La Nouvelle-Orléans, better known as New Orleans, is home to the most famous celebration of the South, Mardi Gras. Beginning after the 12th day of Christmas, the Carnival season wraps up the festivities with a Fat Tuesday bash. This year, the celebrations began on January 19, but will take a break from January 28 to February 5 because of Super Bowl XLVII. The parties will then hit the streets again on February 6 until the 12th, so you have plenty of time to make your way to the Big Easy on a private jet Mardi Gras vacation.
If unabashed indulgence is on your itinerary check out these hot spots:
- Intercontinental New Orleans: Just a couple blocks from the famous French Quarter and four blocks from Harrah’s is the acclaimed AAA four-diamond Intercontinental hotel. Get a suite on the Executive Floor with a view of the St. Charles Avenue parade so you can get a front row seat of the festivities and exclusive access to the Club Intercontinental lounge. (http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/intercontinental/hotels/gb/en/new-orleans/msyha/hoteldetail)
- W New Orleans—French Quarter: Offering haute and trendy accommodations, the W Hotel by historic Jackson Square is ideally situated near casinos, art galleries and boutique shops. The W’s Fantastic Suite is ultra chic, features a separate sitting room and a private balcony. While the outside architecture reflects the history of the French Quarter, the interior décor is all about the city’s musical heritage. (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=97508)
- Hotel Monteleone: Built in 1886, the “French Quarter begins in the lobby of the Hotel Monteleone,” as the locals say. Situated on Royal Street and a mere block away from Bourbon Street, the historic hotel is home to the famous Carousel Piano Bar and was the first independent hotel to win a J.D. Power and Associates Award for Outstanding Customer Service. For the ultimate experience, stay in the Ernest Hemmingway Penthouse Suite or the Tennessee Williams Suite to see why the writers loved the Monteleone and the city. (http://hotelmonteleone.com/)
- Arnaud’s: In the heart of the French Quarter is the world-famous Arnaud’s and its classis Creole cuisine. Take a private jet to Mardi Gras and visit the Jazz Bistro and tap your foot to live Dixieland jazz music, enjoy a quite dinner in a private dining room or enjoy one of Chris Hannah’s classic cocktails at the French 75 bar. Gentlemen, if you plan to dine in the main dining room, don’t forget to bring a jacket. (http://www.arnaudsrestaurant.com/)
- The Embers: Making its home in the “Original” Bourbon House, The Embers restaurant and its iconic Southern wrap-around porch dining area has seen its fair share of celebrities during its over 75-year history, like William Faulkner, Michael Landon and Tennessee Williams. The eatery is best known for its Cajun specialties, steak, seafood and the sounds of jazz musicians playing in the streets. (http://www.emberssteakhouse.com/index.html)
- Brennan’s Restaurant: Located in a former absinthe factory on Royal Street, Brennan’s Restaurant is a staple among local foodies who can’t wait to try the latest innovation. Catering to the most discerning guests, Brennan’s Chef Paul was the original creator of the renowned Bananas Foster dessert in 1951. (http://www.brennansneworleans.com/)
- New Orleans Cocktail Walking Tour: NOLA has two kinds of spirits—those that linger in another plain of existence and those that come in a martini or shot glass. One of the most unique ways to tour the French Quarter and get a history lesson at the same time is with the Original Cocktail Walking Tour from Gray Line. Get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the oldest restaurant in the city and get insider information about the making of the area’s unique concoctions. Private tours are available upon request. (http://www.graylineneworleans.com/cocktail-tour.html)
- The House of Blues: There is no better way to experience music than in the birthplace of jazz, and the House of Blues provides the ideal venue to enjoy concerts by giants in the music industry. The New Orleans legendary stage is home to the largest collection of folk art in the U.S. with 298 pieces hanging on its walls, including a crest-shaped plaque and a portrait of the blues legend Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown. You can find the memorabilia honoring Gatemouth in the second to last booth. When getting tickets for a show, be sure to get VIP access to the second floor. (http://www.houseofblues.com/venues/clubvenues/neworleans/)
- Mardi Gras Balls: Get in on the Krewe action with an invitation to one of their historic balls. Mardi Gras Krewes are social clubs that have their own parades and parties during the Carnival season. Among the most exclusive clubs are the Krewe of Bacchus, Knights of Babylon, Krewe of Rex and Krew of Endymion.
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Solairus Aviation is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area and has over twenty-five base locations across the United States and Europe. Solairus is an Aviation Research Group/US Platinum-rated charter operator with a fleet of over 50 managed aircraft. After completion of an intense operations and safety systems audit, the ARG/US Platinum rating has only been awarded to 5% of the world’s charter operators that have demonstrated that their procedures meet or exceed industry “Best Practices” in all phases. Solairus has also received the NBAA Commercial Business Flying Safety Award and is an IS-BAO certified company. Solairus offers a full range of services in addition to aircraft management, which includes aircraft charter sales, aviation support services, and consulting. For more information about Solairus Aviation, visit www.solairusaviation.com or call 800-359-7861.