It’s no secret that here at The Taste SF we are huge fans of The Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts (you can read more here and here). We’ve never had a bad experience at a Ritz-Carlton property, but there are a few Ritz-Carlton properties that we’ve found to be truly exceptional. The Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans is one of them.
We recently headed to New Orleans on the maiden voyage of Alaska Airlines’ new nonstop route from San Francisco. We reached out to our friends at The Ritz-Carlton prior to our arrival, and they were kind enough to upgrade our room to a Club level. The experience was amazing, so we had to share.
We were initially struck by how beautiful the lobby is. To be honest, when we heard the hotel was decorated in traditional New Orleans color themes (e.g., purple, green, gold), we were a little skeptical. After seeing it in person, they really pulled it off.
Our room was huge, with a luxurious bathroom, and the hotel had left a really classy welcome gift — a “Southern Gardenia” candle from Niven Morgan. We both had a good laugh at the notecard left with the candle, which featured a funny Tennessee Williams quote: “There are only three cities in the United States — New York, New Orleans, and San Francisco. Everything else is Cleveland.”
We found that the main benefit of the Club level rooms was that almost everything you would pay extra for in a hotel (morning coffee, breakfast, drinks, bottled water, snacks) is available all day in the private (and gorgeously decorated) club lounge. A dedicated kitchen puts out an array of hot and cold small bites (changed out every 2 hours), there are refrigerators stocked with beer, water, and other refreshments, and another bar features cookies and other snacks.
Our favorite was the wine-on-demand machine, which in typical New Orleans fashion, features a stack of plastic Ritz-Carlton cups in addition to proper glassware. (If you’ve never been to New Orleans, this is so you can take your drink to-go, as there are no open container laws and almost all bars offer to-go drinks.)
You don’t have to leave The Ritz-Carlton for incredible live New Orleans jazz music. The last two nights of our stay we headed down to The Davenport Lounge for jazz, cocktails, and dancing, featuring Jeremy Davenport, singer and trumpet player who toured around the world with Harry Connick, Jr.’s Big Band for six years. The drinks in the lounge have a Southern twist (it had been years since we’d seen Firefly Sweet Tea vodka) and the outdoor garden is magical at night.
If you are visiting New Orleans, we can’t think of a better place to stay than this gorgeous Ritz-Carlton property. Even if you are not staying at the hotel, it’s an awesome place to visit for an evening of jazz. A final note—in this extremely hot, extremely humid city, their air conditioning is amazing.