The Lure of Mardi Gras

​​​If you are looking to go to Mardi Gras this year (January 21, 2023) you are probably too late. However, it is never too early to plan for next year. Most of the hotels require a four to five-day minimum stay and are often solidly booked by December.

The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to medieval Europe, passing through Rome and Venice in the 17th and 18th centuries to the French House of the Bourbons. From here, the traditional revelry of “Boeuf Gras,” or fatted calf, followed France to her colonies. On March 2, 1699, French-Canadian explorer Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville arrived at a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans and named it “Pointe du Mardi Gras” when his men realized it was the eve of the festive holiday the tiny settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile celebrated America’s very first Mardi Gras.

Mardi Gras may be best known for the beads (or throws as they call them), balls, costumes, floats, and of course the King Cake. 

If you’d like to order a local’s favorite, authentic King Cake. Try Haydel’s Bakery or Paul’s Pastry Shop.

Here are three Virtuoso properties to consider for your Mardi Gras adventure. 

Maison de la Luz

With its art deco flair and regal, globally inspired interiors, the 67-suite Maison de la Luz is one of historic New Orleans’ most stylish guest houses. Rooms boast luxuriously high ceilings, local artwork, and vintage furnishings. The sunlit Breakfast Room serves up sweet and savory entrees, cold-pressed juices, and hot elixirs. And the Living Room offers a sophisticated refuge for sipping craft cocktails and snacking on complimentary cheeses and charcuterie.

The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel

A $175 million restoration of the art deco building in 2009 returned The Roosevelt to its place atop the luxury offerings in New Orleans, just off Canal Street and a block from the French Quarter. In 2019, another renovation of the guest rooms, meeting spaces, and rooftop pool has launched the hotel into a class of its own. The Waldorf Astoria Spa, rooftop pool, and garden terrace offer an urban oasis. The award-winning Domenica restaurant presents a fine touch of Italy, while Teddy’s Café is reminiscent of a Parisian patisserie. The Fountain Lounge hosts live music and, on Mondays, serves the local phenomenon, Carl’s fried chicken.

W New Orleans – French Quarter

Located in the heart of the French Quarter, W New Orleans – French Quarter has guest rooms offering a unique New Orleans experience through artistic and innovative design. Enjoy an upgrade to a balcony room or a carriage house suite with your own cobblestone courtyard, based on availability. Ignite your senses at SoBou, a spirited restaurant from The Commander’s Family of Restaurants, where contemporary Creole cuisine fuses with creative cocktail culture. Relax in the outdoor, European-style courtyard, featuring a firelit fountain, or lounge by the illuminated outdoor pool.

If the lure of New Orleans intrigues you and you’d rather not wait to visit, there is always the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival from April 28 – May 7, 2023. 

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