By Mark Chesnut
With its rich history, tasty cuisine and traditional hospitality, New Orleans is a perennial favorite with vacationers. And thanks to the city’s well-equipped hotels and convention space, it’s also a big seller when it comes to business travelers too. With a bunch of renovated hotels and historic venues coming back online, there are more reasons than ever to plan another visit to the Big Easy.
New Orleans Hotels
Among the latest hotels to unveil renovations is the W French Quarter, which sports a fresh look in all 97 guest rooms as well as the Living Room lobby area and Studio meeting spaces. The hotel has also opened a new fitness center called SWEAT and a new restaurant called SoBou, which serves contemporary Creole cuisine.
The Hyatt French Quarter, meanwhile, has completed an $18 million renovation to the historic property that it calls home. New food and beverage venues here include Powdered Sugar, a market concept eatery, and Batch, an upscale lounge. The Hard Rock Cafe plans to open in the hotel early next year.
Also showing off recent renovations are the convention-friendly Residence Inn by Marriott New Orleans Convention Center and the luxurious Windsor Court Hotel.
New Orleans Attractions
The Big Easy may be a few centuries old, but there’s always something new to discover, whether you’re planning a New Orleans vacation or scouting out venues to entertain business clients.
The historic Joy Theater, which once served as a movie palace, recently reopened following a major renovation and hosts an array of live musical performances and comedy shows. Across the street, the Saenger Theater, which was built in 1927, is in the midst of a $51 million restoration that will result in a sparkling new event venue when it reopens next year. Upcoming live performances at the nearby Mahalia Jackson Theater, meanwhile, include Mary Poppins and Jersey Boys. In a city like New Orleans, the entertainment seemingly never stops.
Mark Chesnut is a travel writer, editor and publisher of LatinFlyer.com, which focuses on travel to Latin America. He loves jambalaya.