3 of the best hotels to rest in New Orleans

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For many travelers, brand loyalty is better than counting sheep. For them, nothing guarantees a good night’s rest more than knowing exactly what to expect from a named hotel, from VIP service to loyalty programs to the kind of hospitality that sets global standards.

In 2021, not just one but three tested hotel brands debuted in New Orleans, great news in a market already rich in great accommodations. There’s nothing anonymous or big box about any of these properties — each leans into their new city and lets New Orleans do its thing.

Four Seasons New Orleans

The magnificent centerpiece of the Chandelier Bar — Photo courtesy of Beth D’Addono

As soon as you walk through the doors of the Four Seasons New Orleans, the famous luxury hotel that opened its doors at the foot of Canal Street facing the Mississippi River, the wow is heard.

That’s because the first sights are of a bar – rightly in the city that claims to have invented the cocktail. The Chandelier bar is opposite the reception, with its huge ceiling light as a work of art, dripping with 15,000 sparkling Bohemian crystals above the marble U-shaped bar surrounded by louvered wooden “shutters” that evoke one of the most emblematic architectural elements of the city. .

With a cocktail program from Hadi Ktiri, formerly of Arnaud and Couvant, this magnificent space in the 340-story World Trade Center tower has been transformed into a welcoming candy equipped with 341 rooms, 92 chic residences, a spa and a curvy fifth-floor rooftop pool, acres of event space, and two restaurants with local flavors, Alon Shaya’s Miss River and Donald Link’s Chemin à la Mer. An event garden on the ground floor has weddings written all over it, as do the wraparound terraces with river views and the top-floor observation deck that casts a spell over the entire city.

GM Mali Carow is passionate about the many connections that bind the new Four Seasons to his city, from music and local art to local talent and culinary influences. She moved with her husband Memo and their son Sam to the Bywater when she took on this project in late 2019. “We want our guests to know when they walk in that they are nowhere else but New Orleans,” she said.

Hotel Kimpton Fontenot

The Peacock LoungeThe Peacock Lounge — Photo courtesy of Cris Molina

Not all hotels have two grand openings. But after only a few weeks of operation, and on the eve of the opening of its two restaurants, on March 15, 2020, the city has closed the brand new Kimpton Hotel Fontenot. A year and two months later, the hotel reopened on May 11, 2021 in a beautiful corner building in the Warehouse District. The name gives the hotel a sense of place, paying homage to Louisiana-born Canray Fontenot, an iconic Creole violin player.

The vibe is clean and modern, with whimsical art and a mix of wood, velvet, and rattan furniture that invites seating. The 202 rooms, accented in attractive shades of blue and pink, offer city views, spacious bathrooms — most with soaking tubs — and in-room amenities like yoga mats, Frette sheets, and pillow-top beds. bathrobes.

Local chef Chris Lusk is behind the vibrant dining options at Peacock Room and Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats cafe and bar. The Texas native earned his Louisiana cooking stripes working with the Brennan family at Commander’s Palace, the Caribbean Room at the Pontchartrain Hotel and the R’evolution restaurant at the Royal Sonesta.

Bar manager Paula Echevarria is behind the creative bar offerings, which include boozy milkshakes and frozen drinks at Gospel and, at Peacock, everything from classics to hard-to-find spirits, with an impressive collection of rum and madeira, with an emphasis on light and floral drinks. The Peacock Room is stunning, with gilded cages, feathered birds and retro wallpaper creating an opulent menagerie of jeweled prints and patterns.

Virgin New Orleans Hotels

Funny Library CafeThe Funny Library Cafe — Photo courtesy of Virgin Hotels New Orleans

It’s been a minute since Sir Richard Branson was in town for the grand opening of the new Virgin Hotel New Orleans. Located in the city’s warehouse district at 550 Baronne Street, the establishment blends a passion for food and drink with the music and culture that puts it squarely in the crosshairs of its host city. Local design firm, Logan Killen Interiors, ensured a Big Easy vibe prevails.

Steps from the French Quarter, the 238-room hotel, which also has three suites, marks the fourth Virgin in the United States, after Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Nashville. Across locations, the property’s public spaces and named restaurants are shared, with the Commons Club, the brand’s flagship restaurant, bar and lounge, and Funny Library cafe. There is also a swimming pool, bar and lounge. Spacious rooms are fresh and bright with local art, historic details, and Art Deco-inspired elements.

Award-winning executive chef Alex Harrell brings his creative and contemporary twist to the restaurant’s southern seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean influences. Harrell’s has won accolades for its cuisine for more than two decades, at home, Angeline in the Neighborhood, and most recently at the Elysian Bar at the Peter and Paul Hotel.

Guests enjoy live music at the Commons Club bar, as well as a robust cocktail program. In typical Virgin style, the Shag Room is a living room bursting with color and local art. Expect to be blown away, because that’s how Virgin hotels roll.

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