Ritzy Business {Kerry's Monthly Love}

I mentioned previously that Dalles and I made a stop in New Orleans on our way back from Destin. It was a nice way to break-up the drive, but what made the stop even better was that sweet husband of mine booked us two nights at the Ritz-Carlton in New Orleans. The Ritz is a pretty special place for us, and you'll see that it's pretty clear that we LOVE IT love it, and not just monthly love it... but I still wanted to share about our latest Ritz adventure for my August edition of Monthly Love!
{A little Ritz-Carlton-Kerry-&-Dalles History Lesson diddy for you: We spent the first part of our honeymoon at the one in San Francisco, celebrated the 4th of July in 2009 at the one in Laguna Niguel, we frequent the one in Dallas for overnight birthday and anniversary stays and spa treatments {awesome spa treatments; highly recommend!}, and last summer we spent the 4th of July at the Ritz-Carlton in Palm Beach.} 

Sadly, the forecast in New Orleans was RAIN, RAIN, RAIN while we were there; we drove into the city in the rain and left it in the rain. Yep, it rained the whole time, y'all - without exaggeration. Thankfully we had the Ritz to keep us dry and happy!

The Ritz-Calton New Orleans is probably the most beautiful Ritz we've been to so far. It's decorated just as I'd imagine a classy New Orleans establishment to be decorated; comfortably luxurious with lots of southern charm. No detail was left untouched, and they are multiple lounge areas that leave you feeling like you're in a luxe New Orleans mansion.
3rd Floor Lobby seating area
Aside from the gorgeous French Quarter decor, I was instantly struck with the most glorious scent upon entering the hotel. It was musky and delightful, and the best part is that you can purchase the scent for your own home in candle form from their gift shop. The bad part is that I forgot to do that before we left. I might be calling them sometime soon and requesting that they ship me one.

The outdoor courtyard was gorgeous, but sadly we were unable to take advantage of it due to the buckets of rain that fell on New Orleans while we were there. The courtyard really did remind me of The Blue Bayou at Disneyland. Well done, Disney, on capturing the magic of New Orleans.

One of the highlights of the RCNO is The Davenport Lounge, which features nightly weekend performances with Jeremy Davenport and his ensemble band. I'm not a huge jazz fan, but we so loved listening to these talented fellows, and soaking up the ambiance of the lounge on Friday and Saturday night. 

We met a woman who worked at another hotel in the area, and she said that she sends all of her customers over to the Ritz to see Mr. Davenport, so it's definitely a hot {and completely free} ticket. It's a must see, whether you like jazz or not. It was also really fun {and sometimes totally awkward} watching couples dance along to the music!

While enjoying the musical wonders of Jeremy and the boys, we dined on some beignets. I'm sad to say that the beignets were a bit of a disappointment to me, but Dalles loved them. They tasted too much like a really dense funnel cake. I prefer the Disneyland ones, which are light and fluffy... and shaped like Mickey Mouse.

Because of all the rain, we decided to get a couples massage on Saturday afternoon. After reading that Travel + Leisure ranked the RCNO Spa as #1 in North America, we knew it would be worth it. 
There is a gorgeous fountain outside the spa, which instantly calms you and sets the stage for a completely serene experience.
photo by Dalles

The ladies lounge was nice and cozy, and they served the best orange spa water I've ever tasted. It was this magically sweet orange nectar from the gods. I cozied up on that back right couch, drank my weight in orange nectar goodness, and read the latest People magazine while waiting for my appointment time. Ahhh, relaxation!

Our couples massage room was decorated like this, so these pictures that are up on the site aren't just for show. I've had a few massages in my time, and this easily ranked as one of the best. Dalles and I definitely recommend it, especially if you find yourself in the midst of a New Orleans rain party.

This time around D sprung for something that we've never treated ourselves to at the Ritz before: Club Level. Basically, it's a special little hotel within the hotel that allows you the luxury of five complimentary food and beverage presentations a day, use of a spacious and cozy lounge area {seen below}, a dedicated concierge just for Club Level guests, and added security of your room being in a private wing of the hotel only accessible to those with Club Level priveleges.
Dalles and I ate most of our meals from that center couch, right in front of the fire.
It was so convenient to have food and beverages at our fingertips practically all day, especially with the pouring rain making it very uninviting to go outside. The spreads were thoughtful and indicative of New Orleans cuisine {beignets, gumbo, pickled okra}, and they were really tasty! We were never disappointed in the offerings.

Our room was very spacious and had the best and biggest bathtub I've ever seen in my life, so you better believe we took advantage of that guy! And you know what Dalles and I may just very embarrassingly love most about the Ritz? That they're stocked with Bvlgari products {the Palm Beach RC doesn't carry them, which was a major dissapointment}. I swear that is one of the aspects that we most look forward to when staying there {which is crazy because it's not like we can't just go buy some ourselves}. And true to form, those cozy robes and comfy slippers were perfect for cuddling up in the rain.
My only complaint about the hotel was that moving vertically throughout it involved getting on and off and through a maze of elevators; this was complicated even more so due to staying on the Club Level, but I guess that's a small price to pay with all of the amenities that come along with it.

We did venture away from the hotel into actual New Orleans a few times, once to eat at Deanie's, which was recommended to us by our bellhop for the yummiest gumbo and potatoes! It was so good. So good. Thankfully, it was right across the street from the back of the Ritz, so we didn't have far to go. We also took a walk over to The Shops at Canal Place, which features a lovely Anthropologie, an enormously huge Saks, and a nicely-stocked J.Crew. We also took a very quick walk down Bourbon Street, which smelled so awful I thought I was going to lose it.

That wraps up our time in New Orleans! I can't say that I feel a huge pull to ever go back, but I know that I might be thinking differently if it hadn't rained the entire trip. Thank goodness for the Ritz-Carlton and all of its amenities; without it, New Orleans would have been a major let-down.

Do you have a go-to hotel? Anything major that we missed in New Orleans that we should definitely go back and experience?

all photos professional looking photos are via


Maigen at: August 27, 2012 at 11:41 PM said...

Okay, I'm going to have to gush... I'm sooo jealous! Sounds like a wonderful place to stay, and looks totally beautiful! Plus, I am now inspired to book a massage. Aaaah! Luxurious!

So glad you had fun, even rained in! :) That can be the best kind of vaca, really!

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