Ritz-Carlton New Orleans

921 Canal St, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA

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).

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Relax in New Orleans at The Ritz-Carlton Spa®

No one can argue that New Orleans isn’t a hotbed of activity. Of course you know Mardi Gras as the number one celebration, lasting nearly two months with parades and parties. But there are also food and wine festivals, jazz festivals, Greek festival, historic home tours, and their legendary hospitality, fantastic restaurants, chefs, music venues and bars. It is important to take care of yourself while you are enjoying New Orleans. My favorite place to find tranquility and rejuvenation is The Ritz-Carlton Spa®, New Orleans. Their 100% unique to NOLA, massage treatments will bring you right back from celebrating or overindulgence and ready to do it again. Trust me, I know. Cafe Au Lait Massage: Love coffee and cream? This Swedish massage incorporates the healing properties of coffee (café) and milk (au lait). Voodoo Massage: Rue 1807 and the soul of New Orleans is mystical. Incense and a voodoo chant puts you under a spell of relaxation and into massage bliss. Southern Satsuma Massage: Satsumas are a delicious small citrus fruit that grows well in Louisiana. Their sweet fragrance surrounds you while the antioxidants and Vitamin C refresh, during this heavenly massage. The Spa also offers small plates of healthy bites. Of course I ordered some but with a glass of Champagne. It’s NOLA after all. And don’t miss the incredible spa boutique. One of the best I have ever shopped.

Luxury and Pralines at The Ritz-Carlton NOLA's Club Level

Like the mysterious city of New Orleans itself, The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans can be many things to many people. Perfect pied-a-terre in the middle of the craziness that is the tourist- infused French Quarter or a romantic get-away or relaxing weekend with a spa date. I am in the business of revealing travel secrets so here is one to consider for your 2015 travels. The Club Level is a hotel-within-a-hotel. Created as private residences initially, this section of the hotel is yours to enjoy. With even more luxurious details including private concierge and attendants, lovely salon and club-y elegance of the paneled library, you are also privy to a private entrance, and refreshments all day and into the evening. One favorite is the treasured late evening dessert display laid out carefully on the massive white marble buffet set to temp those returning from their evening dining at Arnaud’s or music on Frenchmen street, that may feature pralines. The Ritz- Carlton shares their treasured recipe at www.culinarytraveler.com.

Beaux Arts Jewel

This just-renovated hotel on the edge of the French Quarter started life as the Maison Blanche department store. Now, it’s one of New Orleans’ swankiest addresses. The décor—ornate furnishings, tassled pillows, rich fabrics, and a $3.5 million art collection—is suitably old world without feeling stodgy, and the Maison Orleans rooms have access to an impressive club lounge. There’s also a plush 25,000 square-foot spa, and it’s worth checking out the Davenport Lounge for trumpet player Jeremy Davenport’s smooth tunes.

Spa Time for Two

New Orleans has ample opportunities to party into the wee hours—and then do it all over again. But when you’re ready for a break from boozy brunches and last calls, this is also a city that knows how to spa. At the Ritz-Carlton, the Voodoo Love Bath and Massage, complete with flickering candles, incense, and Marie Laveau’s love potion, is an amorous treatment for two. At the new Spa at Windsor Court, enjoy a solo sweat in the steam room or sauna (in the respective lounges) before reuniting with your honey for a Duet Massage or side-by-side pedicures. The Guerlain Spa at the Roosevelt Hotel has a specialty suite for couples massages as well, plus custom facials for him and her.


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