Rooms at The Saint (above) in New Orleans feature a modern vibe in a multicultural city that has something for everyone.
New Orleans is a one-of-a-kind city with remarkable music, food, history, architecture and culture. If you are heading down to New Orleans for the Risen Star Stakes on Feb. 22 or the Louisiana Derby on March 29, check out these cool hotels while you soak up New Orleans' amazing atmosphere.
Win: The Saint
The Rate: $369
The Lowdown: The Saint melds the storied tradition of the Crescent City with a modern approach to interior design. The structure was originally built as the Audubon Building in 1909, but was re-christened The Saint in 2012, retaining its National Landmark status in the process.
Striking curves throughout the building clash with exposed brick walls that give this upscale spot a rustic, loft feel.
Its prime location on Canal Street means entertainment is never more than a few furlongs away. If you are superstitious by nature (my guess is you are very much so if you’re into horse racing!), swing down six blocks to the Marie Laveau House of Voodoo to have your tarot reading before a big day at Fair Grounds.
DINING AT THE SAINT
Place: Hotel St. Pierre
The Rate: $115
The Lowdown: Situated in the heart of the French Quarter, Hotel St. Pierre is a village of cozy Creole cottages. Hotel St. Pierre thoroughly embraces its old-timey roots. With structures dating back to the 18th Century, you’ll feel like you’re walking through a photo albumn of New Orleans heritage.
Jazz junkies will get a kick out of the fact that the legendary Louis Armstrong once spent the night here.
But did you know he starred in the 1938 flick “Going Places”, playing the role of a horse trainer? Armstrong’s trick to calming down his oft-antsy horse: he plays the trumpet to the tune of “Jeepers Creepers.” I have not yet received confirmation on whether D. Wayne Lukas employs a similar strategy …
CATCH SOME RAYS BY THE POOL AT HOTEL ST. PIERRE
Show: The Frenchmen
The Rate: $89
The Lowdown: The longshot wager on Vibrato Jazz didn’t pan out? This funky spot will barely make a dent in the pocketbook. While it is located slightly off the beaten path, you will not have to worry about getting overrun by tourists in the French Quarter.
The Frenchmen, despite its discount price, manages to bring culture to the table, too. It features the ornamental, iron-gate balconies that have become synonymous with New Orleans architecture.
EASY TO RELAX AT THE FRENCHMEN - ALSO A GOOD SPOT TO HANDICAP RACES
The Rate: $189
The Lowdown: This is vintage, traditional New Orleans through and through. For starters, the accommodation offerings begin with affordable, standard rooms. For under $200, you can stay in one of the original New Orleans landmarks — not bad!
If you score a few daily doubles and are looking to upgrade, then you can shift up to one of their “Literary Suites.” Named after the likes of Faulker, Hemingway, and Tennessee Williams, these rooms are an ode to authors who frequented the hotel, wrote about it, or both.
You’re helping your mojo if you choose to spend your time at Hotel Monteleone as well. The management has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Fair Grounds.
ERNEST HEMINGWAY SUITE AT MONTELEONE