New Orleans boasts a unique charm as diverse as its dialects. Nowhere else will you find street corners radiating with jazz ensembles and dotted with people waiting in line to indulge in fried dough. It’s upbeat and steeped in tradition, with culture aplenty. And now the new Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans stands at the ready to enhance your visit to the Crescent City.
Like much of the city, the property has survived and thrived over the years. Before evolving into the crown jewel it is today, the structure housed the former World Trade Center. A three-year, half-billion-dollar renovation has turned the skyscraper into a modern marvel spanning 34 stories and topped by an observation deck with panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River.
Lead designer Bill Rooney transformed the interiors to reflect New Orleans’ historic architecture. The 341 guest rooms and suites feature a dramatic focal point above the beds: plaster triptychs depicting magnolias, the official state flower. Bathrooms are clad in white Carrara marble, and a soaking tub is an ideal reprieve after a long day exploring the French colonial streets. Two Presidential Suites, themed in crimson red and cobalt blue, include a fitness room and butler’s pantry. And the hotel is brimming with local art. Of note is New Orleans–based artist Dawn Dedeaux’s Water Markers New Orleans: A City Below the Sea, which stands in the lobby as a reminder of the post-Katrina floods.
The two on-site restaurants—both helmed by James Beard Award–winning chefs—capture the state’s cuisine and spirit in distinct ways. At his 1920s-inspired Miss River, Chef Alon Shaya pens a “love letter to Louisiana.” Signature dishes range from a whole carved buttermilk fried chicken to a clay pot of dirty rice with duck breast, duck egg yolk, and scallions.
Head up to the fifth floor to dine at Chemin à la Mer, which translates to “pathway to the sea.” Chef Donald Link’s upbringing along the waterways of Southwest Louisiana inform the offerings at this sophisticated steak house, which folds in flavors from the West Indies and neighboring regions. Here, specialty steaks reign supreme, including an immaculate côte de boeuf for two carved tableside. And what’s a trip to New Orleans without some fresh seafood? Order from the grand oyster bar or dig into Ora King salmon accompanied by French lentils.
After sampling the thrills of New Orleans’ nightlife, end the evening at the Four Seasons’ Chandelier Bar. As live jazz transports you to a bygone era, you’ll appreciate your Chandelier martini all the more when you learn that the glass it comes in was cut from the same Bohemian crystal that’s shining above.