It’s hard to say exactly what the perfect location for a New Orleans hotel is, and it certainly depends on the traveler. Some people prefer a place that’s stumbling distance from the bars of Bourbon Street. Some prefer a quieter uptown location, perhaps in one of the graceful bed and breakfasts in the Garden District.
The downsides to each of these extremes is that they’re far from the other. One reasonable solution?
The gorgeous Hotel Modern, whose location on Lee Circle puts you mere minutes from either the French Quarter or the Garden District by streetcar. Museum buffs will particularly appreciate that it’s within walking distance from some of the city’s finest collections, including the WWII Museum and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. And during Mardi Gras, uptown parades roll directly past the front doors of the hotel.
The hotel is decorated with a chic and contemporary aesthetic that combines quirky antiques and sleek modern touches. Standard rooms come in three sizes: small, medium, and large. The smalls are quite small, but are a tremendous value for the money, given the location and level of service and decor of the hotel.
Suites are also available in several sizes, the largest of which is Suite 2, a King Suite with two rooms, two bathrooms, two televisions, an enormous and luxurious bathtub, an accessible shower, bookshelves packed with a variety of literature and nonfiction, a minibar, and a fabulous view that reveals many of the city’s most noteworthy landmarks, including the Superdome.
(From your perch nine stories up, you can also look downward upon the statue of Robert E. Lee that stares North in the center of Lee Circle, which may or may not be a selling point.)
Foodies will certainly appreciate the fabulous in-house restaurant, Tivoli and Lee, which also serves up a wonderful room service menu. Are craft cocktails your speed? Visit the downstairs bar, Bellocq, which offers expertly-crafted drinks in a swanky, Storyville-themed setting.
Business travelers will appreciate the quick WiFi and ample outlets in each room, at which you can charge all of your gear. Everyone can enjoy the helpful, friendly staff who are quick to help you with reservations, luggage, hailing a taxi, or whatever else you might need.
The only major caveat I found during my recent stay at the Hotel Modern was the fact that the elevator didn’t require any level of key access. Staff is present at the front door and near the elevator, so it’s not an entirely insecure situation, but as a woman who frequently travels alone, my preference is to have as many layers of security between me and the streets as possible.
Overall, the Hotel Modern is a gorgeous property with surprisingly affordable rooms and one of the best in-hotel restaurants in town. With its prime location, halfway between the Garden District and the French Quarter and within a stone’s throw of the museum district, it’s a hotel worthy of serious consideration for travelers of all kinds.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.