The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans is, as you may expect, a luxurious place to lay your head. After suffering extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the hotel remodeled and reopened in 2006. The result is a lovely, spacious and bright location. The building originally housed the elegant Maison Blanche department store and you’ll still see the influence in the overall flow and layout of the hotel.
I recently visited the Ritz-Carlton for a conference and was very happy with the experience. The guest rooms are beautifully decorated with an opulent-feeling Southern decor. I slept like a baby on the feather beds and down pillows. The spacious queen-bed rooms will be a relief to a family traveling together. The desk, sitting and large bath areas give plenty of space to spread out.
What to Expect at the Ritz
Customer service at the Ritz was also exceptional. Everyone, from the bellhop to the housekeeping staff to the registration team, was friendly and helpful. I was celebrating my 40th birthday in New Orleans and they greeted me upon check-in with a cheery, “Happy Birthday!” My husband had arranged for a delivery of a birthday treat to my room. When they sent up macaroons rather than chocolate truffles, it took just a quick phone call to resolve the problem. The truffles were delicious!
What to Eat & Do at Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
I didn’t have much time to explore the restaurant at the hotel, but M Bistro is a “farm to table” restaurant, bringing in locally grown produce and meats for its patrons. The Davenport Lounge serves appetizers, afternoon tea, and a variety of New Orleans cocktails. In the evening, you can often find live entertainment, including headliner, Jeremy Davenport.
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is located on the edge of the French Quarter, just a few blocks over from the famous (and seedy) Bourbon Street. If bars and peep shows aren’t your thing, however, a few blocks more and you’ll find quaint antique shops, small art galleries, and a variety of unique eateries. My favorite was the smaller Café Beignet location on Royal Street, which trumped the uber-popular Café Dumont in terms of cleanliness, atmosphere and flavor.
Problems at the Ritz
I have few complaints about the Ritz-Carlton. Indeed, I had only two little annoyances. One was the fact that it requires two different elevator banks to get from your room to the outside world. It sounds small, but at the end of a long day with kids, schlepping between elevators can be the thing that pushes you over the edge. The other was that the staff was, if possible, a little too attentive. Between housekeeping, a maintenance “courtesy visit,” several deliveries, and turn-down service, it seemed that there was forever someone knocking on my door or leaving me a phone message (that required relaying through the operator). The most recent hotel I stayed at left a note on my door when I had missed turn-down service (due to a much-needed nap!), and that was sufficient for me.
When all is said and done, the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans is a lovely place to stay. It is on the high end of the price range in town, but for families who value a comfortable stay, it may be worth the price tag. You certainly can’t get a more helpful and pleasant hotel staff.
- The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans has feather beds, down comforters, and down pillows.
- Turn-down service includes the delivery of chocolates that may contain multiple allergens.