College students and those who specialize in travel on the cheap know NOLA has some great dives and freebies, especially during Mardis Gras. But for the all-grown-up luxury travelers, New Orleans is a trove of exceptional dining, exquisite accommodations, and unmatched pageantry. These travel options showcase the indulgent side of The Big Easy.
During Mardis Gras and the Carnival days before, everyone can see the spectacular parades for free. They’re a labor of love from “krewes” that work all year to bring the floats, fantasy, and fiber-optics to an adoring public. But only an exclusive few get to watch from the roof of The Pontchartrain Hotel while sipping the bubbly. Opened in the 1940s, this hotel has earned its reputation as the Grand Dame of New Orleans.