In a city filled with opulent manors and gleaming white columns, the Ritz-Carlton has found the ideal setting for its own tried-and-true formula for classic luxury. Don’t expect any funky twists on the chain’s standards, like the black terrazzo floors at the South Beach branch or the minimalist decor at the downtown Manhattan location — this Ritz-Carlton plays by the book.
Occupying a plum spot on Canal Street in the French Quarter, the hotel resembles one of the Garden District’s mansions from the outside, and works hard to emulate the same grandeur throughout the spacious interiors. High ceilings, fresh bouquets, and rosy-hued overstuffed furniture characterize the lobby and ballrooms. The design is far from cutting-edge or contemporary; rather, the public spaces seem fit to host a traditional wedding reception at any hour of the day. The hotel’s high standards and various luxuries, however, are above reproach, from expected amenities like feather beds, marble baths, afternoon tea, and turndown service to pleasing extras like rainforest showerheads, Bulgari White Tea bath products, pet-friendly provisions, and no fewer than four upscale restaurants onsite.
The antique On Trois lounge is the refined setting for daily tea with harpsichord accompaniment, while the richly hued Library Lounge provides a dark, comfortable space for brandy or a glass of wine by the fireplace. Those preferring to linger at the hotel rather than venture out to more casual dining venues in the French Quarter can order Cajun-inspired gourmet cuisine at the third-floor Mélange. The pale candlelit spa, recently renovated, is the hotel’s latest draw. This Ritz-Carlton may not redefine the genre, but it effortlessly exudes the graciousness of the Big Easy itself.
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