Best Mardi Gras Hotel for Families: Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue
With all of the colorful floats, great live music, free necklaces and trinkets by the bucketful, New Orleans during Mardi Gras season sounds like a kid’s paradise. However, anyone who has ever been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras knows that some parades and some streets are NOT for kid consumption. Having attended Mardi Gras several times, my husband knew that our kids would love it, but he also knew that we needed to be strategic about where and when we watched the parades to ensure our kids weren’t accidentally exposed to anything that wasn’t age-appropriate.
With its uptown location directly on one of the parade routes, Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue is a FANTASTIC Mardi Gras hotel for families. Here are five reasons why we will be staying here during our next trip to Mardi Gras:
1. An Incredible Location
Right outside the hotel is the perfect vantage point to watch the parades! We were worried about keeping our family together in a crowded, unfamiliar city, but that wasn’t even an issue. The hotel sets up parade stands above the sidewalk, where only paying guests can view the parade. Our kids had great views of the parades, easy access to beads, bathrooms and bottled water, all without having to battle the crowds. In addition, it was reassuring for me to learn that on parade weekends, all Mardi Gras hotel guests are given a special wristband that is required to gain access into the hotel.
2. Close to the Action, but Not in It
If you’re looking for a Mardi Gras hotel and are traveling to New Orleans with kids during the Carnival season, you might prefer to stay outside of the French Quarter, where things can get raucous, loud and possibly inappropriate way before sundown. Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue is within a short walk of the French Quarter, and there is also a streetcar stop just one block away from the hotel that can take you to other areas of the city, including the Garden District and the Audubon Zoo.
Please note: Some streetcar routes don’t run during parade days, so verify beforehand the parade schedules and routes.
3. Lüke, Restaurant of Award-winning Chef, John Besh
I was pleasantly surprised to find the restaurant at Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue, Lüke, to be remarkably good. I think it’s the sign of a good restaurant when you see lots of local residents eating there (as we did at Lüke), especially in a culinary mecca like New Orleans. Influenced by French, German and Creole cuisines, we ended up eating there for breakfast and dinner and couldn’t wait to have breakfast again the next morning.
As I’m sure many people do, we came to New Orleans with a list of regional dishes we wanted to try. We ticked off three of these — the gumbo, the etouffée and boudin while dining at Lüke — all spicy and delicious. I wasn’t familiar with Chef John Besh prior to eating at Lüke, but I am now looking for my next opportunity to eat at one of his restaurants.
4. Historic Charm
Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue is located in “uptown” New Orleans, within easy walking distance to many of the city’s attractions. The hotel was built in 1926, served for many years as a Masonic temple, and still retains some of the architectural and aesthetic décor of that era. Walking into the foyer with its arched, hand-tiled ceilings was like walking back in time. Our daughters loved the old elevator signs saying “This car up.” That said, the hotel is in the process of updating its rooms. We were lucky to have stayed in one of the newly refurbished rooms which boasted a flat-screen television, Wi-Fi, and a beautiful new bathtub.
5. Indoor Pool and Jacuzzi
We earn extra parental points with our girls if we book a hotel that has a pool, and Hilton New Orleans/St. Charles Avenue delivered! The temperature-controlled pool and the over-sized Jacuzzi provide ample space to splash around after a long day of sight-seeing.
You may also enjoy:
- Top Things to do in New Orleans with Kids
- New Orleans Attractions and Restaurants for Families
- More Fun Things to do in New Orleans with Kids
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Erin is a native Floridian who has resided in Atlanta since 1995. Her husband Mike and she have two funny, smart, active girls and two cats.