Ah, back to #DixieTrip coverage! I've honestly missed talking about this trip! I crave the South every day now. From the beer (we keep miraculously finding Abita Strawberry tucked away in the liquor store) to the food to the landscape.
The Hotel Monteleone was our first hotel in our first port of call, and it was a great first experience of Southern Hospitality. We were put up in a beautiful suite for the long weekend, with one of the most beautiful views I've ever had the pleasure of gazing upon from a hotel window. The Mighty Mississippi.
The room itself was old fashioned, but not in a frumpy or chintzy way – the decor suited the historic hotel and was new and didn't feel dated. The layout was comfy, and welcoming, whilst retaining a dignified air. The bed was super comfy (as was the couch – where we feasted on veggie po-boys and Abita Strawberry when the humidity got to be a touch too much to bear.)
The staff were very friendly for the most part, we had a couple of issues with the scheduling of house keeping – we were generally going out in the mornings and coming back after lunch for a break and then heading out again in the evenings – a schedule that apparently clashed with that of the housekeeping. But it was handled efficiently by the management and didn't mar the experience.
We also had a run in with a huge Palmetto bug (read: cockroach) twice, but apparently it's NOLA thing, when it rains, they come inside – and whilst unnerving – I guess part of the Southern experience!
The atmosphere in the hotel, from the historic Carousel bar, to the Criollo restaurant, to the lobby to the roof top pool, oozes New Orleans charm and was always buzzing (but not in a Bourbon Street overwhelming way)
The food in Criollo was to die for (you may remember this hotel won "Best Food" in our Dixie Trip Hotel Awards) and the Shirred Eggs in Parmesan Cream played a big part in that.
It's location (which it also won for) couldn't be more convenient – practically everything was no more than 10 minutes away; Bourbon Street: 2 minutes, Mississippi River: 5 minutes, Café du Monde: 10 minutes – and it's mere steps from the St Charles Street Car which will get you almost everywhere else, including the Garden District.
They say the heart of the French Quarter begins in the lobby of Hotel Monteleone and "they", whoever "they" are, are very right.
I'm a cultural history nut, and Hotel Monteleone offered story's for days.. Tennessee Williams stayed at Monteleone frequently, and even featured it in his play The Rose Tattoo (theatre nerd!). William Faulkner and Ernest Hemingway both stayed at the hotel, Hemingway even mentioning it in his short story, The Night Before Battle and Truman Capote claims he was born in the hotel – not strictly true, but apparently his mother did go into labour there!
It's also haunted, on the 14th Floor – which is officially the 13th Floor..it's one of those! We stayed on the 12th floor and remained undisturbed, with the exception of the Palmetto Bugs!
I would absolutely stay here again – in fact I genuinely look forward to returning someday – hopefully someday soon!
I think New Orleans has a little bit of my heart!
My stay at the Hotel Monteleone was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.