New Orleans: home to jazz, Creole and Cajun cuisine, the historic French Quarter and Mardi Gras. These are just a few reasons travelers consider this senior-friendly destination one of their favorites. The Greater New Orleans Tourist Commission offers a free "Visitor's Guide to New Orleans," which lists sightseeing, dining, entertainment and shopping information. Write for one at Department MT, 1520 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans, LA 70112-1255.
Here is a sampling of New Orleans lodgings that offer senior discounts:
* Comfort Inn Downtown: Regular rates of $80 to $135 for two are reduced by 10% to 30% depending on dates booked. Minimum age is 50. Telephone: (800) 221-2222.
* De La Posta Hotel in the French Quarter: "Senior Advantage" offers guests over age 55 a 50% discount Sunday through Thursday, 15% on weekends from June 15 to Sept. 15. Regular rates are $135 for a deluxe double room. Coffee in lobby, pool, free weekday newspaper. Tel. (800) 448-4927.
* Hyatt Regency provides 25% discount for two for a rate of $149. Located next door to New Orleans Superdome, free shuttle to French Quarter, Riverfront and Aquarium of the Americas. Tel. (800) 233-1234.
* Maison St. Charles/Quality Inn, a group of five homes dating from the 1840s clustered to form a series of intimate courtyards. Near the central business district. The historic St. Charles Avenue streetcar runs in front of the hotel. Guests over age 50 receive a 10% discount on summer season rates, which range from $59 to $99 per night, and high season rates of $79 to $149 per night (February-May and October-November). Tel. (800) 831-1783.
* Pontchartrain Hotel, 66-year-old European-style hotel in the Garden District with the award-winning Caribbean Room Restaurant. Rack rates range from $95 to $250, but are 10% off for those over age 65 (space available). The Cafe Pontchartrain has senior discounts on Sunday and Monday nights. Tel. (800) 777-6193.
* Pyrtania Park Hotel, small European-style hotel. Rates include continental breakfast. American Assn. of Retired Persons members over 65 receive 10% off the following rates: one queen bed $99-$179, two queen beds $109-$209. Tel. (800) 862-1984.
* Sheraton New Orleans North, near the airport in Metairie. Rack rate of $146 is reduced 25%, a savings of $36.50, for guests over 50. Rates valid through Dec. 31. Tel. (800) 325-3535.