The weekend I fell in love with New Orleans.
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is the grande dame of Canal Street, just one block from the French Quarter. I was due for a weekend getaway, and I knew this property would offer the perfect mix of relaxation and fun.
I arrived in New Orleans just in time for a late lunch at John Besh's restaurant Lüke (order the burger!), then headed straight to The Ritz-Carlton.
After a quick stop at the check-in desk, I was whisked away to see the Club Lounge.
Club Level guests have access to the Club Lounge, which is an incredible experience. Having access to this exclusive part of the hotel made the visit even more special.
From the meticulously-decorated sitting areas filled with antiques and beautiful artwork, to the daily food and beverage presentations, in addition to the dedicated Club Concierge, I was truly taken care of in every way possible.
Along with breakfast, lunch, light snacks, hors d'Oeurves, and desserts & cordials, there is a "grab and go" area with cold water, beer, coffee, packaged snacks, and jars full of candy (dark chocolate covered pineapple being my favorite!).
So many beautiful details graced the room - all contributing to the feeling of being in my very own Garden District mansion.
The bathroom had a soaking tub with separate shower and plenty of under sink cabinet space to keep toiletries. The hotel provided the usuals as well as a shaving kit with razor + shaving cream. I always seem to leave something I need at home, so I am especially thankful when hotels save me a trip to Walgreens (but it is nearby if you need it).
After settling in, I went down to the spa + fitness center.
You'll find the standard row of treadmills, as well as stationary bikes and ellipticals. There's a separate room with free weights and machines, as well as another studio for the yogis.
Everything you could possibly need for your workout is here: citrus water, bottled water, headphones, dry towels, cold towels. And the shop at the spa is stocked with latest men's + women's Lululemon workout gear.
Connected to the fitness center is the heated resistance saltwater pool + jacuzzi.
I had just enough time to enjoy all of the above, and then relaxed for a few minutes before my Voodoo massage.
You'll want to allow plenty of time to enjoy this space - complimentary wine & champagne and stacks of magazines.
The Voodoo Massage was quite different, and I really enjoyed it. I always like to book spa treatments unique to the area I'm visiting, and the Voodoo Massage captured New Orleans perfectly. It was a full body massage that included a facial massage, which I loved! More about the Voodoo massage treatment...
Rue 1807 evokes the intense desire of life. The soul of New Orleans is magical and mystical. Incense scents the room and voodoo chants set the ambiance. You will be under a spell of relaxation. Notes of Absinthe and Bourbon, Cypress and Moss, Vetiver and Incense.
The women's lounge is a large area complete with steam, sauna, showers, and plenty of space to freshen up after your treatment.
After enjoying an early dinner at a hip spot on Magazine Street, I headed back to the Club Lounge for dessert.
Breakfast at the Club Lounge was an incredibly relaxing way to begin the day. Sunlight poured through the curtains, Frank Sinatra played, and a bar filled with a beautiful presentation of breakfast foods called my name. Bacon, eggs, fresh fruit, pastries...you name it. The pastry chef even baked me fresh, gluten free blueberry muffins + scones which were to die for!
After breakfast, I explored the city. First, walking to Jackson Square, then driving back to Magazine Street to peruse the charming shops filled with local goods + antiques.
I headed back to the hotel for lunch in the Club Lounge, then it was time for a couple more spa treatments.
After enjoying a swim and the steam room, I popped into the salon and got my hair + makeup done. Both turned out exactly as I wanted.
I was so impressed with the dining experience at Restaurant August. The warm and attentive service, the ambiance, and most importantly, the food. It was three delightful hours, and I would definitely put it on your list if you haven't been. The tasting meal deserves a post on its own, so expect that goodness soon!
It was definitely difficult to leave on Sunday after a weekend like that. Special thanks to The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans for a memorable weekend getaway!
Photography: Christie McMillan