The Royal Sonesta New Orleans – part of the Sonesta chain – is an elegant luxury hotel, often referred to as “the jewel of the French Quarter.” In fact, it’s amazing that any place on world-famous Bourbon Street, especially a hotel with a front door facing a strip club, could be this civilised. The Royal Sonesta, built in 1969, is modern by New Orleans standards, but the large property captures the elegance of an earlier age. A recent renovation has given the rooms a crisp, clean look, along with modern amenities like plasma screen televisions. A large collection of contemporary art adds a modern twist to this stately hotel. Guests most often request the rooms with balconies overlooking Bourbon Street, although anyone hoping to sleep peacefully should book a room off the courtyard.