Omni Royal Orleans, New Orleans

The hotel that carries the name Omni Royal Orleans has had a colorful history that has spanned decades. It began life as The City Exchange, so named because there was a cafy and bar that was on the site and it was very popular with everyone. The hotel changed names in 1843 to the Saint Louis and boasted three floors and a ballroom. There was an impressive rotunda that became the cities auction market. Gumbo has long been thought to have been prepared by a Spanish worker at the Exchange. It was also the home of the "free lunch'' when the hotel gave food to the patrons that purchased drinks. Fire took away the hotel in 1841 and it would take until 1960 before the present Omni Royal Orleans Hotel was built on the same site.

The address of the hotel is 621 St. Louis Street and it is still the place for New Orleans residents to go. Locals and visitors alike delight in eating at the Rib Room, the street level restaurant with the St. Louis arched windows. Prime rib, fowl and seafood are cooked on mesquite grills or huge French rotisseries. They are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week from 6:30 am to 10:00pm. Many types of menus are offered for the Sunday Champaign Jazz Brunch, which features live jazz by the Sugar Bear and the Jazz Cats.

The Touche Bar serves light meals, sandwiches and salads and has a separate entrance on Royal Street. They are open from 11:00am to 12:00am Sunday through Thursday and 11:00am to 1:00 am Friday and Saturday. La Riviera is located by the pool and offers cocktails, continental breakfast and light lunch. It is only open seasonally, so guests should check with the hotel at check in. There is also room service available twenty four hours a day.

There are 346 guest rooms furnished in the grand style of nineteenth century New Orleans. The Deluxe rooms have one queen or two twin beds. Some of the rooms have views of the street while other look out at the courtyard. The Superior rooms come with a king sized bed and a view of the French Quarter and some have wrought iron balconies to enjoy St. Louis or Royal Streets.

Suites are available and have king beds with queen sized sofa sleepers. Separate sitting areas or living rooms, CD players, cordless phones and large bathrooms are available in the one bedroom or petite suite. The Jacuzzi Junior Suite comes with a Jacuzzi tub. The Royal Suite has a master bedroom with a four poster bed and a balcony to enjoy the views of Royal Street. A Penthouse Suite has French doors that overlook the French Quarter from the living room, and a private balcony that has a wet bar and a place to dine. All of the latest advances of technology are available in the rooms such as internet and computer modem data ports.

The hotel is close to the attractions of the city with its museums and riverboat cruises. Shopping in the French Quarter is steps away from the hotel. Parking is available at the hotel for thirty dollars a day plus tax.

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