NEW ORLEANS, LA – Mardi Gras revelers who want to take part in the holiday parades in New Orleans but haven’t yet booked a hotel room can still find a place to stay … but it will cost them. A few hotels are still posting vacancies leading up to the Mardi Gras celebration, but last-minute guests will have to pay sky-high prices for the privilege of staying there. A new survey from CheapHotels.org made this discovery after looking at available hotels and their rates for the main Mardi Gras period of February 17 to February 21 (Fat Tuesday).
More specifically, the survey found that about 15% of New Orleans hotels still have rooms available, but most of those establishments are charging more than double their regular rates. A few of these accommodations are jacking up their prices even more. For example, the Ramada Plaza Inn, a 3-star hotel on the main strip of Bourbon Street, usually charges $135 per night. For the Mardi Gras period, however, it is posting rates of $349 for the same double room. That figure represents a 158% rate hike.
The Holiday Inn Chateau Lemoyne is price gouging out-of-town Mardi Gras revelers even more. Located in the heart of the action in the French Quarter, the hotel is charging more than triple its regular $127 nightly rate. For Mardi Gras, those rooms are going for $449, the equivalent of a 253% price elevation.
The news is not good for budget travelers who want to stay in the Big Easy. Within New Orleans proper, no rooms are available for under $300 per night. To get a better price, cost-conscious visitors will have to venture out to the New Orleans suburb of Metairie, about a 20-minute drive from the Mardi Gras parade route, where a few rooms can still be snagged for less than $200 per night.