True luxury awaits in New Orleans!
I’m greeted in the lobby of Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans by an enormous chandelier, the centerpiece of the Chandelier Bar. Made from 15,000 Bohemian crystals imported from the Czech Republic, it sets the tone for my two nights here: glamorous and impressive, and a world away from my hectic last few weeks.
When one thinks of the Crescent City, indulgence might be the first word that comes to mind, and with the hotel’s arrival, the city’s pipeline to luxury has expanded. Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans, which opened in 2021, is the only AAA five-diamond property in Louisiana. A $500 million renovation turned the former World Trade Center into 341 guest rooms and 92 residences.
While the hotel offers exclusive experiences, such as the Streetcar Experience to be Desired featuring a private streetcar ride through the Garden District, I’ve forgone any major plans. Time alone is a luxury.
I take a stroll down Julia Street to familiarize myself with the Warehouse District, and I indulge in fantasies at the Ashley Longshore Studio Gallery and Leontine Linens in the Garden District. Back in the French Quarter, there’s perfumery Tijon, where private sessions for custom scents entice the cognoscenti, plus endless rows of antique shops offering up the best of the best for astute collectors. I work up an appetite while exploring.
It’s an embarrassment of riches when it comes to food in the city. The Grand Dames of New Orleans culinary dining scene—Arnaud’s, Galatoire’s, Commander’s Palace, Brennan’s—are all lovely additions to an itinerary, but so are the new school places Gianna, Bar Marilou, The Elysian Bar and the two restaurants at the hotel, Miss River and Chemin á la Mer. I dine at the hotel, excited to see the newest iterations of two beloved New Orleans chefs.
Chef Alon Shaya’s Miss River has expertly turned-out dishes such as a crab omelet and foie gras pain perdu (heavenly with a proffered glass of Sauternes), plus buzzworthy menu items such as caviar and ice cream made with Creole cream cheese ice cream and imperial golden osetra caviar. All are served in a light, bright and glossy space. Shaya is at the restaurant while I dine and is as gracious and thorough as ever.
Upstairs, Chemin á la Mer provides sweeping views of the Mississippi River alongside Donald Link’s modern take on Louisiana cuisine, such as boudin-stuffed beignets and Australian W.Black wagyu skirt steak. The dining room is dark and dreamy, a mise en scène ripe for a romantic night. Alone, I take a seat at the bar where I am perfectly happy to munch on blue crab boulettes while I have a pleasant chat with the bartender.
If food is the crest of my time here, then the spa is the denouement, where all my loose ends are ironed out in a gratifying massage. The hotel’s spa is the exclusive partner of Biologique Recherche in the city, with four facials available alongside signature treatments. I make a mental note that the spa offers a Southern Gentleman treatment, inspired by the Sazerac, the Big Easy’s most famous cocktail. A foot massage with citrus stimulates, and a deep tissue massage features rye whiskey oil. A Sazerac is served, too.
As my trip comes to a close and I look out over Vue Orleans, the indoor-outdoor observation deck atop the hotel featuring 360- degree panoramic views, I feel as if I’ve unlocked the true secret to luxury: time to myself. I’ll leave one of my favorite cities and return to my family fresh and ready, and for that I am grateful.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL NEW ORLEANS
NEW ORLEANS & COMPANY
STORY: Lauren Finney Harden
Simply Buckhead is an upscale lifestyle magazine focused on the best and brightest individuals, businesses and events in Buckhead, Brookhaven, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Chamblee. With a commitment to journalistic excellence, the magazine serves as the authority on who to know, what to do and where to go in the community, and its surroundings.