Photo courtesy of The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel
First opened in 1893 as Grunewald Hotel, this historic building stretches an entire city block and has a storied past that’s equally expansive. The Roosevelt has played host to presidents and senators, duchesses and dignitaries, actors and actresses. Huey Long kept a suite here in the 1930s and could often be found propped up at the Sazerac Bar (where his go-to cocktail was the Ramos Gin Fizz). Entertainers from Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra to Tina Turner and Ray Charles have performed in the Blue Room.
A $145 million rehab, completed in 2009, restored the hotel to its former glory. Now part of the Waldorf Astoria Collection, the property combines the grandeur of yesteryear with all the trappings of a modern luxury hotel—including a lavish Guerlain Spa and a hip Italian eatery.
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Occupying an entire city block, the Roosevelt isn’t so much defined by its neighborhood as it defines the neighborhood. The hotel, which straddles the French Quarter and the Central Business District, is a destination unto itself and a good place to start your exploration of New Orleans. Nearby attractions include the Saenger Theatre, which reopened in September 2013 following a $52 million renovation, and institutions like Arnaud’s and Galatoire’s.
Need to Know
Rooms: 379 rooms, 125 suites. From $189. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: Part of the John Besh Restaurant Group, Domenica serves housemade salumi, pastas, and Neapolitan-style pizzas in a sleek setting. The Fountain Lounge offers small bites and live entertainment as well as more traditional N’awlins fare—turtle soup, for example, and des allemands catfish—while the casual Teddy’s Café has soups, salads, and sandwiches. For libations, sidle up to the Sazerac Bar for a classic cocktail or head to the Rooftop Bar for something fruity and frozen. Spa and gym details: The 12,000-square-foot Guerlain Spa is a full-service spa with 10 treatment rooms and a salon. The 24-hour fitness center is equipped with Precor strength and cardiovascular equipment. There’s also a rooftop pool and whirlpool with city views.
Who's it for: History buffs and leisure luxury seekers, in particular, but the hotel also caters to business travelers and families. Our favorite rooms: All rooms have flat-screen televisions, 300-thread-count sheets, and local artwork, but for a bit more wiggle room, upgrade to a Superior Room. Good to know: On Saturdays at 2 p.m., free history tours detail the property’s storied past.