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I love hotels. There is just something super special about checking in, turning the doorknob for the first time, and exploring a new, temporary home-away-from-home.

Prior to our stay at Royal Sonesta New Orleans, I’d heard SO many amazing things about the hotel, and I was positively buzzing with excitement as we arrived and took it all in. The hotel was ready for the holidays, and it was simply gorgeous, halls decked for the season. Read my post on the Lighting of the Balconies for photos. 

Every aspect of our (hosted) stay at Royal Sonesta New Orleans lived up to our expectations and beyond, from our extremely comfortable room, to our lush courtyard views, to the incredible food and hospitality. I love this hotel!

Where to stay in New Orleans

Having a room overlooking the courtyard meant that we heard just about no noise. We could have been miles from Bourbon Street, even though it was just on the other side of the building. We heard some noise in our hallway one of the nights; unfortunately that can happen in any hotel. You can’t control other peoples’ behavior!

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

The courtyard and pool were probably my favorite hotel features because the whole space just felt like a big sigh. . ahhhhh. The vibe was so relaxing, and if I had more time, I could have spent hours reading and relaxing out there.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

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R Club Concierge Guest Rooms offer R Club Lounge privileges, which include some great views of the city, as well as complimentary breakfast, snacks, a happy hour and more.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

It was often hard to tear myself away from the beautiful outdoor areas, but the grand indoor spaces of Royal Sonesta New Orleans are too impressive to miss. The lobby will make you stop in your tracks in the best way. If you visit, take time to enjoy every beautiful turn and corner. I did this every time when we were coming and going, and I noticed new, beautiful detail each time.

In addition to the beauty and comfort of the hotel, the location was really key to making the most of our three days in New Orleans. We were able to walk just about everywhere, only taking an Uber when we were in a rush or super tired, as I was on our last night. Otherwise, exploring the city on foot was the perfect way to go. I want to go back right now!

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Our stay was hosted by Royal Sonesta New Orleans. Be sure to visit the Sonesta Hotels blog for posts on New Orleans and other great destinations.

More blog posts from our stay in New Orleans:

http://traveleatlove.com/2017/12/restaurant-revolution-new-orleans/

http://traveleatlove.com/2017/12/caf-amelieone-of-our-new-orleans-favorites/

http://traveleatlove.com/2018/01/brunch-at-brennans-new-orleans/

http://traveleatlove.com/2017/12/brass-a-holics-at-the-jazz-playhouse-new-orleans-more-nola-food/

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Our trip to New Orleans to stay (and eat!) at Royal Sonesta New Orleans was easily one of the travel highlights of 2017. We got to experience the magical Lighting of the Balconies to kick off the holiday season, and I have so much more food and fun to share on the blog in the coming weeks.

One of the absolute highlights of our visit was an evening at The Jazz Playhouse, located right at Royal Sonesta, making dinner at Restaurant R’evolution or Desire Oyster Bar, followed by a show, the perfect way to spend a New Orleans night.

We were spoiled with stage-side seats, but it looked like there wasn’t a bad seat in the room, and the acoustics were fantastic. The cocktails at The Jazz Playhouse, like everywhere else at the hotel, were amazing.

The Jazz Playhouse

We got lucky as the famous Brass-A-Holics were playing while we were in New Orleans, and they were incredible. We can’t stop talking about them, looking for show dates, and watching videos on YouTube.

A bit about the Brass-A-Holics

Since 2010, the Brass-a-Holics have been taking their unique sound around the world. Steeped in the deep musical culture of New Orleans, the band brings a heavy dose of go-go funk to the New Orleans brass sound. In a blending of musical cultures stemming from cities separated by more than a thousand miles, a Brass-a-Holics live show takes the New Orleans brass band culture and infuses it with the electricity of Washington D.C.’s go-go. The resulting sound is both captivating and unique. The band consists of core New Orleans brass elements- trumpet, trombone, saxophone- and adds a full drum set, percussion, keyboard, bass and electric guitar, giving the band limitless options to explore new sonic territory. Whether performing their original music or using the framework of hit pop songs as springboards for fiery improvisations, there is something in the set to appeal to every music fan. Once the music starts, the demographics blend and a brand new experience is created- one that leaves one-of-a-kind memories that live on long after the last note.

New Orleans music

By the end of the night, everyone in the room was dancing to their music, a mix of original tunes and covers of popular songs that had everyone singing along. We didn’t want the night to end, but when it did, we got to go back up to our cozy room right upstairs, a huge perk to having the club in our hotel!

You can check out a couple of my videos on my YouTube Channel. . . which I definitely need to be more active on!

New Orleans is known for its great music and food, and we found both at Royal Sonesta New Orleans, gravitating back to the hotel even when meals weren’t planned for us. This Creole Trio at Desire Oyster Bar had a bit of everything, including gumbo, red beans and rice, jambalaya, and smoked sausage. Washed down with a French 75 and surrounded by warm and friendly service (and those NOLA accents!), this was one of my best meals of 2017. We also devoured breakfast at Desire on our last day. I can vouch for the biscuits and gravy. . . and another French 75, which became another New Orleans go-to.

Desire Oyster

While New Orleans has a ton to offer all over the city, it was also nice to have so much of our trip centered around our hotel, giving us the option to stay in or venture out. It felt like an oasis in the middle of the busy city, and we absolutely loved everything about it!

Experience Mardi Gras from a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street at Royal Sonesta New Orleans.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans hosted our evening at The Jazz Playhouse and breakfast at Desire Oyster Bar. As mentioned above, we loved the food at Royal Sonesta and opted to come back a few times on our own for drinks and meals.

All opinions are my own.

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Tags: cocktails, Food, hotels, music, New Orleans, Travel, travel blog

As much as I like having access to all Boston has to offer, I more than love escaping to wide open spaces outside the city, whether it be to the ocean or places a bit further inland. One favorite quaint New England spot is Longfellow’s Wayside Inn in Sudbury, an easy drive from Boston, and perfect for a festive lunch or dinner during the holiday season.

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We recently celebrated my in-laws’ anniversary at the Wayside Inn, and it was an absolutely perfect day for strolling the grounds of the historic inn, then warming up inside with a delicious traditional New England meal and cocktails.

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The Martha Mary chapel is a must-visit while at Wayside, as is the path behind the inn, where a beautiful pond and forest await.

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Inside, you will definitely feel like you stepped back in time! The Wayside Inn has a fascinating history which has many famous players involved, It is definitely haunted!

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I had done a long run the morning of our chilly visit to Sudbury, and I was craving all of the warm comfort food in the world! A cold Meeting House Punch, made with beer, rum, lemon, and brown sugar was the perfect way to start the afternoon, and I enjoyed bites of lobster pie, paired perfectly with mashed potatoes and squash, along with classic New England clam chowder.

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Seriously, bring your appetite when you visit!

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I never tire of really good bacon-wrapped scallops, and these were excellent, with crispy bacon and sweet, tender scallops, just as they should be.

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I was the only one craving dessert after all that, but I guess an 11 mile run will do that to a girl. Pecan Chocolate Chip Bourbon Pie was gooey and warm and exquisite, with dollops of fresh cream setting off all of that chocolate-y richness.

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The service at the Wayside Inn is outstanding, and the place is just so cozy and festive. We lingered over a long late lunch and left feeling stuffed and super relaxed.

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Tags: Food, food blog, historic, holidays, hotels, inns, Massachusetts, New England

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