The Royal Sonesta is the PERFECT location for those who want to explore the French Quarter. It is close to some of the best restaurants in the area (from Arnaud's to Acme Oyster House), as well as within walking distance to Jackson Square,
Moonwalk (by the Mississippi River), close to meeting spots of many walking tours, a short walk to the Streetcar to the Garden District, and yes...close to all the nightlife you can handle. We stayed on the R-level (VIP Floor in the Tower section) and although there was a large festival in town (Essence Fest), we did not hear a thing from the chaos on Bourbon Street when we chose to retire every evening. Room was beautiful, and complimentary buffet and nightly h'ors d'oeuvres are fabulous (think oysters, champagne, cajun shrimp)...however, the 4th of July breakfast was not provided as this was a holiday for the hotel (no one told us this at check-in though not a huge deal). They do offer complimentary continental breakfast for you if you wish on the days the breakfast is not available. Also, the 24-hour concierge is more like 16-hour concierge for the R Club (not available late at night or at least is not easily communicated to guests on the VIP floor). All in all, I was VERY satisfied and I am a VERY fussy person when it comes to my accomodations. Don't know what the experience is in the regular rooms, but from my impression they are well kept. Splurge a little more for the R-level - while they are still developing this service, I think it's worth it and will only continue to improve.
Hotel features (5 = best, 1 = worst):
Short walk from hotel
Preservation Hall Jazz Club - easy to find, get there early - great music! Acme Oyster House - reasonable prices, and excellent chargrilled oysters and boiled crawfish!!