Summer in The Big EasyApril 29, 2013 By: Ruthanne Terrero Luxury Travel Advisor
|Hotel Monteleone has really upped its game by revitalizing its famous Carousel Bar and its grande dame-style lobby.|
Let’s start in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter, on Royal Street, where the Hotel Monteleone’s Carousel Bar has received a major refresh. This would be that bar you’ve passed by every time you’re in the French Quarter, where the people inside look like they’re having a lot more fun than everyone out on the street. It’s the place you go to for a pre-dinner drink and that you return to for a nightcap. Well now, the Carousel Bar, which really does move around in a circular motion, has more space, high ceilings and even additional bar space. It has a new sibling restaurant, Criollo, which serves “Louisiana Fusion” cuisine. We recommend the chilled gulf shrimp, blue crab & avocado appetizer. Want the best seat in the house? Grab one of the over-sized chairs looking out onto Iberville Street. If you want to reserve ahead of time and need some TLC, contact Richard Vitale (email@example.com; 504-681-4112), director of the restaurant and bar.
|The Windsor Court Hotel has also undergone a major refresh, to the tune of $22 million. Shown here is its rooftop pool, which has a bar and great views of the city.|
Step down from the Carousel Bar and you’re in Hotel Monteleone’s bustling lobby, which has also been refurbished; all the changes were spurred to celebrate the hotel’s 125th anniversary, which took place last year.
Luxury travel advisors take note: If you need assistance at the hotel to book in one of your top clients, say, into the two-bedroom Eudora Welty Suite (that’s the largest accommodation here and it’s named after Eudora Welty, one of the South’s greatest writers, who even mentioned the Carousel Bar in her short story, The Purple Hat), contact Isabelle Caffery (firstname.lastname@example.org; 504-681-4457), the director of travel & international sales. Did we mention the Eudora Welty Suite has a parlor large enough to hold 50 to 70 people? If you need help planning that party, VIP Concierge Anne Brett (email@example.com; 504-681-4440) is on hand to assist you. Hotel Monteleone is a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
Don’t be shy about trying out the hotel’s rooftop pool, which has its own bar. It’s the place to be even during the hotel’s somewhat slower months of July, August and September.
|The Roosevelt has a very large rooftop pool, providing a lovely oasis in a very bustling, historic city.|
Did someone say pool? New Orleans is full of them, you just have to look around. The Windsor Court Hotel has its own rooftop pool supplied with salt water; it’s even heated in winter. The pool is an ideal venue for an after-spa visit, especially if you’re on a girlfriend getaway or part of a bridal party. Contact the spa manager, Sharla Martin (firstname.lastname@example.org; 504-596-4736), for information on planning a special event focused on pampering.
The Windsor Court has long had bragging rights as being the city’s top hotel. We say its recent $22 million investment, which took place after the hotel was sold by Orient-Express Hotels to a local family, definitely puts it back in the game. Located down toward the Mississippi, near Harrah’s Casino, the hotel is within walking distance from the French Quarter and Canal Street.
Of course, you can stay onsite if you want and hang out at the elegant Polo Club Lounge or Cocktail Bar, which now has live music and even a mixologist who crafts cocktails based on pre-prohibition themes. Consider this: the “Garden of Leisure” is made with Hendrick’s Gin, basil avocado shrub, lemon juice, LA-31 Bière Pâle and Angostura bitters.
The hotel’s famed Grill Room has also been revamped and can even accommodate private parties of 50 to 100. The Sales & Reservations Coordinator Alex Caire (email@example.com; 504-596-4723) can be contacted for assistance.
After gnoshing at The Grill Room, we say it’s time to go back up to your suite and if you want only the best, you’ll have opted for the two-bedroom Penthouse, which covers 2,780 square feet on the 22nd floor. Its height gives it complete privacy with secluded terraces overlooking the city skyline and the Mississippi River; it even has a library, a full kitchen and a dining room, and the grand salon has its own baby grand piano.
|The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, has also reinvented itself with a redesign of its guest rooms. The Ritz-Carlton Suite is shown here.|
If you’re putting your A-list clients here, be sure to use Megan Uram (firstname.lastname@example.org; 504-596-4798), the hotel’s director of sales & marketing as your contact. The Windsor Court is also a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.
The Roosevelt Hotel might seem like it’s the newest luxury hotel in the Big Easy, but really it’s the old Fairmont, fully refurbished, repositioned and renamed.
A member of the Hilton family, The Roosevelt is a part of the Waldorf Astoria collection. There’s a rooftop pool here, too, and amazing suites, named after Teddy Roosevelt (suite No. 21245); Huey P. Long (suite No. 21143) and Louis Armstrong (suite No. 11400).
While the lobby is always buzzing at The Roosevelt, we say the heart of the hotel is The Sazerac Bar, a dark, cozy enclave that’s famous for its Sazerac cocktail and Ramos Gin Fizz, the favorite beverage of the late Governor of Louisiana Huey P. Long, who was a frequent customer of the bar in its former glory.
If you want to have some real New Orleans fun, the concierge at The Roosevelt can make it happen for you. August Marsalis (email@example.com; 504-335-3160) and his team can arrange trips to The National World War II Museum in town or for you to go on a swamp tour on the Bayou, or to follow along on a ghost tour. He also heads the personal concierge program, which involves reaching out to guests pre-arrival to arrange transportation, dinner and tour reservations.
Luxury travel advisors, your liaison at this hotel is Kim Costandi (firstname.lastname@example.org; 504-556-3721), who is the director of business travel.
One of our favorite places in New Orleans is the courtyard at The Ritz-Carlton. It’s a lovely spot to sip a Bloody Mary on a quiet afternoon, and if you feel things are getting a bit too quiet, you can always head back inside where the busy lobby gives way to the Davenport Lounge, named after its headline trumpet player and singer, Jeremy Davenport (highly recommended). If Jeremy isn’t there, there will be other live music to sit and sip by; we suggest the Wild Berry Mojito or the Davenportini, made of vodka, limoncello, Chambord and pineapple juice.
When it’s time to retire, head upstairs to the Ritz-Carlton Suite. At 2,800 square feet, it’s hard to beat in terms of comfort. Contact Lisa Miller (email@example.com; 504-670-2937), senior transient sales manager, or Courtney Chapotel (firstname.lastname@example.org; 504-670-2847), transient sales manager, for special attention.