On a whim, my wife and I decided to spend 4 nights in New Orleans just before Thanksgiving in 2012. We had considered the Caribbean, Mexico and other warm destinations, but the travel time was unappealing to us. I have always wanted to visit New Orleans, but I was reluctant because of the perception that, 1- It’s a party town, 2- It is a wreckage due to Katrina. Just as with most other things, perception was not equal to reality. We had a great time in New Orleans and I would go back on a moment’s notice. To sum it up: The people are very friendly. There are a tremendous amount of places to see and go throughout the city. The food was fantastic. The shopping is top notch. The city is clean and, unless you visit the 9th ward (which we did on a tour) you would hardly know that Katrina ever reared her ugly head. If you want to party, it’s there, if you want to escape and have a quiet time, you can have that too. The Monteleone is a charming piece of history located in the heart of the French Quarter on Royal Street. The rooms are quaint, classic and clean. The concierge was incredibly helpful. In fact, the only complaint I have is that the doormen were not always attentive, but who needs a doorman, not me. There is a modern fitness facility and a beautiful rooftop pool area as well. We did not eat at the restaurant; however, many locals claimed that they had excellent food. Royal St is where you want to be located if you enjoy a party, but it’s not your primary goal. Royal is located 1 block from Bourbon Street, just far enough to avoid the madness, although a bit of madness is okay...right? You head up Royal to see a multitude of Art Galleries, antique shops, restaurants (I suggest breakfast and coffee at Cafe Beignet), etc. The atmosphere is magnetic. Bourbon Street is wild and smelly. You have to see it and experience it, but it's not a place for me, at least, not every night. We loved New Orleans and Hotel Moneleone and can’t wait to go back!