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1. Best Location: Four Seasons New Orleans Vs. Ritz-Carlton
Four Seasons New Orleans sits on the banks of the Mississippi River. Just take a look at the photo of its pool above. You can swim overlooking the Mississippi while it slowly meanders by.
The hotel actually sits at the end of Canal Street in the former World Trade Center, which was built in 1967 by noted modernist architect Edward Durell Stone, who also crafted Radio City Music Hall, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts.
Following a three-year, nearly $500 million renovation by Four Seasons, the 34-story tower is now a haven of luxury overlooking the river.
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans is found in the French Quarter, set within a 1908 Beaux-Arts building. Both locations have their advantages and are just 5 minutes walk from each other, so there is no clear winner here.
2. Best Pool
Do I even have to answer this? The Four Seasons pool is amazing and by far the best pool in New Orleans, in our opinion. While you can expect all the “usual” Four Seasons facilities, including a gym and a spa, it is the outdoor pool that stands out for its setting and its views. The pool sits beside the Mississippi River and offers a stylish decked area where you can laze and watch view the other swimmers and the river amble by.
The Ritz-Carlton offers a small spa pool. This is not the sort of pool where you can laze, pose, relax or do lengths. It’s indoors and tiny.
3. Best Style
Four Seasons New Orleans’ style can only be described as exquisite. Google their chandelier bar, and you will see what I mean. The rooms are slick and modern, and the communal areas are stunning. I love the design here. The Ritz-Carlton feels more traditional with the feel of a plantation mansion and lots of greenery in the decor. Again the Ritz-Carlton is immaculate, but for blow-your-mind designs, it has to be the Four Seasons.
4. Best Restaurant
Four Seasons has a number of restaurants with their signature Miss River restaurant welcoming diners to a grand dining experience, as acclaimed chef Alon Shaya presents his love letter to Louisiana. Discover an elevated take on New Orleans favorites, highlighting bold flavors and local ingredients. Enjoy warm, knowledgeable service and a whimsical atmosphere, including the spectacle of the Food Stage, where chefs extravagantly plate the signature dishes.
This restaurant compares to the Ritz-Carton, keeping dining, and musical traditions alive on Canal Street, with farm-to-table Louisiana cuisine, including shrimp and grits and bouillabaisse at M Bistro restaurant. At Davenport Lounge, light fare and cocktails are served to the sounds of live jazz.
The restaurants at both properties are very good. Once again, they are a matter of personal taste and we suggest trying both.
5. Best Best Bar
The chandelier bar at Four Seasons has to be one of the most impressive bars in the world, with one of the most beautiful light installations. The brown wall art and tropical foliage gives this space an Asian feel. I can’t imagine a more stylish place to drink.
That said, I very much like the beautiful courtyard at the Ritz-Carlton, where you can grab a drink al fresco. Maybe try both bars when you are next in New Orleans, and you can draw your own conclusion?
6. Best Rooms
Each guest accommodation at Four Seasons has as its focal point a multi-panel plaster wall relief of magnolia flowers, as well as a crisp décor made up of mid-century modern-inspired furnishing and materials like white oak and white Carrara marble. The feel is modern but cozy.
The Ritz-Carlton goes for a more traditional and ornate feel. We prefer the look and views from the Four Seasons rooms.
7. Club Lounge
The Ritz-Carlton has a club lounge, and the Four Seasons doesn’t in New Orleans, so the Ritz-Carlton is your best choice here. However, I personally don’t much like the traditional decor in the club lounge in the Ritz-Carlton and would prefer to spend my time out in the Courtyard there or at the cool bars and restaurants at the Four Seasons. Yes, the club lounge offers an excellent array of food throughout the day. I’m just not sure it’s a space I’d want to spend my time in.
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