So I booked this place because the only place I've ever heard of when it comes to New Orleans is "Bourbon Street" or "French Quarter"....This place is right on Bourbon Street. Perfect right? Not really. The NOISE is outstanding. We were in town nowhere near Mardi Gras, but if it was THAT raucous outside. I can't even imagine what it's like when it is Mardi Gras. And I'm relatively young and enjoy going out a bit! My 20s weren't that long ago! Made me feel very old.
The hotel itself has a very pretty courtyard area for hanging out and having a few drinks. My favorite part of the hotel, actually. The lobby is stately and pretty as well. Very opulent. The rooms are average. Nothing special. They command the prices they do because of the location.
The staff is friendly for the most part. The managers on staff are gruff and annoying though. My key card did not work three different times when we first checked in. I had to keep coming back downstairs. I even went so far as to ask one of the maids to help me...JUST in case I had lost my mind and forgotten how to use one (this isn't my first rodeo, folks. I know how to use hotel key cards). I was told by one manager, "there is nothing wrong with the card" and handed the same one back only to try it and have it not work again! They sent me back upstairs with maintenance the third time with those original cards only to have maintenance not be able to get me in either! How about just giving me two new cards in the first place? Why so stubborn about the cards working when I'm a rational person telling you that I, AND your maid, weren't able to get into the room (and making me go back and forth from the room to the front desk wasn't the nicest thing to do either). Unreal.
Here's a little tip I wish I knew when I booked. Even things that look like a hike are still pretty close in the French Quarter. If you're in the French Quarter (or even a few blocks away from the technical French Quarter) you are FINE. It really doesn't matter what block you're on. You can walk everywhere. And if you're not sleeping with your room facing Bourbon Street you might actually be able to sleep!
All in all, as a first time visitor of New Orleans I will definitely be going back. It is a beautiful and historic city with tons to do. I will probably not be staying at the Royal Sonesta as there are better options in the same price range, but if you do then you could do worse... but you can also do better.