Put Hotel Monteleone carousel bar on your bucket list! Drop everything and run to New Orleans because this carousel bar is truly unique. It also revolves! Hotel Monteleone is in the heart of the French Quarter in New Orleans and quickly won our hearts over with all its charm and history. From the chic rooftop pool to the colorful yet cozy rooms, this hotel is one of the best in the city. Even if you aren’t staying here, it’s worth a visit for the bar.
Walk into the lobby of Hotel Monteleone, a New Orleans hotel on Royal Street, and after you relish in the air conditioning (living in the Bay has made me forget what humidity feels like!) you’ll find a grand lobby full of New Orleans antiques in displays. Off to the right is the famous Carousel Bar! It’s exactly as it sounds – a revolving bar for the kids at heart. It’s probably the most unique hotel bar I’ve ever seen and one worthy of a drink (or two!)
It’s frequently packed, so the best time to go to ensure a seat is on a weekday towards the beginning of their happy hour. Basically, the goal is to get there first! Grab a few drinks, take some photos without the crowds, and then you can head to other bars. Or, grab dinner at Criollo Restaurant next door. All the drinks on their cocktail menu are fantastic, but I recommend trying a Sazerac or a vieux carre for a truly unique Southern experience at this famous carousel bar residing at 214 Royal Street. Late at night, carousel bar events will be going. Music will play and the Hotel Monteleone carousel bar turns into big party, so if that’s your jam, head there for a cab – but be warned, you probably won’t be able to sit at the bar easily!
The New Orleans carousel bar history is interesting. It’s been spinning one revolution every 15 minutes since 1949. This room was originally the Swan Room, a nightclub for the rich and famous that was frequently used as the after-party spot for performers who just finished a show somewhere in the city. Today, it’s next door to the Hotel Monteleone restaurant but is a destination of its own and has a reputation as one of the best bars in New Orleans.
Upstairs, the hotel is peaceful and relaxing. I loved our room and all the thoughtful details put into the decor but the functionality of it. Vanity mirror with a light, a Keurig to fuel my mornings, the sleek way the TVs are hidden in an antique-style dresser, amazing city views from the window. My favorite part, though, is the wallpaper. Yellow is my favorite color and the walls are covered in this beautiful pale yellow striped wallpaper. I need it in our own apartment!
The beauty of the hotel doesn’t stop there. The rooftop is 16 floors up and has an amazing view of the city. Up there you’ll find a pool and lounge chairs, complete with a poolside bar and mist fans to keep you cool. It’s the perfect place to start the morning with a read or to lounge around on a hot afternoon. You could easily wake up here, spend the morning wandering the city, come back to the rooftop Monteleone Hotel pool in the afternoon. End the night at the only carousel bar in New Orleans downstairs.
On your next visit to New Orleans, stay at Hotel Monteleone. The location makes everything you want to see, eat or do in the French Quarter steps away. Plus, the Hotel Monteleone bar is a piece of Louisiana history.
Looking for more tips on New Orleans things to do, live music, mardi gras party spots and more? Check out my New Orleans travel guide or food guide about all the best spots!