Kitchen Kids program at Omni Royal Orleans hotel

Kitchen Kids program at Omni Royal Orleans hotel

By Eileen Ogintz

NEW ORLEANS, LA (Day 4 of 4) — So what’s the mystery?

Prime rib anyone? It’s on the menu for Brunch, Lunch and dinner at the Rib Room at the Omni Royal Orleans in the heart of the French Quarter that incidentally has a terrific rooftop salt water pool—ideal after a day sightseeing.

The Rib Room is famous for the giant rotisserie and prime rib and for their Sunday Jazz Brunch, when we’re treated to the music of Sugar Bear & the Jazz Cats while we feast on shrimp creole over cream cheese grits, Freshly baked biscuits, an omelet with Prime Rib Debris and Eggs Sardou with Creamed Spinach, Artichoke hearts and blue crab. Yum!

I like that Omni is as interested in encouraging kids to expand their palates when they are on vacation as in feeding their parents. As part of its Sensational Kids program, the redesigned Omni Kitchen Kids backpack that kids get when they check in comes with fun, health and nutrition themed games (Apple A Day Maze; Food word search puzzle ) jokes (What is Dracula’s favorite fruit—a NECK-tarine!) and goodies (think a twisty straw with a smiling tomato top made to match a travelers’ drinking cup they are given at the hotel restaurant) all to promote healthier eating on family vacations.

The activity book also includes recipes like Zoo-licious Trail Mix and Banana Yogurt Parfaits created by Omni’s Brand Nutritionist, Chef Forberg R.D. a James Beard award-winning chef, and nutritionist for NBC’s “The Biggest Loser.”

If you are traveling with grown kids — or without kids — you won’t want to miss the long time favorite New Orleans hotspot and the city’s only revolving bar, the famous Carousel Bar in the Hotel Monteleone a few blocks from the Omni Royal Orleans. Just be prepared for crowds!

Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone rarely empty like this

Carousel Bar at Hotel Monteleone rarely empty like this

People line up for the chance to sip their drink while taking a spin on the Merry Go Round; the only carousel you have be to 21 years of age to ride!

Installed in 1949, the 25 seat bar turns on 2,000 large steel rollers, pulled by a chain powered by a one quarter horsepower motor. Patrons circumnavigate at one revolution every 15 minutes. No wonder it is so hard to get a seat at the bar!

Tell your future writers that William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote,Eudora Welty Groom are among the famous authors who have enjoyed drinks here.

Today the Carousel still attracts celebrities like Rod Stewart, Paul Simon, Dennis Quaid, Nicolas Cage and Quentin Tarantino, as well as everyone visiting the French Quarter — at least that’s what it seemed like on a recent busy night.

Just walking into the lobby of The Hotel Monteleone, as many tourists do, is a history lesson. It was opened with 64 rooms in 1886 by Antonio Monteleone, an Italian nobleman; The much expanded hotel (now it is the largest hotel in the French Quarter with 600 rooms) has been family owned ever since –and family friendly.

This hotel is part of the Preferred Hotels Preferred Family program that welcomes families with special amenities and activities.

Nice! Anything that makes travel easier for parents—and more fun for kids—is a good thing.

See you at the rooftop pool!