The New Orleans Guide
No city in the states has the same fascinating sense of time and place as New Orleans—and no city can lay claim to introducing the world to Creole cooking, jazz, and of course, Mardi Gras. In the aftermath of Katrina New Orleans is once again flourishing—we went South to put down as many beignets as possible. (Want more recs? Michael Stipe did a great guide for us a few years ago.)
Swan River Yoga2940 Canal St., Mid-City | 504.301.3134
This two-story yoga studio—helmed by Keith Porteous and Michelle Baker—wins points for both its teachers and the space, a two-story former public library that the duo restored post Katrina. It is gorgeous—airy, bright—with a giant mural commissioned by the Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression that they uncovered while rehabilitating the building. Besides a traditional menu of classes (many of which are 90 minutes), they offer sound baths, acroyoga, pre-natal yoga, and body work. And, there's an on-site vegan café serving delicious dals.
New Orleans Athletic Club222 N. Rampart St., French Quarter | 504.525.2375
A favorite of our friend Michael Stipe, the NOAC has been operating since 1872—though originally out of founder J.G. Aleix's backyard (there were only 14 members). Its digs are considerably swankier and statelier now, though it still has its old-world vibe. They offer day passes to hotel guests for $20 (and they now allow women).
Belladonna Day Spa2900 Magazine St., Garden District | 504.891.4393
Part sprawling gift shop, part day spa, this is one of the main places in New Orleans to go for facials, massages, and body scrubs. They also do the less intensive stuff, including pedicures and waxing.
Romney5619 Magazine St., Uptown | 504.895.1167
At this gorgeous, whitewashed and light-filled mini-gym and wellness center, you'll find plenty of pilates reformers, along with spin, gyrotonics, barre classes, yoga, cardio classes, and even meditation. You can pay by the class, though Romney offers memberships as well.
Reyn Studio725 Magazine St., French Quarter | 504.717.9982
Occupying a soaring, warehouse-like space, Reyn Studio—named after owner, Reyn Lambert—is a hybrid gym/yoga studio. In that same vein, most of the classes are a mix, too: There's yoga-lates, dance cardio, yoga for runners, and a meditation session (which is actually free). The yoga here is generally more athletic, and they offer a lot of community classes that are nicely priced at $7.