New Orleans

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Mardi Gras is almost here, and it’s fun to imagine the transition New Orleans has made since our visit to Royal Sonesta New Orleans back in December!

This coming week the hotel hosts their annual Greasing of the Poles tradition to kick off Mardi Gras, and it promises to be an exciting and revelry-filled time for all!

New Orleans was definitely one of those places where I took a ton of photos, and the below are a few scenes I wanted to share.

New Orleans

Voodoo shops and ghost tours were definitely on our list of things to do in New Orleans, and a Haunted History tour was a fun way to see the city. The New Orleans Ghost Tour showed us around the French Quarter, where we learned some spooky stories, took in amazing architecture and history, and had a cocktail stop at the famous Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop.


This spot was most DEFINITELY haunted. I could feel it all over.

They also made a delicious Dark n Stormy.

New Orleans Ghost TourNew Orleans Ghost Tour

Throughout the tour we learned tales of New Orleans’ most haunted places like LaLaurie Mansion. I think it would have been creepier at night, but I would recommend it at any time!

Drinks to-go were a novelty and freedom that we took advantage of a few times. I am not a fan of sweet drinks, so I skipped the Hurricanes and enjoyed a Mint Julep from Pat O’Brien’s.

New Orleans

We had incredible weather in New Orleans and loved our time admiring architecture like the St. Louis Cathedral and outdoor spaces like Jackson Square, both a short walk from the Sonesta. Everything in New Orleans felt so bright and fresh and vibrant!


Inside the cathedral offered a beautiful calming feeling; I am not super religious, but I love the peace that comes over me in a church like this.



French 75s at Arnaud’s French 75 bar were delicious, and set me on a French 75 kick for the week. We loved the service at the bar as well; it had such a classic old vibe. It also felt pretty haunted; a few times I felt something brushing my face and hair and had a few “out of the corner of my eye” sightings. I love a haunted city!

Cafe du Monde

Coffee and beignets from Cafe du Monde were of course a must-try. We ended up ordering a ton of coffee for home. I liked the beignets, but those at Royal Sonesta New Orleans ended up being my favorite by far.


We found music everywhere in New Orleans (and I danced), and it just added to the festive, relaxed vibe of our getaway. Since it was almost Christmas, we saw several parades of local school children singing and playing instruments. It was so sweet.

Armstrong Park

To work off all of those beignets and cocktails and yummy dishes, we explored most of the city by foot. Armstrong Park is a must-visit for enjoying the outdoors, art, and pop up performances. It’s a great escape when the rest of the city feels too bustling for you.

Armstrong Park

New Orleans was quite an experience, and we are excited to plan another visit.

More posts about New Orleans

Lunch at Cochon

Brunch at Brennan’s

Brass-a-holics at Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Cafe Amelie New Orleans

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Tags: cocktails, ghost tour, New Orleans, NOLA, tourism, Travel, travel blog, Travel Tuesday

When we asked for New Orleans dining recommendations, Cochon was one of the names that kept popping up, and when Cochon happened to be right down the street from the National WWII Museum (Read my blog post for Sonesta Hotels!), it turned out to be the perfect spot to grab lunch during a brief rain storm.

Cochon was bustling at lunch time, and we were very lucky to get seats right in front of the kitchen, which had a super efficient and effective communication system down pat. The actions of the kitchen team and servers were perfectly orchestrated and fun to watch, and seeing all of the plates go out helped us to decide on our order!

Cochon New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

Cochon New Orleans

The cocktail menu was fun and creative, and the Fresh to Death was a delicious gin concoction I could have sipped all day. It may have been raining outside, but this drink was sunshine in a glass. It was also the perfect, bright choice for pairing with some heavier fare.

Cochon New Orleans


We started with a little treat from the kitchen before launching into our ordering spree.

While we waited for our lunch, I tried the hot sauce at our seats. It was perfectly delicious all on its own!

Cochon New Orleans

We knew we needed to get some vegetables into our diet, and roasted winter squash with toasted seeds was the warm and cozy type of veggie dish I was craving. I love when the vegetable sides turn out to be something you could eat all day long!

Cochon New Orleans

The rest of our many courses included favorites like super sticky, messy, delicious ribs with watermelon pickle (sweet, tangy, lick the plate amazing) and fried shrimp and rice boulettes with tartar sauce. Add in biscuits smothered in hot sauce, and you have one incredible meal.

Cochon New Orleans

With so many spots to dine in New Orleans, we certainly only covered a fraction. Even knowing that I would return to Cochon (and to Cafe Amelie and Brennan’s and all of the restaurants at Royal Sonesta New Orleans) a million times over again. We certainly hit the jackpot when it came to NOLA dining!

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Tags: dining, Food, New Orleans, NOLA, Restaurants, Travel

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


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!


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:

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Tags: hotels, New Orleans, Travel, travel blog, travel blogging

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