This historic Beaux Arts building on the edge of the French Quarter was a department store in its past life. Now it’s home to the Ritz-Carlton, which brought new energy to the city’s hotel scene when it opened in 2000. Although the hotel is part of a big luxury chain, the feeling is unmistakably New Orleans, with opulent guest rooms swagged in silk curtains and intricately patterned textiles that give off a fun, nineteenth-century vibe. And the location on Canal Street means you’re in walking distance of almost everything you’ll want to see over a few days in the city (like the French Quarter, Louis Armstrong Park, and the Central Business District). There’s also a 25,000-square-foot spa for all manner of massages, facials, body scrubs, and mani-pedis.

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