Where to Stay for Mobile's Family Friendly Mardi Gras
Fort Conde Inn Bed and Breakfast
One Word: Downtown!
If you would like to visit Mobile during Mardi Gras, it is only natural that you would like to be nearby so you can enjoy the fun of the parades along with the evening excitement afterwards along Dauphin Street, the entertainment distric of Mobile. The downtown area features great museums for young and old within easy walking distance, such as the Exploreum, a children's science museum; the Museum of Mobile, a state of the art history museum; a reproduction of the French Fort Conde of the 1700's; and the Carnival Museum, a brand new museum that features the trappings of the various royal courts. Many Mobilians also stay downtown in hotels for ease of transportation and frankly, their own bathroom. I prefer luxury more than anything, so my picks are the Battle House hotel, Fort Conde Inn Bed and Breakfast, and the Renaissance Riverview.
Battle House Hotel & Spa
Battle House Hotel & Spa
The Battle House Hotel has a long and illustrious history. The previous hotel was built in the mid 1800's; plantation owners from places like Selma and Demopolis came to stay to partake in the social season from November through March. Indeed, many old families still carry on a tradition of the first wedding night being spent at the hotel, which was rebuilt after a fire at the turn of the century of the 1900s. The spa has been listed in many publications as one of the best in the country. At Mardi Gras, it is one of the better areas of town (Royal Street) to experience Mardi Gras although others prefer the hotels along Government Street for its proximity to the Civic Center balls. You are also close to the bars of Dauphin Street. You may have guests but you will get a certain number of wristbands.
Fort Conde Inn
Fort Conde Inn has been recently renovated and is presently under the radar, so you should reserve for Mardi Gras this year and get on a waiting list for future years, before everyone else does. I have been to see every room here and each is different and exquisite, due to the happy fact that the owner kept to the original footprint of the house, including servants quarters.
Mattresses are very high quality and they were putting in gas log sets (with remotes!) to the fireplaces in time for Mardi Gras. Prices started at $199 and up. My favorite room is the Margaret Chambre, with extra large bathroom. Another nice touch is the honor system bar in the parlor, with beer on ice as well. All the rooms have beautiful bathrooms, many with large soaking tubs. Some have kitchenettes. During Mardi Gras weekend through Fat Tuesday, there will be a bar in the courtyard similar to the Malaga Inn over on Church Street. There is a driver that can be available , similar to lines of the W hotel Acura line. The location is great, closest to Church Street and the Fort Conde, with several museums nearby. The setting is a residential-looking area of historic homes that the owner has renovated as businesses; he has finally been able to renovate this house, the Hall-Ford house as an inn.
Other Long-time Favorites
Most prefer the hotels on Government Street due to the closeness of the civic center, where most balls are held, and also these are about a block away from the start as well as the finish of the parade. The downside is they are actually more expensive ,during Mardi Gras anyway, than the more elegant hotels on Royal Street.
1.) Holiday Inn- Government Street-This is one of the most popular due to a recent renovation.
2.) Admiral Semmes Hotel- Government Street- a somewhat historic and charming hotel that is next door.
3.) Mobile Bay Adventure Inn- Church Street/Claiborne- this was the former Holiday Inn and is like an older motor inn. I know of some who have reserved here for years on the first floor. Ground zero for the start of the parade.
4.) Malaga Inn- Church Street/Claiborne-A great favorite; some people actually inherit the room reservation as this is also ground zero bed and breakfast. It is open to the public typically with a cash bartender in the courtyard. Walk on in, get a drink, and walk out the back door to the barricade; this is where the parade starts!
5.) Renaissance Riverview- Royal Street/Government Street- this is the old Adam's Mark hotel. Nice, modern style. Parade goes directly in front, but you are still within (painful high heel ) walking distance of the balls.