New Orleans: The Garbage Can Serenade, and other Quirks of the Quarter

I’m writing this a few minutes after some dudes decided to serenade us with the sound of garbage cans being kicked around under our balcony at the Royal Sonesta.

In any other place, I’d be on the phone yammering at the manager. But not here … we loved it.

We’ve been to New Orleans a dozen times and always said we should stay at the Royal Sonesta. Le Booze, its Bourbon Street facing bar, has always been one of our favorite people-watching spots.

So this trip my wife and I opted for the Royal Sonesta and the full French Quarter experience, booking a balcony room on Bourbon.

And we are delighted we did. The room is the one of the best we have ever had in New Orleans – clean, updated, with luxury amenities and an incredibly comfortable bed. The hotel’s public spaces are beautiful to begin with, and even more so decorated for Christmas. (An aside, New Orleans decorated for Halloween is just as spectacular.)

The Crazy Good Staff

The staff here is simply terrific and the service is among the best we have experienced anywhere.

When you apply for a job here, the job application form must have a question like: “Do you remember everyone’s names, can you answer lame questions with a big smile, and do you have phenomenal patience with drunk tourists?”

And we really enjoyed catching part of the Brass-A-Holics show our last night in the Royal Sonesta’s Jazz Playhouse … first rate entertainment in a very cool, retro setting.

Stumbling Distance

But one of the best things about this place of course is the location. You are steps away from mainstay French Quarter dining spots and other New Orleans restaurants like Galatoire’s and Arnaud’s. There are country bars, blues bars, jazz bars, slushy bars and pretty much every other kind of bar within stumbling distance.

And the location also is why you need to be aware of what you are signing up for if you do a Bourbon Street room. It’s loud. Really loud. Our last night, a funk band competed with a classic rock band to see which could rattle the panes in our room windows the most.

Then, after a few hours of pre-dawn quiet, the previously mentioned dudes started playing ping pong with garbage cans below our balcony.

But this is exactly what we signed up for … the full Bourbon Street experience. Luckily we brought along some industrial-strength ear plugs so we are getting exactly as much sleep as we need.

I understand from other reviews that there are plenty of very quiet, peaceful rooms here, so you have that option if that’s your thing.

Not us … bring it on, Bourbon!

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