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From Swanky to Speakeasy: A Guide to the Best Hotel Bars in New Orleans

two green cocktails sit on a candlelit table at Loa Bar in New Orleans

Forget the plastic cups and frozen daiquiris for a minute (though they have their place!). New Orleans also offers a sophisticated side where you can unwind with a cocktail or glass of wine in a stylish setting. Enter the hidden gems of the city: hotel bars. These havens are perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle, offering impressive architecture, elegant interiors, and creative drink menus. Whether you’re in town for the weekend or a local on the prowl for a new watering hole, these hotel bars check all the boxes. So, ditch the beads and grab your besties, it’s time to explore the best hotel bars New Orleans has to offer!

The Best Hotel Bars in New Orleans: Uptown

The first 3 hotels in this group are located on St. Charles Avenue, making it easy to hop on the streetcar to your next destination-like another hotel bar! Pro tip: Download the Le Pass app to buy streetcar passes on your phone, otherwise you have to use exact change. I recommend buying a day pass rather than paying per ride. The app also lets you track the streetcar so you can plan accordingly.

The Ponchartrain hotel

Close up of a cocktail on the rooftop of Hot Tin with views of downtown New Orleans in the background

You’ll find two bars at the Ponchartrain Hotel: Bayou Bar and Hot Tin. Bayou Bar is located in the lobby and offers cocktails, wine, beer, and small bites. But the star of the show here is their rooftop bar, Hot Tin, which easily has the best viewpoint of downtown New Orleans from its balcony. What was formerly a penthouse is now an intimate, 1940s-style cocktail bar with eclectic decor.

Doors open at 2 pm daily and it’s first come, first served entry. If you’re visiting on a weekend be sure to get there early as it gets crowded and you won’t be able to go up once they reach capacity. 

The Chloe

Jordan holds a drink while standing by the pool bar, with a view of The Chloe Hotel behind her

The Chloe has no shortage of beautifully decorated areas throughout the hotel to enjoy a cocktail or glass of wine. From their front porch and patio with views of St. Charles Avenue to the many lounge areas inside and seats outside by the pool, you’ll have no problem finding a place to sip & relax! They often have pop-ups and events at the Pool Bar too.

The Columns

The Columns is a New Orleans staple in a stunning historic mansion overlooking St. Charles Avenue. You’ll be spoiled for choice when deciding where to enjoy a drink: the sweeping porch, lush garden, or beautifully decorated rooms on the main floor of the hotel.

I love to visit The Columns at Christmas time because they always have great decorations, but more importantly an amazing eggnog drink! Plus you can sit by the fireplace inside one of their cozy rooms while you sip and pretend you live in a mansion. 😆

Hotel St. Vincent

Inside Hotel St. Vincent you’ll find two very different bars: Paradise Lounge and Chapel Club. Paradise Lounge has a tropical, airy feel inside and an outdoor patio that’s perfect for soaking up the sun on a nice day. There’s also a courtyard in the interior of the property with more seating.

Chapel Club on the other hand is dark and moody, with velvet couches, ornate details, and its own cocktail menu. If you want to grab one of the comfy couches (which you should) I’d try going on a Thursday or Sunday night since it tends to be crowded on Fridays & Saturdays. Highly recommend getting an Orange Julius cocktail here -it’s one of my favorite cocktails in the city!

The Best Hotel Bars in New Orleans: Central Business District (CBD)

One of my favorite things to do when we have friends in town is to go hotel bar hopping. The CBD is stacked with 5 gorgeous hotel bars within a few blocks radius, making it easy to hit each one. That being said, New Orleans is a relatively small city, so it’s not hard to get from one end to the other via biking, ride-share, or the streetcar (just be warned-its VERY slow).

The Eliza Jane

Everything at the Eliza Jane is gorgeous and so well done. I love that their lobby-lounge, The Press Room, is spacious enough that it never feels crowded, but also feels cozy at the same time. Think having drinks by the fireplace in a rich, older man’s library. There’s plenty of room to grab drinks with a large group, but it also makes for a great date night drink. The hotel courtyard is also beautiful, so be sure to check it out and enjoy a drink outside if the weather is nice.

The Virgin Hotel

Close up of a frozen drink with a disco ball hanging off the straw from the rooftop of the Virgin Hotel

The Virgin has two bars you can visit, Commons Club & The Pool Club. Located on the hotel’s ground floor, Commons Club offers craft & signature cocktails, a large wine selection, some local beers, and bar bites in a uniquely decorated setting. You’ll find The Pool Club on the rooftop, with a wrap-around deck and tropical-inspired accents. This is one of my favorite places to grab a drink on a beautiful day in New Orleans. The views of the city are great, the decor is well done, and there’s plenty of comfortable seating. They have events here often, like Sunday morning yoga and DJs in the evening. You can find the event schedule at the link above.

The Ace Hotel

The Ace Hotel has no shortage of bars to check out during your visit. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Lobby Bar, as well as the bar at their restaurant, Josephine Estelle. On the rooftop is Alto, the pool bar & lounge. Here you’ll find lots of greenery (they refer to it as a rooftop garden) fire pits, great views, and a heated pool. You can buy a pool pass here if you want to take a dip while you sip! You can usually find a late-night DJ in the lobby on the weekends too.

Maison De La Luz

Bar Marilou focuses on craft cocktails and small plates in a library-style lounge with animal-print carpet, bold antique furniture, and red walls. It’s very moody & aesthetic, so it’s perfect for a date night or girls’ night out. This is somewhere you’ll want to make a reservation in advance as it’s a popular spot that doesn’t typically take walk-ins.

If you’re a guest at the hotel you can access a small speakeasy behind one of the bookshelves. I’ve been dying to get in there and finally got to experience it recently thanks to family who were staying there because the rooms are definitely out of my price range. But if you can afford it, the speakeasy is a nice little treat!

International House Hotel

Loa Bar is one of my favorite hotel bars in the city, and surprisingly still under the radar. The name comes from the spirits -loa- in the Haitian Vodou faith, and you’ll find a lot of African and Caribbean influences here. The bar is beautifully decorated and has a romantic vibe to it, especially with the low lighting in the evening. This hidden gem is a great spot to have some pre or post-date night drinks.

The Best Hotel Bars in New Orleans: French Quarter

I don’t visit the French Quarter as often since it tends to be crowded with tourists and drunks (I say as I write a post all about the best places to drink) but my favorite time to go is around Christmas when the hotel bars are decorated for the holidays. The Roosevelt isn’t on this list because I don’t love the bar, but if you’re in New Orleans for Christmas you have to stop by -the decorations are next level!

Hotel Monteleone

Home of the famous Carousel Bar, this legendary spot has been spinning since 1949. True to its name, the bar features a revolving carousel that takes patrons on a ride as they sip on craft cocktails. It spins very slowly (around 15 minutes for a full rotation) so it shouldn’t make you sick unless, of course, you’re spinning before you arrive 😆

Due to its popularity, I’d recommend getting to the bar when they open at 11 am if you want a seat (and no, that’s not too early for a cocktail when you’re in New Orleans!) otherwise you could be waiting a while. If you don’t arrive until later, there’s another standard bar inside Hotel Monteleone and plenty of seating where you can wait for your turn to take a spin.

If you happen to be in New Orleans during Christmas, they do a beautiful job decorating the lobby and the bar. I love going during the holidays and sipping on a Brandy Milk Punch while sitting at the Carousel Bar.

The Best Hotel Bars in New Orleans: Marigny

The Marigny neighborhood is adjacent to the French Quarter, but you’ll find fewer tourists here. What you will find is colorful Creole cottages, art markets and galleries, live music venues, and great spots to eat & drink.

Hotel Peter & Paul

Hotel Peter & Paul is comprised of a former church, schoolhouse, rectory, and convent, all of which have been beautifully re-done. Inside the rectory you’ll find The Elysian Bar. The bar itself is fairly small, but you’ll have no problem finding a gorgeous spot to enjoy a few drinks here. I’m partial to the courtyard with its views of the church & bell tower (and overall European vibes) but the glass atrium and parlors are beautiful too.

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