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Best Time of Year BUDGET-WISE


Absonot
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I'm just starting my research for a NO trip and I'm trying to figure out when to go. I don't deal with heat well, so summer is out.

But for you locals, when's that wonderful little window after the high tourist season, before the raging heat begins? You know, when you can get a good hotel room for less than $250 a night? I'm guessing early June?

Naturally, I want to save as much of my budget as possible for eating!

Any insight is much appreciated!

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to avoid the heat, you need to go earlier in the year. like late march to late april or early may.

Actually right now is the best time to go. December is slow because there are very few conventions. So you can get into restaurants, the hotels are cheaper.

New Orleans is not cheap. With all the conventions, it stays pretty full and pretty pricey compared to other places of its size.

But just pass on by and have a good time.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Yes, NO is always expensive and always hot. I personally like October if you want to wait that long. The spring is a little more rainy than the fall. Also, to try to save dough on a hotel, avoid the French Quarter. Try Uptown or the Garden District. If you find a place near St. Charles Ave. (easy to do), you can just take the streetcar down into the Quarter (if you must...).

Shameless plug for my friend's hostel/saloon in Lafayette: check out The Blue Moon Saloon and Guest House -- a great place to stay and/or see a bit of live music.

Have fun!

Bridget Avila

My Blog

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We went over Spring Break last year, in March, and managed to book a luxury hotel for about $125/night through Quikbook. The city wasn't crowded and the weather was quite pleasant. Most college students don't flood New Orleans during Spring Break, they come earlier for Mardi Gras or wait for the Jazz Fest--a good thing. I'd gladly return at that time of year. Local strawberries were just coming in and we sampled some amazing oysters at the farmer's market.

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Mardi Gras is very early this yea, Feb 5. We do not have final four or any other large sporting events scheduled, so other than the usual conventions, there is not much going on until the Jazz Festival on the last weekend in April and the first weekend in May. Anytime in Feb, Mar, or early April should work nicely.

You can always find a good room, downtown, for under $150 by doing a bit of Priceline type shopping. Another good way to find a room is to call the hotels, individually, and see what kind of packeages that they have going. These almost always involve a weekend stay, but you will find that you can get lots of extra stuff along with the deal (Zoo, Aquarium, swamp tours, museums, breakfast, free drinks, etc.). Many of these packages will often come with an airfare tie in, so it is a good idea to do some shopping outside of the bid sites.

Also, if you are willing to take a risk that you might not get the exact hotel that you want (but a very nice, very convenient one), and you know that you are choosing a week when there is not some huge convention in town (Convention Schedule-also a useful site), you can start hitting the auction sites a few days ahead and really save some money. I know people (lots of them) who got downtown rooms (Hilton, Hyatt, etc.) last year DURING the Jazz Festival for under $90 per night. You will, no problem, be assured of getting a room at a bargain and probably find a serious bargain, depending on how long you are willing to wait.

You will alwasy want to make any reservations for restaurants long in advance for hot places, as contary to what many people think, locals can keep most of these places booked without any tourist help, so you have to plan ahead.

Let us know what works out.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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I just found the place we stayed in March: International House. We walked a lot of places from here, but got in the car to get to Commander's Palace and to wander around the neighborhoods and parks by Loylola and Tulane. Beautiful, beautiful hotel. (I especially appreciated the Aveda products in the bathroom, but that's just me.) Thick towels, wonderful bedmade up with premium linens, helpful staff. Even the coffee in the lobby was superior. Very close to the French Quarter, if that's your interest. I just checked and rates of $99 a night are available in March--which is a true bargain for this kind of place. Staying there really made the trip for us.

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I would second the International House. As far as bang for your buc, give the Ponchartrain Hotel a call. Its on St. Charles Ave. in the Garden District. Their suites are outageous. At one time it was a residential hotel so most of the suites are more like apartments. I especially like the Teddy Roosevelt. Also ask about the two penthouse suites. Often, if unbooked, they will let them go for the price of a suite. I believe you can get a suite for a negotiated price of $125. They also have a great breakfast restaurant, which is a nice bonus. March or April are probably the best times to visit. Come to think of it, January isn't bad either, its seventy today. But it did snow on Christmas so you never know. ch

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  • 1 month later...

I'm going to NO for a conference in July. Yes, July. Who plans these things?! Dreading the weather, but I'm sure y'all have enough good food to make up for my physical discomfort.

Anyway, just booked a room at Omni Royal Crescent for $80 a night, which is near the French Quarter and nearish the convention center. Went through their website and saved money even over what the discount travel websites were offering. Also, if you don't belong to AAA, consider joining. In that trip alone, I managed to save almost enough to cover the cost of a year's single membership. Anyway, the hotel seems nice enough and got good reviews on the travel sites. Don't know what that part of town is like, but I usually end up staying in boutique hotels near the grittier side of town wherever I go, so I'm not overly concerned.

I'll keep checking the forum for food recs, though that time of year, maybe i should just be checking for brews and ice cream, since that's all I live off of in the summer.

Gourmet Anarchy

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I'm going to NO for a conference in July. Yes, July. Who plans these things?! Dreading the weather, but I'm sure y'all have enough good food to make up for my physical discomfort.

Anyway, just booked a room at Omni Royal Crescent for $80 a night, which is near the French Quarter and nearish the convention center. Went through their website and saved money even over what the discount travel websites were offering. Also, if you don't belong to AAA, consider joining. In that trip alone, I managed to save almost enough to cover the cost of a year's single membership. Anyway, the hotel seems nice enough and got good reviews on the travel sites. Don't know what that part of town is like, but I usually end up staying in boutique hotels near the grittier side of town wherever I go, so I'm not overly concerned.

I'll keep checking the forum for food recs, though that time of year, maybe i should just be checking for brews and ice cream, since that's all I live off of in the summer.

I think your going to be very happy with your location. You are pretty much in the middle of everything without it staring you in the face. Your a block from the St Charles street car. Your 2 blocks from restaurant August and Emeril's is not that far, neither is Cuvee or Herbsaint, were talking less than 3 blocks. You can walk to the convention center, but most big conventions have shuttles that run to all thehotels meaning you do not have to cab it. Your not that far from the best free ride in the city, the Canal Street ferry is free for pedestrians, a great view of the city from there. The INternational house and its restaurant is right around the corner from where you are. And you do not have to put up with the noise in the quarter that Bourbon street hotels suffer with. Great location. have a great trip.

It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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I'm just starting my research for a NO trip and I'm trying to figure out when to go. I don't deal with heat well, so summer is out.

Sorry to hear that since August tends to bring low hotel prices and good dinner specials. I still have memories of great meals and deals at the Pelican Club & Brennan's during that period.

The other time of the year for great rates and specials starts a few weeks before Christmas because the hotels have "Papa Noel" special rates that you have to ask for. Along with that, there are Revillion menus from Dec 1- Dec 24th, which is a special fixed price (and usually a great deal) menu from a lot of the great restaurants in the French Quarter.

-bj- Writing stories for computers and humans since 1979.

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I'm just starting my research for a NO trip and I'm trying to figure out when to go. I don't deal with heat well, so summer is out.

Sorry to hear that since August tends to bring low hotel prices and good dinner specials.

Absolutely - I am going with my husband to a convention in N.O. in August -- found $83/night at the International House (!), mentioned earlier on this thread. Since I lived there for 8 years, I know what to expect & plan to spend my time slowly ambling, pausing often for iced cafe au lait, and picking up the pace when the sun goes down :raz:

Edited to add: Also, not going in "summer" doesn't guarantee milder temperatures. Last time I was down, it was the end of October & got into the 90's every day. Granted, this is a bit abnormal, but you should be prepared for heat any time of year. Anyway, you'll be having so much fun you won't even notice :biggrin:

Edited by EllenH (log)

"What, after all, is more seductive than the prospect of sinning in libraries?"

Michael Dirda, An Open Book

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