Most have posted high rates for stays in New Orleans from the last week of December till the first week of January and some have three or four night minimums. I would still check out Priceline, Hotels.com, Expedia, and the like to see if you can get a good rate.
Please consider the location of the hotel before you book your room. There may be a good reason why the hotel is such a good deal. I came across a "hotel" in the middle of a bad neighborhood in town, but I don't think you would find it with the major hotel internet booking sites. But there is nothing wrong with consulting the map before making your purchase.
Your choice of stay will be narrowed to hotels on St. Charles Avenue, the Warehouse District, or the French Quarter. St. Charles Ave. is a long street and some hotels on this street are located downtown, in the Garden District, and one or two in the University area close to Tulane University. It is strongly advised to stay on St. Charles Ave. and not venture off this street. Please note that the American Creole House is one to Stay Away from in my book. Please note that the world famous streetcar line only runs from the CBD (Canal St.) to Napoleon Ave so you wouldn't want to stay past Napoleon since you would have to cab it or ride a bus. Do not reserve a hotel room that has an address higher than 4100 St. Charles Ave. unless you have a car or don't mind riding the bus to transfer to the streetcar (lots of wasted time). More from the Transit Authority on streetcar rides.
Hotels falling in the Warehouse District from my check are Residence Inn by Marriott Convention Center, Renaissance Arts, Wyndham Riverfront, Embassy Suites Convention Center, Hampton Inn Convention Center (falls outside my definition, but in a pinch this will do), Spring Hill Suites Convention Center, Courtyard by Marriott, Hilton Garden Inn Convention Center, and Mariott Convention Center.
Most visiting will stay in either one of the the Warehouse District or French Quarter which I would suggest if you don't want to bother with renting a car. Hotels located in the Warehouse District are bordered by the river, Poydras, Tchoupitoulas (that's the correct spelling and it is pronounced chop eh tool us). I did a quick check online and I would advise against the Green House Inn since it is located outside of my definition of the Warehouse District.
The French Quarter is bordered by the Mississippi River, Canal Street, Rampart, and Esplanade.
Please see the map below. It is large for easier viewing. Please note that some hoteliers will claim to be in the French Quarter when they are not.
I would not stay in any hotel that is north of Dauphine Street and certainly not anything north of Rampart. The Interstate runs above Rampart Street for a good stretch. I will post this on another page, but please remember to NOT WALK north of Dauphine. There is nothing there you should be interested in. There is Armstrong Park and the famous cemetaries, but I would only suggest it if you were in a big group, it was offered through a tour company, and it was in the middle of the day. There are so many other things to do, that this would be a no go for me.
If you want to be in the French Quarter, then looking at the map, I would advise staying in any hotel on Canal Street from the River to Dauphine and from there to Esplanade and then back to the river. A few examples of hotels in this area are the Royal Sonesta on Bourbon Street, The W Hotel, and the Omni Royal Orleans.
Parking in the French Quarter is at a premium and you must read the parking signs carefully. If you are staying here or in the Warehouse District, there really is no need to rent a car since everything is close to where you will want to be.
Walking from your hotel in the French Quarter or Warehouse District to the Superdome on game day is no big deal since you can walk with your favorite adult beverage as long as it is in a plastic cup -- we call them go cups. Just remember -- NO BOTTLES in the street. Any bar will be happy to give you a cup on your way out and ask them for a "go cup" and they will figure you're a local. No need to sweat it or guzzle the beer, just relax and take it with you for the walk.. There will be other bars on the way to the dome that you can get another drink or Daiquiri which comes in a Styrofoam cup and if you are in a group then get a gallon of Margaritas or whatever floats your boat.
Metairie and Kenner
There are several hotels located in the suburb of Metairie. Most are okay, but you will miss out on the experience surrounding the games and you will have to rent a car or spend a lot on taxis (not a good option). Some good hotels to stay in Metairie are the Sheraton Metairie, Mariott Metairie Lakeway, and Best Western Landmark. All three are located close to Lakeside Shopping Center a major retail hub and restaurants. Most eateries in the are on the main street of Veterans Blvd. will be chains and you will want to eat local food. You may also want to consider Sun Suites Metairie, Ramada Limited, and Quality Hotel Metairie which are good for when you are down to few options, you have low expectations, and low on funds because the tickets are expensive.
Keep in mind that if you do drive in for the game or renting a car and you are staying in Metairie or the surrounding area, parking in the area around the Superdome or French Quarter will not be easy to find or convenient. A trick on gameday is to park somewhere on St. Charles Ave from below Napoleon that does not have parking meters and then take the streetcar into the CBD to go to the French Quarter or to the Superdome for the Game.
There is also another area of town called the Westbank which is on the other side of the river from New Orleans. Staying in this area is not a good option since you have to deal with commuter traffic and you are slowed down by a toll booth which depending on the hour of the day could delay your trip into the city. Some hotels on the westbank do offer shuttles into the city, so don't forget to ask if they offer that service for guests.
Some upcoming visitors have inquired about staying in a hotel on the Mississippi Gulf Coast like Biloxi or Gulfport. This should be a last resort. The commute from a hotel in this area into the city is over 80 minutes. You are talking about commuting about three hours each day during your stay if you choose this option.
I know someone that is renting out some apartments close to St. Charles Ave. for the games. I will post later confirming if any apartments are still available.
Drinking and Driving is not encouraged regardless of what you may have heard. I expect there to be State Troopers and Sheriff Deputies cracking down on this kind of thing during the 10 days leading up to BCS game. There were four state troopers recently in a ten mile stretch on our way to the Arkansas LSU game and three had pulled over people for speeding in that short span. This is another reason to strongly consider staying in New Orleans in the areas mentioned -- St. Charles Ave., Warehouse District, and French Quarter.
Getting Here Hotels Restaurants What to Do/What Not to Do
Getting to the Game Tickets
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