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Theme 43: New Orleans. Royal Sonesta Hotel Review

Royal Sonesta New Orleans hotel review by NYC based influencer Ulia Ali. Louisiana Travel

One of the places that has been on my bucket list long before I moved to the USA was a charming, mysterious city of New Orleans. For some reason I kept putting away a trip to probably one of the most cinematic cities in the world, waiting for some serendipitous moment to arise. This October, unexpectedly, I was invited for a journey to the city of my fantasy-novels-inspired dreams, exactly on the city’s 300th anniversary.

After confirming my flight, I, in a dream-like haze, was saving all the information about haunted mansions, quaint bookstores, houses of famous writers and all the Instagram-worthy locations in Nola. But then I realized I have no idea where we should lodge!

I undoubtedly dreamed to stay in a famous, and, by the way, ridiculously gorgeous French Quarter, but I wanted to steer clear of any loud hotels, filled with people who came to only party on a fun Bourbon street. Some AirBnb properties looked lovely, but when I saw some photos and read about Royal Sonesta New Orleans, I was intrigued.

For me New Orleans is an enclave of a dark and beautiful history, rich with layers of French and Spanish Creole culture and architecture; a magical place where time doesn’t exist and you loose yourself in a time travel fantasy, while listening to the best jazz music you ever heard.

The hotel Royal Sonesta was a perfect choice for such a nostalgic soul like me, and it let me immerse myself into that classy, elegant, yet seductive and mysterious New Orleans dream I imagined for many years.

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Royal Sonesta Grand Lobby Reception area. New Orleans visit review
Royal Sonesta street entrance
Royal Sonesta Review in New Orleans.

The grand lobby of the Royal Sonesta hotel looks like a movie set: a big old style wooden hotel reception with keys and neat envelops, hotel porters in sleek royal blue uniforms, vintage and antique items beautifully placed here and there, exquisite chandeliers and candelabras, water fountains, huge flower bouquets lushly blooming and filling the room with their sweet aroma and a soft jazz music playing on the background teasing the guests with the promise of one-of-the-kind stay.

The moment we stepped into the Royal Sonesta, I knew this is my kind of place as it reminded me of small chateaux in France, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” film and some lavish vampire pre-ball (of course! We are in NOLA after all!) setting at the same time.

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Room Sonesta
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There are almost 500 newly renovated beautifully decorated guest rooms and luxury suites, and the room we had was so cozy and charming that we loved going back to it and taking breaks between venturing out for long walks with a stop for delicious beignets and coffee at the world famous Cafe du Monde, and getting back out to the most wildly intoxicating and mysterious night air of New Orleans. Conveniently, the hotel Royal Sonesta is located right in the heart of the French Quarter!

The service at the hotel, by the way, was absolutely impeccable and I was able to learn about famous Southern hospitality firsthand. Once, for example, I asked for a steamer, and it was delivered pretty quickly, so I was able to steam my dresses for the city strolls. 

The breakfast and even lunch were included with the Sonesta Travel Pass (it is a loyalty program I recommend you to join as it has a lot of great perks! Learn more here), and even though I am usually pretty picky with hotel breakfasts, I was really happy with the variety and also some of the unique breakfast options Royal Sonesta offered their guests. I got to try grits for the first time in my life, and loved substituting my usual oatmeal with it. Another really sweet, in every sense, detail is that there was a full candy bar with Halloween chocolates, caramels, cookies and gummy worms, along with fruits and tea/coffee available from early morning to late night at the breakfast lounge. I might or might not sneaked some chocolates every night before going to bed to watch “Poldark” (not the most New Orleans inspired show, but I love period dramas, and I finished watching the most New Orleans’ show ever, “The Originals”, months ago!).

New Orleans trip. Royal Sonesta Hotel pool.
Charming hotel in New Orleans

The hotel by the way, despite being located in the heart of the French Quarter, felt like a luxury quiet oasis from a bygone era.


The sounds of a bursting with life, Bourbon street, somehow do not travel through the walls of Royal Sonesta. The lush courtyard with a fountain and quaint little tables are welcoming to have a calm little moment with a book or your own thoughts. The pool area of Royal Sonesta is also absolutely beautiful and a great place to relax and enjoy the sunny weather of Louisiana’s most exciting city!

Royal Sonesta NOLA

There are so many great little things and charming little details about Royal Sonesta, but I think it is important to note that the hotel is also home to some of the best dining and entertainment venues, making it even more unique! The Jazz Playhouse is arguably the best jazz club in the city, offering incredible live jazz music every evening right in the lobby level of Royal Sonesta. 

Jazz Club New Orleans
Desire Oyster Bar at Royal Sonesta New Orleans


Desire Oyster Bar is another dining venue inside the hotel and it was so good that we went there twice for fresh chargrilled oysters, amazing creole food, like jambalaya and gumbo, and a wide variety of fresh seafood.

There is also a Restaurant and a bar R’evolution, Le Booze and PJ’s Coffee Café inside the Royal Sonesta Hotel, which we haven’t had a chance to experience. I heard from other guests that R’evolution serves some of the most interesting Cajun and Creole dishes and original cocktails, so I am looking forward to visit it next time in New Orleans (and I hope to be back for many many times in the years to come!).

This New Orleans trip was special for many reasons, and the Crescent City absolutely stole my heart like no city has ever done before (except maybe London back in 1999 when I visited it for the first time and made a wish to move there one day, which happened years after, but that is another story). I believe that accommodation is so incredibly important and should reflect the mood and aesthetic of your dream trip, and Royal Sonesta with its impeccable service, gorgeous classy 1930s-style-luxury-hotel decor and many charming spots, like a jazz filled ballroom, a courtyard with a pleasant babbling fountain and a decadent dining areas deserves all the stars I can give to it!


Week 18: Summer in NYC. Wearing 'Rosegal' in Bryant Park.

Rosegal online store review by NYC Blogger.

It's the last two weeks of August and I’ve decided to have a 'Summer in NYC'  theme on the blog. I usually have pretty specific themes on Pastiche.Today, inspired by iconic films or glamorous actresses, but this week I am going to share my more casual everyday looks, write about my life in The Big Apple (including what it is like to live in hotels full time!), and share tips on what to see and what to do in one of the greatest cities in the world.

Nyc's loveliest park - Bryant Park.

Everyone knows how gorgeous Central Park is, but there are over 1,700 parks and playgrounds across the five boroughs of New York City. One of my favourites to visit is Bryant Park. The park itself is not big, but it has a lot to offer: free yoga classes, jazz concerts, poetry readings and much more. I especially love that you can play board games for absolutely FREE in the park. Ben and I played the Game of Life last time we were there. Yes, the board games are often not in the best condition, but it is still amazing that you can come and have a great time playing with your friends.

Rosegal navu striped top. Blogger's review.
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I wore this pretty Rosegal off-the-shoulder top with white J.Crew shorts to the park to meet up with my friend Agnes, who also took these photos of me (thank you, girl!). This is my first package from Rosegal, but I am pleasantly surprised by how good quality the clothes are, considering they are AMAZINGLY affordable.


SHOP THE POST:

top (+ similar here )  | shorts | similar bag | Nikes


Rosegal top

There is the gorgeous Bryant Park Cafe and Grill in the park, but my friend Agnes and I decided to try the celebrated Mille Crêpes at Lady M. The cafe is very minimal in decor, but has an decadent dessert menu. We ordered the Green Tea Mille Crêpes and Coconut Mille Crêpes. To be honest, I think the idea of the crêpes-cake sounds much more delicious than it actually tastes. We both felt that the cakes were too sweet, and even though I loved the first few bites of my cake, I couldn't even finish half of it! 

I think I might have to return to the Lady M soon to try their other desserts because they all looked so mouthwatering. 

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check back all week to see my other casual summer outfits and read about my personal NYC experiences!


Week 16: I am BLONDE! Très Chic on Minetta Lane

Blogging Babe Ulia Ali wearing Dior mirrored sunglasses in NYC. Dior shades.

I have been extremely busy the last few days with new collaborations, meetings and, to be perfectly honest, a few escapes to the beach (yes, they have amazing ones in NYC!). So even though I am dying to take a nap right now, today I am sharing my new, highly anticipated look with you.

I am wearing this GORGEOUS embroidered top by Walter Baker (it is on 50% SALE here and I also love this top), white Topshop jeans, Dior mirrored sunglasses, Michael Kors bag (similar here and here), and Steve Madden heels. I have linked more similar items that I like at the end of this post.

Ulia Ali - blogging babe from Baku, Azerbaijan living in New York City. All white outfit for summer.

Do you like this beautiful powder blue wall too? It is located on Minetta Lane and it is one of the trendiest spots for a quick Instagram photo in Soho. 

All photos were taken by an extremely talented and intelligent (he earned his Masters degree from Yale!) photographer - Dennis. Check out his website DCP New York and his Instagram page @dcpnyc.

There were so many amazing shots that I had a really hard time picking just a few, so I am posting a little bit more than usual :)

Ulia Ali wearing Walter Baker embroidered top.
Hottest spot for Instagram photos. Powder blue wall in NYC on Minetta Lane.
Top NYC blogger - Ulia Ali from Pastiche Today.
Ulia Ali
Hottest spot for Instagram pictures - Minetta Lane.
Dior mirrored sunglasses on Ulia Ali in NYC.
NYC style. Soho photoshoot.
Walter Baker fashion NYC.
Baku girl living in NYC. Dior mirrored shades.
NYC Lookbook. Hottest NYC spot for pictures.
Dior sunnies.
Ulia Ali in Walter Baker, Slithur heels by Steve Madden, Michael Kors Hayley tote bag and white Topshop jeans.
Ulia Ali in mirrored silver/gray Dior Technologic shades. Summer 2016
tres chic NYC outfit. All white by Ulia Ali.
Soho fashion look in NYC.

MY LOOK & FAVOURITES: