I just completed a very nice stay for a couple of nights at the Courtyard Marriott in Downtown/Iberville in New Orleans in Louisiana.
I've got a little secret for anyone that wants to get a great deal on a nice hotel in the middle of New Orleans! The building where the New Orleans Courtyard is located is shared by the Ritz Carlton. As best I can figure, the section of the building that is being used by the Courtyard used to be part of the Ritz Carlton. Although you're not getting many of the same amenities as the Ritz Carlton, you're getting the same quality rooms as you would otherwise get if you were staying at the Ritz.
Obviously this Courtyard is going to be a bit more expensive than one along a long deserted highway... but the experience is excellent. Because I'm a Gold Elite member, they upgraded me to the 10th floor with a view overlooking the city. We got a double-king bedroom with separate bedrooms. The hotel is vintage, but with modern appointments and sliding barn-door style interior doors.
Parking is always bad in the city, the easiest option is to just valet, which at the time of writing this was $38 a day. Not an awesome price by any stretch of the word, but the staff is very courteous, polite, and always asking if they can help give directions or advice.
It's only a small 5-10 minute walk to Bourbon street!