Upscale New Orleans hotels roll out renovations

By Johanna Jainchill

Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans Presidential SuiteSeveral upscale hotels in New Orleans recently unveiled major renovations and additions.

The Saint Hotel last week debuted five new luxury suites, occupying the entire second floor.

Designed by the property's owner and his wife, the suites feature Murano glass chandeliers, clawfoot bathtubs, Bose Wave sound systems and at least two 60-inch televisions; some rooms have hidden TVs that rise out of the furniture.

The two 1,800-square-foot master suites, named for the opposing archangels Michael and Lucifer, feature living and entertainment spaces, and a bar with an in-room ice maker. Design features include floor-to-ceiling slabs of Carrera marble in each bathroom with glass, S-shaped doors. Visit www.thesainthotelneworleans.com.

The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans on Canal Street recently underwent a $5 million renovation of its Maison Orleans wing, which is the hotel's club level, and its presidential penthouse. The renovation follows a $9 million makeover of the hotel's 415 guestrooms and 36 suites in 2011.

The recent renovation was completed in the fall. The club level, "a boutique hotel within a hotel" with a private entrance and dedicated concierge staff, had its lounge and public areas redesigned to resemble a Garden District mansion. New features include an island for the level's four daily food presentations and a 55-inch TV in the lobby.

The level's 75 rooms were given a fresh color scheme, artwork commissioned from local artists, LED lighting, custom cabinetry and espresso machines.

The renovated Ritz-Carlton Suite, the hotel's presidential penthouse, was redesigned with contemporary New Orleans art and furnishings with antique touches. The hallway features blown-glass Mardi Gras masks and contemporary art and photography while the master bath has a large mural depicting scenes from a Mardi Gras ball.

An antique pool table was added to the living room as well as new furnishings and Venetian glass chandeliers. The balcony was enhanced with copper lanterns and greenery. Visit www.ritzcarlton.com.

The Westin New Orleans Canal Place unveiled a 1,000-square-foot fitness center and major lobby enhancements.

The lobby was given new work tables with electrical outlets and complimentary Wi-Fi access; new couches and chairs with books featuring New Orleans architecture; and a mural behind the front desk of a vintage New Orleans map. New telescopes in the lobby's corners offer views of the French Quarter and Mississippi River.

The property's new 14th-floor Fitness Center is open 24 hours and boasts equipment by Life Fitness, including five ellipticals and six treadmills with TV monitors, three stationary bikes and a full array of weight-lifting machines.

For guests who forget to pack gym clothes, a partnership with New Balance allows them to rent shoes, shorts and shirts for their workout; they can keep the socks, free of charge. Visit www.westinneworleanscanalplace.com.

Follow Johanna Jainchill on Twitter @jjainchilltw. 

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