Occupying what were the Maison Blanche department store and the S.H. Kress & Co. five-and-dime, this stately hotel first opened its doors in 2000 after a $250 million overhaul of the then-shuttered Beaux-Arts buildings. After Katrina, the property underwent a second renovation, which included the expansion of its spa (now a sprawling 25,000 square feet) and the addition of a private entrance for Club level guests.
This is a Ritz-Carlton, so you can expect the same (high) level of service and luxury—think ornate furnishings, sumptuous linens, and a $3.5 million art collection—as at other properties within the brand. But the property isn’t just another Ritz. Bellmen wear seersucker, the bistro serves po’ boys, and there’s live jazz in the lounge (which also serves a mean Vesper).