Visit the Crescent City in style at the Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans

By Ben Miller

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans reflects the romance and charm of the Crescent City. Just a short stroll to the world-famous French Quarter, the hotel allows guests to experience America's most uniquely European city along with the unmatched personal services of The Ritz-Carlton. Ideal for everything from weekend getaways to business conferences, this hotel possesses an allure that is all its own.

GETTING THERE

Located 469 miles from Atlanta, the Crescent City is just a two hour flight or 6 ½ hours by car. If flying into the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, there is a shuttle service for the city of New Orleans to and from the airport. Upon arrival at the airport, guests can purchase tickets for $20 one way or $38 round trip per person. This is the least expensive option however it can take longer as it stops and several hotels. Call 504-596-2699 for more information. A cab ride directly to the hotel takes about 30 minutes. Fares for one or two passengers from the airport are $33. For 3 or more passengers the fare is $14 per passenger, not to exceed 5 people. Taxicab Bureau: 504-658-7102

THE HOTEL

Set within the historic 1908 Beaux Arts Maison Blanche building, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans retains the grace and charm of an antebellum mansion. Guests of this French Quarter hotel have the advantage of staying near popular area attractions including Bourbon Street, but can also experience local traditions in their Courtyard, which hosts special events with our Crawfish Concierge, Snowball Sommelier and Oyster Butler. Their luxury guest rooms and suites blend elegant décor with modern amenities. The hotel restaurant M Bistro, offers a farm-to-table dining experience. Adjacent to the restaurant is the Davenport Lounge which offers great live music and dancing. The Courtyard provides a space for guests to relax or host private events. The hotel is a popular wedding destination and offers state-or-the-art meeting spaces.

The 25,000 square foot European-style Ritz-Carlton Spa reflects the revered traditions of old-world elegance and offers a full menu of rejuvenation therapies, traditional treatments and indigenous services. The fitness & wellness center offers stream rooms, sauna, whirlpool, relaxation lounges, Spa Café and Spa Boutique.

GETTING AROUND

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans resides on Canal Street straddling the French Quarter. You are walking distance to the Quarter, Downtown and the Riverfront. Even though much of the area is accessible on foot, many enjoy riding the Streetcar.

Ride through the Crescent City on a Streetcar for just $1.25. You can also purchase a Jazzy Pass which entitles the bearer to unlimited rides on all streetcars and bus lines. A 1-Day Jazzy Pass can be purchased from the bus or streetcar operator when you board. Only cash is accepted. The 1-day and 3-day Jazzy Passes are available from Walgreens Stores in New Orleans, various other stores and online.

For the same price they have a new line of Riverfront Streetcars. The two-mile route includes stops at all the right places: the Convention Center at Julia Street, Riverwalk, the Aquarium, the French Market and the Old Mint on Esplanade.

The newest re-established streetcar line in New Orleans is the Canal/Carrollton Streetcar and runs the length of Canal Street. This is the original "Cemeteries" line, which runs from the Mississippi River to the cemeteries located at the Mid-City end of Canal Street. Along the line there is a Carrollton Spur, which will take you to beautiful City Park, home of the New Orleans Museum of Art and the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. This stop is also within walking distance to the Fairgrounds Race Course, where the world-famous New Orleans Jazz Festival takes place every April-May.

St. Charles Streetcar line is open around the clock with less frequent service in the evening and early-morning hours. It stops along St. Charles and Carondelet Streets and travels from the edge of the French Quarter all the way down beautiful St. Charles Avenue. The views of historic architecture beneath the shade of massive, ancient live oaks convey so much of New Orleans' charm and character. The line passes by celebrated restaurants, shops and hotels; some destinations include the Garden District, Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo and Tulane and Loyola Universities.

FRENCH QUARTER

The original settlement of New Orleans and the oldest neighborhood in the city is Vieux Carre, better known as the French Quarter or simply The Quarter. The district is a National Historic Landmark and is bordered by popular streets, such as Canal Street, Decatur Street, Rampart Street and Esplanade Avenue. The French Quarter boasts a storied history of international influence with cultural contributions from the French, Spanish, Sicilians, Italians, Africans, Irish and others. So much of what makes New Orleans unique is captured in the melting pot atmosphere of the French Quarter, from the boisterous party vibe of Bourbon Street to the bohemian elegance of Royal Street. It's a neighborhood full of entertainment and surprises.

A dominant feature throughout the neighborhood is the stunning architecture. Balconies adorned with intricate ironwork, courtyards filled with lush greenery and beautiful fountains showcase the French Quarter's European roots. Majority of the architectural design is the handiwork of the Spanish who ruled and rebuilt the city after two overwhelming fires in 1788 and 1794. Many buildings don ceramic plaques informing visitors of the street names during Spanish rule such as Calle de Borbon.

TO DO

Every street in the French Quarter has something to offer from classic restaurants, music venues, boutique shopping to voodoo temples. Some of the most popular areas include: Royal Street, Chartres Street and Bourbon Street but no trip to the Quarter is complete without a trip to the historic French Market for souvenirs. The Quarter's allure draws millions of visitors each year. Come stroll the streets of this exotic neighborhood and experience the mystery, fun and magic.

BOURBON STREET

A carnival of sights and sounds, Bourbon Street is where people from all walks of life come to let their hair down. The street becomes a pedestrian walkway during the evening hours, preventing vehicular traffic and allowing visitors to walk freely on the street. New Orleans' open-container law permits pedestrians to walk the streets with a "go-cup" in hand filled with one of New Orleans' signature cocktails, like a "Hurricane" or "Hand Grenade."

The revelry begins at the intersection of Canal Street and Bourbon, where brass bands gather almost every night and bystanders dance on the street. The party continues beneath beautiful cast-iron balconies overlooking a seemingly endless row of bars, music clubs, restaurants and gentlemen's clubs. There is a section of Bourbon beginning at the intersection of St. Ann Street that caters to a vibrant gay community and is home to fantastic clubs and bars.

Bourbon Street is a prime destination for bachelorette and bachelor parties, birthday celebrations and an overall mecca for those looking to have a good time.

GARDEN DISTRICT

Tradition, opulence and beauty can all be used to describe New Orleans' historic Garden District. With its well-preserved collection of antebellum mansions, pristine gardens and southern charm, the Garden District certainly stands out as one of the country's most lovely neighborhoods. General boundaries for this famous neighborhood are St. Charles Avenue to Magazine Street and from Jackson Avenue to Louisiana Avenue.

A common destination for those visiting the Garden District is the intersection of Prytania Street and Washington Avenue. Here, in the heart of the neighborhood, you will find a pocket with shopping, cafes and the historic Lafayette Cemetery # 1.

The Garden District is easily accessible via the St. Charles Avenue streetcar, Magazine Street bus or even via carriage ride! Most travel to the Garden District to enjoy its pristine architecture but the area also offers shopping, delicious restaurants, cocktail bars and pubs.

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, 921 Canal Street, New Orleans, Louisiana 70112
(504) 524-1331; toll free (800) 241-3333
www.ritzcarlton.com/neworleans

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