New Orleans: Top Attractions
An opulent reminder of an historic and romantic bygone era, the Maison Orleans boasts a large collection of 18th- and 19th-century antiques and art. Plush guestrooms come with hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, feather beds, Italian marble baths, and fabulous Frette sheets. For the ultimate experience check out the rooftop penthouse with unparalleled city views.
This infamous, luxurious hotel has (at various times) housed Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Ernest Hemingway, and Eudora Welty, and been a scene-setter for several plays and short stories. It emits a warm and relaxing vibe that is at once elegant and earthy. Expect high ceilings, personal Jacuzzis, and marble and granite baths.
Bienville House Hotel
Suggestive of a French Quarter manor with its elegant and intimate Old-World charm, this hotel surpasses expectations. A multimillion-dollar, top-to-bottom renovation modernized the historic building but maintained its original flavor. Guests appreciate the hand-painted murals, grand furnishings, four sundecks, pool, fitness center, and lush courtyard.
Maison Dupuy Hotel
One of the most luxurious French Quarter hotels is just steps away from the city's hustle and bustle, but the tropical courtyard and tranquil fountain keep the city at bay. Set in the historic Vieux Carre district, the hotel's décor will impress. Imported draperies, marble baths, Old-World iron balconies, and colorful local art satisfy the need for opulence. Amenities include a heated pool, hot tub, fitness center, and a first-rate restaurant.
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
One of the leading community or "little" theatres in the nation, Le Petit Theatre has been mounting productions since 1918. The original building dates to 1797. After falling into a state of disrepair in the 1920s, several prominent local women turned it into a center for the arts. Today its professional theater troupe, the Drawing Room Players, consists of a revolving group of both local and well-known actors.
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre: 504.522.2081, www.lepetittheatre.com
Smith's Louis XVI
For spectacular European-style dining, impeccable service, and superb French cuisine, the ambience at this landmark restaurant is at once elegant and romantic. Patrons are particularly drawn to the courtyard and fountain. Louis XVI has trained many famous chefs and attracts celebrities like Rod Stewart and Richard Burton.
Smith's Louis XVI: 504.581.7000, www.louisxvi.com
New Orleans Opera Association
Formed in 1943, this well-respected opera company draws acclaimed performers from around the world to join its local talent pool. With some luck you might catch the New York Metropolitan Opera Company performing here. Recently the troupe has staged Verdi's La Traviata and Wagner's Siegfried.
New Orleans Opera Association: 504.529.2278
In addition to being the only musician-owned and -operated professional symphony in America, this is also the only full-time professional orchestra in the Gulf of Mexico region. Performances, featuring nationally recognized musicians, are entertaining and enlightening, and range from classical and popular to downright modern.
Louisiana Philharmonic: 504.523.6530, www.lpo.com
Eclipse Salon and Spa
This day spa overflows with Old-World French Quarter charm. Combining modern luxuries and necessities, the spa and its professional environment focus on individuality. Services include salon, make-up, and nail and body treatments, along with massage and stress reduction workshops.
Eclipse Salon and Spa: 504.522.3318, www.eclipsefq.com
Omni Royal Orleans
Imagine a hotel where luxury and Old-World charm are second to none. Celebrities, politicians, and literary greats come and go. Opulent fabrics and furnishings speak of easier times in the French Quarter. With over 20 suites, a rooftop pool oasis, and private balconies, the Omni fits the bill. Catering to individual needs, the hotel also offers "Get Fit Rooms" with treadmills, healthy snacks, and other amenities. Its location on the famed corner of St. Louis and Royal help make the Omni the place to see and be seen.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication