New Orleans has been undergoing something of a revival over the last five years since Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused massive damage to infrastructure and flooding. Now, the city is flourishing again with the help of Hollywood A-Listers like Brad Pitt, and a new city mayor. Here are some of the best hotels to explore and follow the rise and rise of the home of the American Mardi Gras.
The Ritz Carlton
Based on the edge of the famous French Quarter of the city, this impressive monument to quality overlooks New Orleans' Canal Street and beckons those willing to splash a little cash on their holiday. Those needing to be pampered can frequent the hotel's lavish spa, whilst the M Bistro is the place to be in the evening, to sample a mojito whilst local jazz legend Jeremy Davenport entertains on the trumpet. At the hotel's grand restaurant, resident chef Matt Murphy caters for all tastes. The Library Bar is a great location for a last nip of something strong before bedtime. www.ritzcarlton.com
The Roosevelt Hotel
Previously named 'The Fairmount' in 1893, the building, known to locals as 'The Roosevelt', was officially rebranded in the Sixties. Like the city in which it stands, this building was also badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina but made a fantastic comeback last year when it reopened. Welcoming you into the hotel's main reception area is an incredible lobby made of gold and marble, framed by gorgeous artwork and frescos. Be sure to meander towards 'The Sazerac Bar' on arrival, as you wait for bustling busboys to take your luggage away, and order the hotel's signature drink which is based on a 'gin fizz' recipe. The nearby 'Sazerac' restaurant offers the perfect spot for dinner. www.therooseveltneworleans.com
Taking you back to the graceful, antiquated origins of New Orleans is this hotel built on three townhouses and their 19th century courtyards. Elegant and a little on the expensive side, this location is an ambush on the senses as delicate antiques are dotted around the sumptuous furnishings and the air is heavy with the scent of magnolia and guava. We recommend ordering breakfast in bed, made from the finest local produce: freshly-made scones and orange juice-delicious! www.soniathouse.com