SOFITEL LEGEND METROPOLE HOTEL OVERNIGHT RATE FROM $US350 (ABOUT $480, PREMIUM ROOM)
Heritage runs deep at this colonial hotel in the heart of the French Quarter. Opening in 1901, Sofitel Legend Metropole has had an impressive guest list over the years. Charlie Chaplin honeymooned here (try the cocktail named after him in Bamboo Bar, under whirring palm leaf fans) and folk singer Joan Baez once fled to the hotel’s bomb shelter. Ask reception about tours of the shelter. It’s not only the staff’s pleasant French that will have you feeling you’re in Paris; sit in front of the Neoclassical facade at sidewalk cafe La Terrasse and you’ll understand why English novelist Graham Greene would stay for entire afternoons. Vietnamese in Spices Garden, modern Italian at Angelina, and grand crus and live jazz at Le Club are all tinged with the charm of a bygone era. Rates include breakfast for two.