Most people, it is safe to assume, do not go to New Orleans to relax. But when days of trolleys and po’ boys are followed by nights of jazz clubs and Sazeracs, relaxation is what most people eventually want.
That’s certainly one reason the Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans—Louisiana’s only AAA Five Diamond hotel—has proved so popular since opening last year. Just across Canal Street from the French Quarter, the 341-room property manages to feel tucked away. Many rooms and suites overlook the rambling Mississippi River. Cabana-goers at the largest hotel pool in the city enjoy Champagne and caviar service, oblivious to the hurricane-fueled parties taking place on Bourbon Street. Two polished restaurants led by James Beard winners Alon Shaya and Donald Link (Miss River and Chemin à la Mer, respectively) offer a throwback vibe, while the lobby’s glamorous Chandelier Bar continues to rack up major interior-design awards.
None of this is to say the hotel doesn’t know how to have fun. Live music echoes through the lobby on Thursday nights, and locals pack the Chandelier Bar on weekends. But in New Orleans’s relentless landscape of beignets, beads, and bourbon, visitors need an oasis. This hotel is it.
Branden Lewis, Four Seasons New Orleans’s resident musician, shares three of his favorite Crescent City spots:
DORIS METROPOLITAN STEAKHOUSE
“This is my favorite restaurant in the city, hands down. It’s fancy but not stuffy at all, with amazing service. A lot of times my wife and I eat at the bar; I order the Classified Cut and a nice glass of zinfandel—the dryer, the better.”
ROYAL FRENCHMEN HOTEL
“The courtyard is one of my favorite venues, especially Tuesday nights, when Trumpet Mafia plays. There’s a full rhythm section and up to 10 trumpet players; it’s very triumphant and electrifying. It’s a type of party you won’t witness anywhere else.”
“Every chance I get, I take a walk along the Mississippi River. I come up from Decatur Street and walk along the waterfront. It’s a nice place to go think. I play some trumpet, take it easy, and have a nice stroll.”
This article appears in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Southbound.