Le Méridien New Orleans Hotel: Where to Stay in New Orleans
Today I’m sharing a Le Méridien New Orleans Hotel review, with terrific restaurants and great things to do in New Orleans (The Big Easy)! Our hotel stay was sponsored by Le Méridien New Orleans.
Last week my friends and I visited New Orleans, a city with the warm “southern” hospitality of Caribbean, French, Spanish, West African, and Native American cultures.
We stayed at the Le Meridien New Orleans Hotel, a contemporary 4-star property featuring luxurious rooms, in the business area of New Orleans.
How did New Orleans become “The Big Easy?”
In the early 1900s there was a dance hall called “The Big Easy.” In the early 1970s that name became popular again, comparing New Orleans’ easy-going city life to the hurried pace of New York City. I always wondered where it got its name!
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans is known for great music, food, and a lot of history. We loved the vibe of the city, eating a hosted dinner our first night at French Quarter’s SoBou. I spent these 4 days with my friends Lori, RecipeGirl, Holly, Spend with Pennies, and Cathy, of Lemontree Dwelling.
Let’s just say we had the best Gumbo at SoBou, a modern Creole saloon, south of Bourbon Street in the French Quarter. Our dinner (also hosted by the hotel) consisted of Gumbo du Jour (with Creole spiced mashed potatoes), a strawberry pickled grape salad, Blue Crab Croquettes (heaven!), and Blackened Geaux Fish, with crawfish and corn risotto!
Dessert? Too dark to photograph, but take my word: Pecan Pie Not Pie, and Cherries Jubilee & White Chocolate Bread Pudding! Yes, please!
Thank you Chef!
Le Meridien New Orleans Hotel
When you walk into the Le Meridien New Orleans, it has a very fun vibe. Although it’s considered a boutique hotel, I liked the quirky, yet modern feel.
This hotel is all about hospitality! Everywhere we turned, there was a cool sitting area for mingling, relaxing, or happy hour. [3 photos below courtesy of the hotel]
Let’s just say, the location is perfect. You can walk to the French Quarter, Harrah’s, Audubon Insectarium Aquarium, and the Collection Outlets, as well as many restaurants.
Luxury Suite Guestrooms
We stayed in a Luxury Suite, a spacious corner suite that offers an additional sitting room with a round table. I loved the cool, neutral tones and accent “orange” color, offering a soothing environment with designs inspired by Le Méridien’s European heritage.
The beds were so comfortable, and the bathroom was huge, very classy and modern.
We could have had a party in our room (but we didn’t), it was that big. And look at the view!
We were greeted with a very fun treat sent up to our room: A fun DIY project to decorate our own eclairs with a bottle of champagne!
Every morning I was an early bird, downstairs at Longitude 90 enjoying my morning espresso. They serve Illy coffee (so good), and every Friday morning the barista gives latte art demonstrations. So good, so fun.
For breakfast, they serve light grab & go breakfast options such as pastries, eclairs, etc. Oh, and New Orleans is known for their eclairs, so being in the city, we had to try banana foster eclairs. WOW! Best flavor ever!
Chef’s Table Experience
Every night in we enjoyed cocktail hour in the Hub area, and the biggest “treat” of our stay, that I will never forget, was a private Chef’s Dinner at Le Méridien’s Longitude 90, with Chef Jerry.
Have you ever had a Chef’s Table experience? If you ever get the chance, do it! Espeically in New Orleans. It doesn’t matter how many bowls of gumbo you try, they all seem to be different.
This time we started off with champagne, the dark gumbo (made with dark roux, okra, and chicken thighs), a pickled watermelon rind salad, Coconut Crawfish Hush Puppies (WOW) served with fresh lime, and Grilled Peaches Salad with Golden Raisin Mint Dressing. Our main dish was Blackened Red Fish, which is a New Orleans tradition.
Chef Jerry gave us the run-down on the history of each dish. We truly had the best ending to a perfect meal: Carmelized Apple Creme Brûlée – be still my heart!
Le Méridien New Orleans Rooftop Pool
We lucked out with amazing weather the last 2 days!
The last morning we enjoyed our own private poolside cabana up on the rooftop, with a delicous brunch served by the hotel staff.
The food consisted of scrambled eggs, fresh fruit, eclairs (sweet and savory) and mimosas!
The eclairs were chocolate, bananas foster, and the salmon eclairs were out of this world! Thank you wonderful Meridien Hotel, for spoiling us!
Food Tour – Tastebud Tours
The next day, we meandered our way through the French Quarter again, learning about the history of New Orleans cooking and recipes, and it was fabulous! For 3 hours we learned so much and ate the best food! I highly recommend Tastebud Tours!
We started off at the classic, oldest bar in New Orleans, Tujague’s Restaurant. There we tried their Po-Boy Sandwich and their signature drink: Grasshopper.
Next Stop: Old Coffee Pot Gumbo! Yup, we enjoyed gumbo and rice!
Pat O’Brien’s was the place of the orginal “Hurricane” drink!
You have to try Johnny Po-Boy’s. Have you ever had a Muffulletta? A muffuletta is a popular sandwich originating among Italian immigrants in New Orleans, with delicious olives. So good. This place reminded me of the marvelous Carnegie Deli in NYC.
Our last stop: New Orleans Creole Cookery. I highly recommend you visit this delicious place, where they serve the Voodoo Drink and the best bread pudding I’ve ever tasted – EVER!
So much shopping and fun, and so many great restaurants to try! I recommend if you visit, to go with friends who like to eat.
Explore French Quarter
We did a lot of walking while in New Orleans, exploring the historic district of the French Quarter.
Oh, my goodness. The gorgeous buildings with covered porches and balconies and ferns overlooking the gas lamp lit streets, were breathtakingly beautiful.
You can also head over to Jackson Square, the historic park and location of the signing of the final version of the Louisiana Purchase was signed.
Although it’s an easy walk to the Mississippi River front, where you can check out the Natchez Steamboat, (a historic steamboat of the Mississippi River), we did not make it down to the river (sad to say!) About 8 years ago I did visit this area however, when I was in New Oreleans with my hubby, and it is definitely worth the walk!
There are a ton of fabulous antique shops, boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and hotels on Royal Street.
Bourbon Street is well-known for its party scene, and especially popular during Mardi Gras. It’s a place where you have to at least walk once in your lifetime and experince what it’s all about. I enjoyed the sounds of buskers and street performers.
We also ended one night at one of the two most famous spots to grab a beignet in the French Quarter, Cafe du Monde, where we stood in line at almost midnight for 3 small powdered, sugary French donuts! You can’t leave New Orleans without a beignet!
We took the historic streetcar and strolled down the lower Garden District part of Magazine Street for great shops and more restaurants. You can buy an all-day ticket for $3 and it was a unique experience!
Loved all the houses along the way!
Must-Do Things in New Orleans- walking distance from the hotel
Bourbon Street – 0.1 km/0.1 miles
Harrah’s Casino – 0.1 km/0.1 miles
Aquarium of the Americas 0.2 km/0.1 miles
French Quarter – 0.4 km/0.3 miles
Jackson Brewery – 0.4 km/0.3 miles
Haunted History French Quarter/Garden District Tours – 0.4 km/0.3 miles
National World War II Museum – 0.9 km/0.6 miles
Audubon Park & Zoological Gardens 4.8 km/3.0 miles
Jackson Square – 1.9 km/0.6 miles
Cypress Swamp Tours 40.0 km/24.8 miles
Thanks for following along!
Keep the Le Méridien chain of hotels on your radar for travel, because they not only offer a unique, comfortable stay, the staff is willing to go out of their way to make your stay the very best.
Thank you Le Méridien New Orleans! Le Méridien New Orleans Hotel hosted our stay, but as always, all opinions are my own!