The hedonist hits New Orleans.
I pride myself in my decadence. Then I came to New Orleans and realized the level of my naïveté.
But we're here to talk about the hotel Mazarin. OK... Bad news first. No bathtub and the pillows are not comfortable. That's all the bad news. Since the shower is huge and I always bring my own pillow, my life was pretty sweet at the Mazarin. Oh yeh, they have you sign a piece of paper that says you'll pay $250 if they catch you smoking in the property. A bit off-putting, but manageable. Concierge? Restaurant? Room service? No to all, but I didn't miss it. (For a change.) Rooms are very nice and quite large. Breakfast is plentiful and good. (It must be a good place if one reviewer had to criticize the breakfast bacon temperature in order to find something bad to say.) There's a nice bar attached to the property for a pre-dinner glass of wine, or post party cocktail. Almost forgot. Each lamp in the room has two electrical outlets at its base. Majorly convenient. Free wifi, too.
The high point of this hotel is the staff. Helpful, courteous friendly, efficient... I can't say enough to compliment them all. I was somewhat disappointed not to see a concierge, but all I had to do was to ask a person behind the desk and he made up for the lack of a concierge title.
The hotel is a half block away from Bourbon street - a perfect location if you happen to be interested in the college guys wet-dream-Disneyland. I wasn't. One walk down the street is about all I could take. Fried food and strip clubs are not my cup of tea. I can't imagine being a woman and walking through Bourbon street seeing the other almost dressed women offering themselves like so much meat on the rack. A major disappointment.
However! You'll find - in walking distance - some of the finest antique stores and art galleries in the world. If you have an extra million or so to spend, you'll have the opportunity to do so without feeling ripped off. 17th century animatronic clock? Amazing jewelry? $800,000 Chagall? Picasso? Erté? Miró? 3000 kinds of hot sauce? Yours for the taking.
I hope you'll take the time to take a - pardon the expression - bus tour of the city to get an overview. New Orleans has an amazing history. Spanish, French, American, Caribbean, and other influences combine gracefully to create one of the most interesting and richly mixed cultures anywhere.
For music, take a cab to Frenchman Street. Amazing, small, appropriately seedy clubs with some of the best jazz you'll hear anywhere. Don't dress up. The other places for music are interesting, but touristy. Locals go the Frenchman street. (Locals also avoid Bourbon street like the plague.)
You'll want to try beignets. Once. They aren't that great, but it is a piece of the history. Chicory coffee is also something to try. Once.
Check restaurant ratings to find good food. We tried several of the top rated. Good enough food and service, but if you're a foodie, you'll mostly be disappointed. For foodies, try "Coquet" in the garden district. Menu changes daily and it's one of the great, creative small restaurants anywhere. Black olive praline and cashew puree in your salad? Andouille infused caramel painted under your duck breast? A bit pricey, but not unreasonable... foodies won't care. Every bite is an experience to be remembered. Put this little gem on your bucket list.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.