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Mardi Gras 2013

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Florida
posts: 45
reviews: 95
Mardi Gras 2013

Finally attending Mardi Gras after years of visting New Orleans.

Is it too early to begin booking hotels?

Would like to see several parades along St Charles and would like to enjoy French Quarter activities as well. Thinking about JW Marriott or Marriott Renaissance Arts(on Tchoupitoulas).

I am preoccupied about having access to bathrooms. I'm not adverse to purchasing food or beverage to have bathroom access at bars or restaurants along parade routes. Am I better off staying directly on the parade route?

College Station...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 7,550
reviews: 3
1. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Predicting the ideal time to book a New Orleans hotel for Mardi Gras is like trying to predict any other market in advance; it's only an educated guess at best. Some folks are booking already. If you can book now and it's fully refundable upon cancellation for at least a while, what's the harm in booking then keeping your eye out for a better deal? Based on my experience for MOST years, the best time to book will be around mid August. However, for MG 2011 the best time to book was late April 2010.

If you're preoccupied about having bathroom access, you probably won't have much problem. It's the folks who don't worry about it until the last minute that have the problems. If you think ahead a little bit, and do not mind purchasing food or drink, you shouldn't have much problem.

Like with most visits to New Orleans your hotel should be as close as economically practical to the activities you intend to pursue. If parade watching is the biggest part of what you intend to do, you should stay close to the parade route(s). I like watching parades on Tchoupitoulas between Poydras and Girod, but many parades, most notably Rex, Zulu and Endymion, don't pass by there. Quite frankly, it's hard to find a good place real close to the French Quarter or St. Charles Ave. to watch Endymion.

Although I enjoy the parades, I also enjoy the activity in the French Quarter, maybe even better. For me the ideal location would be Omni Royal Orleans, but I choose not to spend the money required for a room there during the last five nights before and ending with Fat Tuesday. JW Marriott is an overall very good location for Carnival; Renaissance Arts would be great for some parades, but is kind of out of the way otherwise.

Edited: 5:50 pm, April 10, 2012
Toronto, Canada
posts: 10,083
reviews: 61
2. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Mike--Being that Mardi Gras and the Super Bowl will be held in New Orleans this coming year I would book ASAP! It is going to be an absolute zoo at MG 2013!

New Orleans...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 474
reviews: 3
3. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Deny is correct about Super Bowl being scheduled in the middle of the Carnival parade season. However, if you are coming for the typical 6 to 4 day stay leading up to Fat Tuesday (Feb 12), I wouldn't be too concerned about Super Bowl's influence. Super Bowl will be Feb 3rd, and all the fans will be long gone before the parades pick up again on Wednesday the 6th. The parades that would normally be on the weekend of the Super Bowl have been moved to the previous weekend. (Of course, all bets are off if the SAINTS win the Big Game. That celebration could last until St. Patrick's day and beyond <g>).

New Orleans...
posts: 1,531
reviews: 94
4. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

I would book as soon as possible. Smaller hotels and inns may already be sold out!

Hartford...
posts: 145
reviews: 12
5. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Does any one know about renting a house for 5-7 days? It looks like we could have a big group for 2013. I tried googling some places, but only found 2 houses that are already booked.

New Orleans...
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 474
reviews: 3
6. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

So-called "vacation rentals" are not legal in New Orleans. The only legal rentals of less than 30 days (60 days in the French Quarter) are hotels and licensed B&B's. Anyone renting out a house, apartment, condo or room for short-term is violating New Orleans zoning laws. That being said, there is no shortage of people willing to ignore that law. There are over two dozen such listing on the green "Vacation Rentals" tab at the top of the very page you are looking at! An no...just because it's advertises on "legitimate" internet sites, doesn't mean anyone has verified that it's a legal rental (TA/Flipkey certainly don't).

If you have an address of the place you want to rent, you can check to see if it is licensed by going to nola.gov/VISITORS/…

One other thing...if you DO choose to go the illegal short-term rental route, be VERY careful about sending in deposits. There has been an epidemic of scammers, posting ads on various web sites advertising vacation rentals. They even use real addresses and scab real pictures from the internet. They convince people to send deposits, and the unsuspecting travelers show up at the address only to find out they have been ripped-off; they have lost the deposit money for good, and they are now stranded in New Orleans without lodging -- not a good thing to have happen to you at Mardi Gras time when finding rooms will be hard and expensive.

louisiana
Destination Expert
for New Orleans
posts: 5,961
reviews: 92
7. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

we were at the courtyard mariott at 124(?) st charles one year and it was perfect...buffet breakfast, lounge with window looking out onto st charles and 13 parades went by..and just a skip and a jump to get into the quarter...plus mike serio's po boys just across the street....so I'd have to rec. that hotel.

Florida
posts: 45
reviews: 95
8. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Thanks all for your astute advise. I was thinking that by staying somewhere in the CDB would be better as far as less crowds. However, I imagine along every parade route the crowds are fairly thick.

I looked at several hotels and all had prepay non refundable. I guess if you get sick you're SOL.

Hartford...
posts: 145
reviews: 12
9. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Thank you for the information on "vacation rentals." I hadn't thought about these things.

ontario
posts: 3
reviews: 3
10. Re: Mardi Gras 2013

Just booked MG 2013, coming from Canada and 1st timers. We are staying at the Astor Crown Plaza French Quarter. Any advice to add to our "must do" list. Feb 6th to 15th.