New Orleans

9 New Orleans Bars Where You Can Spend The Night

At these nine New Orleans bars, not only can you get your fix of Sazerac and Gin, but you can also spend the night at their hotel.

The dinner-jacketed bartender rattles his shaker with a few nonchalant flicks of the wrist before straining the mix into a row of thirsty-looking rocks glasses. The bar’s yellow lights catch the warm amber of the liquid, softly illuminating that most N’awlins of New Orleans cocktails: the Sazerac, a potent blend of rye whiskey, bitters, and sugar.

I’m on a cocktail tour of the city, about to sip my second libation of the day here in The Roosevelt’s Sazerac Bar.

Ask anyone who appreciates a well-crafted cocktail and they’ll tell you, most likely over a drink or two, that this city is the place to be. This is, according to legend, where it all began: the Sazerac is believed to be the world’s first cocktail, concocted by local apothecary Antoine Peychaud in 1838. He served his after-hours creation in an eggcup or coquetier, which (so the story goes) evolved into the common byword for mixed drinks.

Whatever the truth, there are few more beguiling places to sip and savor than in NOLA, as the locals call it, and few more stylish places to perch yourself than in one of the city’s sophisticated hotel bars.

Sazerac Bar

1/4

Hotels don’t come more classic than The Roosevelt New Orleans, so you shouldn’t expect a soulless lobby bar here. And you won’t find one. The cozy, soft-lit Sazerac Bar is equally lovely for pre-dinner cocktails and night-owl nightcaps. The bar is walnut, the stools are chocolate leather, and the drinks are strong.

Of course, the bartenders—who don crisp, white dinner jackets—mix a mean Sazerac, the city’s signature drink. Or try the Ramos Gin Fizz. It’s a tooth-tingling mix of gin, citrus, sugar, cream and egg white, invented by a NOLA bartender in 1888 and trademarked by The Roosevelt Hotel in 1935.

Hotel The Roosevelt New Orleans

Top rated
New Orleans, 4.2 miles to Audubon Park
9.0 Excellent (2902 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Carousel Bar

1/4

Don’t let anyone tell you carousels are just for kids, especially when they serve drinks this good. The Carousel Bar, just off the main lobby in Hotel Monteleone, is more than a place to grab a cocktail or a coffee–it’s a quintessential New Orleans experience.

The fairground-themed bar, which revolves around the room, is richly decorated with carved clown faces, paintings, and glowing bulbs. Like pretty much everything in NOLA, its drinks come with a side of history: the Vieux Carré, named for the city’s French Quarter, was invented by the Carousel’s head bartender in 1938. A warning, though: few sips of this heady mix of rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, and bitters could send your head spinning faster than the bar.

Hotel Monteleone

Top rated
New Orleans, 4.4 miles to Audubon Park
8.9 Excellent (5334 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.6 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Alto

1/4

You might have noticed, but New Orleans can be hot. Sweltering, in fact. Alto, Ace New Orleans‘ rooftop bar, is a favorite place to cool off. Hotel guests have priority access to this plant-dotted haven, where Louisiana beers, craft cocktails, and refreshingly tangy, not-too-sweet Frosé (frozen rosé wine) can be sipped on wooden sun-beds or while wallowing in the shallow pool. Alto also has 360-degree views over the Central Business District to the French Quarter, so you can peer down at the sweltering masses in sympathy (or smugness).

Should a storm break, seek refuge in the ground floor library bar, which has huge leather chairs and sofas to sink into. On weekend nights, a “secret” room, opposite the elevators, hosts live jazz bands, local musicians, and DJs.

Ace New Orleans

Top rated
New Orleans, 3.9 miles to Audubon Park
8.7 Excellent (773 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
Pets allowed
Hotel CTA

Public Belt

1/4

You might have to ask for directions but once you locate this sepia-tinted drinking den, tucked away on the second floor of the Hilton Riverside, you’ll be reluctant to leave. Everything–from the dark leather stools, cozy as high-perched armchairs, to the softly glowing chandeliers–is designed to make you feel right at home.

The Sazeracs are made with cognac (as per the original recipe), the Old Fashioneds are poured over giant ice-cubes, and there’s even an absinthe fountain, which drips iced water over a sugar cube until the green spirit below begins to cloud. If that comes out, you might as well get comfortable.

Hilton New Orleans Riverside

New Orleans, 4.4 miles to Audubon Park
8.4 Very good (5475 reviews)
Excellent Location 9 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Pelican Bar

1/4

Most lobby bars tend to feel, well, like they’re in a lobby. People striding by or struggling past with suitcases, air-conditioning on full blast, the relentless “ping!” of the elevator. So the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel stands as a shining example of how to do it right.

Its Pelican Bar is slap-bang in the middle of the reception floor, yet it might as well be in a bubble. A refined, elegant bubble, reassuringly well-stocked with just about any drinks you might want. (I recommend the Jalapeño Cucumber Margarita.)

They’re served around a circular, domed bar, thoughtfully separated from the foot traffic by a few steps. So you can people-watch in peace, and with a cocktail in hand. Or gaze up at the huge “Blue Dog” paintings, created by NOLA artist George Rodrigue.

Sheraton New Orleans Hotel

New Orleans, 4.3 miles to Audubon Park
8.4 Very good (4629 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Q&C Bar

1/4

Blending sleek modern design with good old-fashioned service, the Q&C Hotel‘s lobby bar is the kind of place that just gets it. Trendy without being pretentious, and impeccably mannered without being cold and stiff, it’s one of the city’s loveliest hangouts. Yet it rarely feels too busy, probably because it’s set slightly off the main drag between the Arts District and the French Quarter.

What's on the menu?

Classic Libations

Classic libations like the French 75 (another NOLA creation) share menu space with inventive concoctions muddled with earl grey tea, lavender and chai syrup.

Q&C HotelBar New Orleans, Autograph Collection

Top rated
New Orleans, 4.2 miles to Audubon Park
8.8 Excellent (3465 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.2 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

The Jazz Playhouse

1/3

Arrive early if you want to catch a show at this classy joint, found off the ornate lobby of the Royal Sonesta New Orleans. The best tables are mere steps (or coquettish shuffles, in the case of the tasteful burlesque show) from the performers.

Nightly jazz flows smoothly from the stage like unfurled reams of silk, while the whole place drips with crimson velvet. Cocktails (or whatever you’re drinking) are served tableside, so you never have to tear your eyes and ears away from the show.

Royal Sonesta New Orleans

Top rated
New Orleans, 4.4 miles to Audubon Park
8.7 Excellent (5902 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Gym
Hotel CTA

underCURRENT Bar & Patio

1/4

New Orleans’ hotel scene is thriving, particularly in the increasingly hip Central Business District. The Nopsi Hotel New Orleans is already a classic, thanks to rooms filled with local art and luxe textures–and a super-stylish lobby bar, underCURRENT.

Soft, warm tones of butter and chocolate complement its 1920s theme. While you’ll find a wonderfully sippable range of wines and beers, this bar is all about the cocktail. Bartenders discreetly shake and swizzle Prohibition-era libations laced with gin and champagne. The Gimlet and Bees’ Knees (gin muddled with lemon and honey syrup) are sublime.

Nopsi Hotel, New Orleans

Top rated
New Orleans, 4 miles to Audubon Park
9.3 Excellent (1441 reviews)
Excellent Cleanliness 9.3 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Pets allowed
Wellness center / Spa
Hotel CTA

Loa Bar

1/3

This International House Hotel bar takes inspiration from two New Orleans signatures: its Spanish moss-draped live oaks and its fascination with spirits. Every kind of spirit. “Loa” are divine spirits in the Vodou (or Voodoo) faith, and this velvet-draped lounge takes its name to heart.

The bar’s innovative approach to cocktails is overseen by a ‘Spirit Handler’, and the ingredients–honeycomb, foraged herbs, and handfuls of that fluffy Spanish moss–infuse pure New Orleans magic into every tumbler and coupe.

Hotel International House

New Orleans, 4.2 miles to Audubon Park
8.4 Very good (3340 reviews)
Excellent Location 9.1 / 10
WiFi in rooms
Parking garage
Wellness center / Spa
Gym
Hotel CTA

Feature photo by Helena Yankovska on Unsplash