Let me preface this by saying the I live on Miami Beach and my sister lives in NYC and my husband and I met her in New Orleans for an eating/drinking weekend. Hip, urban hotels are what we are familiar with so we wanted something more "New Orleansy". If you go to New Orleans, you may as well experience what the South was as far as the architecture and the ambience. The Monteleone is probably the BEST location you will find within the Quarter as it is one block off of Bourbon. Beware of hotels that are right on Bourbon because you will absolutely get no sleep! Bourbon Street for sure contains the most intoxicated people in one place on this planet. It is a 24/7 party!
The Monteleone is a beautiful old world hotel like those found all over Europe. As the other reviews have noted, the rooms are quite small as is the bathroom. So, if you are looking for space in your NOLA accommodations, this is not the place for you. The room does, however, have everything you need: a hairdryer, an in-room coffee machine/in-room safe, comfortable beds, and it is clean as a whistle. We did not have any noise problems from the street but the walls are VERY thin and if you have some party people in the next room, you will definitely hear them (you hear regular talking too).
The hotel itself is hopping ALWAYS! The Carousel Bar has a lot to do with that. It is a very popular place and crowded all of the time. Hard to get a seat in there but it is a great place to go into after experiencing the debauchery of Bourbon Street. It attracts a much more gentile, older crowd (who are still drinking of course!).
The hotel has a nice but small gym. It was completely full when we went on Sunday morning. The hotel pool is lovely and was not all that crowded at the time we were there. We did not eat in the hotel restaurant but darn, did it smell good!
We did stop for drinks at the W, which is a few blocks up and was also really well located within the Quarter. It is your typical W that is hip and cool with a very NY/Miami vibe to it. We did not see rooms but would imagine that they would have to be bigger than the Monteleone. If you want hip/cool, this would be a better place to stay. However, if you want to experience a more classic, New Orleans hotel, the Monteleone would certainly fit the bill!