New Orleans is a drinking town, that’s for sure, and its world famous bar culture has always been a major tourist attraction. But while getting your fill just about anywhere is always an enticing option, many of the city’s best bars don’t even require leaving the hotel. Running the gamut from venerable landmarks to cutting-edge newcomers, these 10 stellar hotel bars represent everything the boozy Big Easy has to offer.
Caribbean Room at Pontchartrain Hotel
Housed in a renovated 1927 apartment building–turned–luxury hotel, this boutique spot in the CBD (Central Business District) merges old-world elegance with funky, eye-popping vibrancy. Helmed by chefs John Besh and Chris Lusk, the restaurant and cocktail den smacks of Big Easy grandeur, its spirited drapery, hulking chandeliers, crowded display of brightly colored paintings and creative Cajun-inspired menu setting a distinctly festive tone.
What you’re drinking: The fittingly tropical Indian Summer (Papa's Pilar blonde rum, rhum agricole, falernum, lime juice, pineapple juice and bitters)
2031 St. Charles Ave.; 504-941-9000
Courtesy of Rush Jagoe/Ace Hotel New Orleans
Alto & Seaworthy at Ace Hotel New Orleans
This stylish boutique chain hit the up-and-coming Warehouse District in mid-2016, bringing with it a mini empire of fantastic food and drink outposts. Alto, the on-site poolside rooftop oasis exemplifies the art deco hotel’s casual refinement, mixing simple beachy decor and lush greenery with inventive house cocktails, craft beer and Italian-inspired bar bites. Four doors down sits Seaworthy, a late 2016 addition to the Ace’s fleet famous for its extensive raw bar, formidable wine list, sharply executed cocktails and rustic 19th-century townhouse setting.
What you’re drinking: The Alto’s thirst-quenching Flower Show Punch (Pimm’s liqueur, ginger, grapefruit juice, lemon juice and a splash of soda) and at Seaworthy, the oyster-friendly Goldfinch (Cocchi Americano apéritif, fino sherry, lemon juice, orange bitters and soda)
600 Carondelet St.; 504-900-1180
Courtesy of Compère Lapin
Compère Lapin at Old No. 77 Hotel & Chandlery
Stashed inside a renovated former Port of New Orleans warehouse, Top Chef Nina Compton’s breezy, contemporary restaurant and bar has been taking New Orleans by storm since opening its industrial-chic doors in June 2015. Compton, a native of St. Lucia, is known for her inventive take on Caribbean-meets-Creole cuisine and beverage director Abigail Gullo’s cocktail menu, with its emphasis on bold flavors, fresh fruit and vibrant combinations, acts as the perfect complement.
What you’re drinking: The Copper Bunny (Absolut Elyx vodka, pineapple-jalapeño tequila, ginger, lime juice and Mumm champagne) or a sipper from the bar’s diverse aged-rum collection like Diplomatico Reserva Exclusiva
535 Tchoupitoulas St.; 504-599-2119
Courtesy of Catahoula Hotel
Piscobar at Catahoula Hotel
In a town known for its trusted classics, this charming hipster-friendly spot's pisco-centric beverage program has stood out since opening in summer 2016. That’s not to say that the local favorites aren’t available (or delicious), but the curious Peruvian brandy-like liquor, transformed into everything from traditional sours and punches to martini variations, definitely steals the show. The bar’s simple untreated wood, exposed brick and black and white tiling evokes an effortlessly cool, laid-back aesthetic, and the cozy interior courtyard seating is a welcome respite from the hurricane-wielding hordes crowding the Central Business District sidewalks outside.
What you’re drinking: The endlessly complex Chinguerito (pisco, cinnamon, muddled grapes and lime juice)
914 Union St., 504-603-2442
Courtesy of Hotel Monteleone
Carousel Bar & Lounge at Hotel Monteleone
Credited as the birthplace of the ever-sophisticated Vieux Carre and beloved for its 24-seat rotating central bar, this perpetually buzzy mainstay has long been the crowning jewel of the French Quarter’s cocktail scene. In recent years, the space has undergone significant expansion to accommodate those who’d prefer sipping on solid ground, but the original spinning bar’s ornate, circus-themed decor and festive, fun-loving ambiance will always be the star of the show.
What you’re drinking: The quintessential Vieux Carre (Bulleit rye, Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognac, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura bitters and Peychaud’s bitters)
214 Royal St., 866-338-4684
Courtesy of Roosevelt Hotel
Sazerac Bar at Roosevelt Hotel
Housed in a pristine historic hotel, you’d be hard-pressed to find an in-house haunt more legendary than this timeless CBD gem. Its lavish digs — gleaming African walnut bar, smooth leather seating, dazzling art deco touches and a mural by artist Paul Ninas — have attracted the area’s finest for decades and the bar’s signature drink has even been deemed the city’s official cocktail.
What you’re drinking: The eponymous Sazerac (Sazerac rye, Peychaud’s bitters, sugar and an Herbsaint rinse)
130 Roosevelt Way, 504-648-1200
The Bombay Club at Prince Conti Hotel
Over 50 different martini variations, including NOLA originals like the Vieux Carre, absinthe-spiked curiosities like the 4th Degree and slick standbys like the Vesper, top the cocktail list inside this historic French Quarter boozy oasis, where live nightly entertainment like jazz combos and cabaret performances provide ample Big Easy ambiance. And in case all those potent tipples have you feeling a little more shaken than stirred, the handsome, classically styled lounge also offers a full dinner menu stocked with Cajun fare infused with a bit of British flair.
What you’re drinking: A throwback Martinez (Carpano Antica sweet vermouth, Hayman’s Old Tom gin, maraschino liqueur and Angostura bitters, garnished with a lemon twist)
830 Conti St., 888-626-4319
Courtesy of Q&C Hotel Bar, Marriott Autograph Collection
Q&C Bar at Q&C Hotel Bar
You know a place is legit when it has the word “bar” baked right into its hotel name, and this Marriott Autograph Collection boutique doesn’t disappoint. Located in the heart of the Central Business District, the sharply appointed lobby bar spans two sunlit buildings, each featuring industrial-chic touches like exposed brick, overstuffed leather couches, warm lighting and vintage-inspired barstools. Behind the bar, the down-to-earth staff serves Cajun-style pub grub, craft beer and cocktails morning, noon and night, while across the street, a library-style lounge area offers additional seating plus tabletop shuffleboard.
What you’re drinking: A refreshing local craft beer like NOLA Brewing’s Hopitoulas IPA or Urban South’s Charming Wit white ale, many just $3 during the spot’s legendary happy hour
334 Camp St., 504-587-9700
Courtesy of NOPSI Hotel
underCURRENT Bar & Patio at NOPSI Hotel
The much-anticipated NOPSI Hotel debuted with a bang in June. Among the 217-room stunner’s noteworthy culinary offerings is this inviting lobby bar, boasting vaulted ceilings, striking gold chandeliers, a gin-heavy, 1920s-era cocktail program and a spacious patio primed for people-watching. Casual small plates are also available, and for something a little more substantial, Public Service, the hotel’s hot on-site restaurant, has you more than covered.
What you’re drinking: The bubbly, fluorescent-hued Closed Circuit (champagne, gin, Green Chartreuse and lemon juice)
317 Baronne St., 844-439-1463