I’ve heard it. You’ve heard it. A slogan by the tourism office: “be a tourist in your own home town.” Seriously? If I lived back in NYC or SF I wouldn’t think twice; but New Orleans? I’ve been here over ten years and I still feel like I’m not from here. The last time I went down Bourbon Street at night was seven years ago… and the last for a while. While I love the French Quarter during the day, specially Royal Street and down by the river… I can’t stand it at night. It’s full of drunks, bars, loud music, and women walking around thinking they are sexy and showing body parts they have no business showing. Again, this is Bourbon Street, not a reflection of all of New Orleans. So when Eric and I were gifted a weekend get-away to the Royal Sonesta by our friends, I was hesitant to use it. But, since I hear that it’s one of the best places to stay down in the quarter… right on Bourbon.
The hotel is beautiful inside and out. It really reflects a lot of New Orleans style and the people that work there are some of the friendliest hotel staff I’ve encountered. Here, I enter the main door with Malcolm in the middle of Bourbon (his joke, not mine).
The Royal Sonesta decked its halls with real Christmas trees, so much so that walking down the hall smelled like Christmas. Fashionistas: FYI – no sane person wears nice shoes to walk on Bourbon Street; they will end up smelling and looking gross by the end of the night.
The rooms were great although a bit small. However, my husband was happy that he had a big screen tv (46″) in the room to enjoy. The lobby had a PJs Coffee and both mornings Eric went down to get us some and deliver it back to the room (this was part of the deal).
One of my favorite things of our stay at the Royal Sonesta was the Sunday brunch at Begue’s Restaurant inside the hotel.
The fresh bread and pastry assortments were delicious. Just walking by I felt like I was inside a bakery shop and the two pieces I picked were still warm from the oven.
I took this picture (below) for my mother. Although I don’t eat oysters, she would have truly enjoyed a never ending supply, gulf shrimp and sushi. Can I say that the sushi was amazing!!?. I had crawfish rolls, blue crab roll, and the oyster roll (not as slimy as raw oysters but not my favorite).
Most people’s first stop is probably the omelet station. However, unless you are in New Orleans, you probably won’t see crawfish, shrimp, andouille sausage and crab as ingredients… nor the option to have it made with bacon grease (seriously).
The omelets did come out to perfection and the first plate was only meant to fill up while Eric and I drank mimosas. Some of the food: chevere goat cheese mashed potatoes, smoked roasted ham, sushi, bacon, sausage, and shrimp over corn grits.
This lovely woman cooked up my husband’s favorite station. Fresh waffles with with either bananas fosters topping or cherries jubilee topped with ice-cream. Yes, you read correctly. Ice-cream.
Plate number 2. Prime rib, Serrano ham, orange ginger french toast, smoked salmon, goat cheese and fresh eggnog shooter. Eric’s plate: waffle topped with bananas foster and ice-cream, berries in a wide sauce, fresh chocolate torte.
After all that food we had to go for a walk on Royal Street. This man seemed to not be getting anywhere but I thought he was hilarious. I love the stores there. The galleries are phenomenal, eclectic and traditional clothing, amazing shoes, and of course…great entertainment.
We sat by the river steps and enjoyed a beautiful day. Jackson Square plaza is one of my favorite spots in the quarter. It’s classic, the carriage rides are lined up to take you on a tour… the perfect ending to a great weekend!
We also sat down to watch the Dragon Master Showcase. A group of 4 guys who perform amazing synchronized shows on the street.
I took a lot of pictures and video over the weekend. So many, in fact, that I had to plug my phone in the wall inside a bar while Eric watched the Saints game. I really enjoyed the weekend and time alone with my husband (kids at in-laws). Definitely a good break before the holiday madness that is yet to come at my house. No departure could be complete without Teddy and Frosty stopping by to say goodbye. 🙂
Many thanks to Joe and Kay for gifting us the weekend stay at the Royal Sonesta.
Thanks for thinking of us! xox
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