1867 and features just 18 rooms. The Greek revival double-gallery townhouse is the ultimate in classic Southern luxury. But this little hotel packs a lot of local charm in it; don’t be surprised by the saxophone over your bed in place of a generic painting or surreal art on the walls.
Henry Howard Hotel, 2041 Prytania St., 504-313-1577, henryhowardhotel.com
The Catahoula is Louisiana’s state dog, and the Catahoula Hotel is all about Louisiana. This boutique hotel has only 35 rooms, some of which have bunk beds if you’ve got a few friends with you. Though it’s located in the CBD, Catahoula wants its guests to relax and unwind, especially at their serene rooftop pool that often features a live band.
Catahoula Hotel, 914 Union St., 504-603-2442, catahoulahotel.com
Aloft Hotel has been for a few years, and they’ve been attracting locals who want to check out their fabulously chic bar as well as visitors looking for a change. Maureen Greany explains this concept, “The Aloft New Orleans wants to be a place where locals come in to hang out. Our bar, WXYZ, has great daily happy hour specials and games that people from the age of 8 to 88 can enjoy. We also pride ourselves on our Live at Aloft music series. The hotel has free live music every Thursday and Friday starting at 5:30 p.m. Instead of the typical jazz band we have up and coming New Orleans artists. We are constantly looking for new ways to engage our local community.”
Aloft reaches out to the community in more classic manners, too. “We’ve partnered with Zagster to create a bike-sharing program for the hotel. The bikes are rentable to guests and locals. It is $10 for a 24-hour rental. These travelers are smart consumers. They are self-empowered to build their own itineraries. They see themselves as the experts and are determined to experience the world on their own terms. Our hotel is pet-friendly for travelers at no additional cost, so they don’t have to worry about leaving Fido at home. The hotel also has an art wall for local artists to display their work.”
Aloft New Orleans Downtown, 225 Baronne St., 504-581-9225., aloftneworleansdowntown.com
There’s always something going on at Ace Hotel New Orleans. This large hotel boasts a huge lounge and high-end bar, concert area, and lots of seating for lounging throughout your whole night. You can find everything entertaining here from trivia and other games to a full roster of live music performed by local bands in the 3 Keys room. And if your buddies aren’t digging the band, the lounge is right next to it. The extravagant rooftop pool is packed full of sexy bodies having drinks under the sophisticated string lights and stars. You can also get your grub on at decadent Josephine Estelle located on the hotel’s corner side. This hotel is also pet-friendly if you don’t want your dog missing the fun.
Ace Hotel New Orleans, 600 Carondelet St., 504-900-1180, acehotel.com/neworleans
The youngest hotel of this group is Moxy. Located near the theater district, Moxy has a dark, quirky lounge and bar area that attracts people wanting to hang out. As a matter of fact, guests check into the hotel at the bar. The hotel has an emphasis on connecting travelers and revelers at all of their hotels around the world, and you can check out photos that people posted in Moxy locations the world over on their Guestbook wall. Vicki Poulos, Global Brand Director for Moxy, explains the typical Moxy guest: “The Moxy guest is confident and self-aware– well-versed in how to travel in today’s tech-enabled world. Moxy’s ‘Funhunters’ choose a brand that they personally resonate with – fun and youthful in spirit, fashion-forward in design, and ahead of the curve in technology. They don’t take themselves too seriously; they live in the moment, and want to experience life to the fullest. Every aspect of a Moxy hotel has been thoughtfully researched and crafted to deliver on the changing lifestyles and expectations of this target traveler.”
Moxy chooses to fill its walls with the art of locals, and the New Orleans hotel is up for some special consideration. “#BlankCanvas invites innovative painters, photographers, filmmakers, and graffiti artists to submit unique works of art for the chance to be a featured artist. The winner of Moxy New Orleans’ #BlankCanvas was Arianna León Uberti from Barcelona. Moxy hotels recently premiered an original YouTube series, DO NOT DISTURB, with comedian and influencer Taryn Southern. The eight-episode series is set up as a slumber party; DO NOT DISTURB takes place in a mock-up of a Moxy guestroom, where Taryn interviews and gossips with celebs about their careers, travel habits and quirky experiences on the road. Season two of DO NOT DISTURB has just been green-lit and will begin filming at Moxy New Orleans in July 2016.”
Moxy New Orleans Downtown/French Quarter Area, 210 O'Keefe Ave., 504-525-6800, marriott.com/hotels/travel/msyof-moxy-new-orleans-downtown-french-quarter-area
You don’t have to get a room to enjoy these hotels, but you might want to once you’ve seen how much fun you can have at these unconventional havens.