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Ayesha Khan, Misty Milioto and Janet Thomas | Edited by Alison Abbey and Allison Mitchell | Photo: Courtesy of the resorts and restaurants | June 5, 2014
After a long work week in the city, a weekend escape is a must. Whether you arrive by land, by sea or by air, these nearby destinations boast new or freshly renovated hotels, bars and restos along with super summer packages and cultural happenings. From the hip Hamptons and lively New York City to the happenin’ streets of NOLA and the sandy beaches of Florida, these dreamy locales deliver on sun, fun and good times. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your besties and a couture carry-on, and get ready to soak up the easy-breezy season of summer!
Best of the Big Easy
Succumb to the sultry sway of New Orleans.
The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Boasting one of the most updated and luxurious collections of guest rooms in the city, The Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans recently completed renovations to its Maison Orleans wing (the hotel’s exclusive club level, consisting of 75 guest rooms) and The Ritz-Carlton Suite (the hotel’s 2,800-square-foot Presidential Suite). Lisambiance Interior Design updated the spaces with commissioned artwork from various local artists, masterfully refinished furnishings, LED lighting, custom cabinetry, espresso machines and mounted TVs. Meanwhile, The Ritz-Carlton Suite features one-of-a-kind blown-glass Mardi Gras masks, a luxurious canopy bed, an antique pool table, Venetian glass chandeliers and a balcony with expansive views of the Mississippi River and French Quarter. Executive suites from $599 per night, The Ritz-Carlton Suite from $3,500 per night, @ritzcarlton
Loews New Orleans Hotel
Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2014, the hotel is undergoing a significant face-lift this year with fresh rooms featuring new linens, draperies and more. To celebrate its anniversary, the hotel is offering exclusive deals throughout the year via its Facebook page, including discounted rates, complimentary in-room amenities and unique travel packages. But what’s NOLA without a little debauchery? Head to the hotel’s Swizzle Stick Bar for inventive takes on classic libations. Then, rejuvenate the next morning at Balance Spa & Fitness where offerings include nail services, waxing, facials, massages and more. Overnight rates from $149, @loews_hotels
The Saint Hotel
This hip boutique hotel in the French Quarter recently completed five luxury suites that comprise the entire second floor of the 166-room, eight-story property. High-end amenities include Egyptian cotton linens and custom throws, Bose Wave sound systems and at least two 60-inch Tvs. The two 1,800-squarefoot master suites (each named for the opposing archangels Michael and Lucifer) also feature entertainment spaces, a bar and Carrera marble bathrooms. When you’re not soaking up the heavenly room accommodations, head to Burgundy Bar for a sinfully-sweet nightlife experience. Suites from $750, @thesainthotel
Look no further than this hot spot for funky street food from Mexico City (with an added dash of flavors from the states of Puebla, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Jalisco and Yucatan). Located in a renovated Greek Revival home in Central City (an area between Uptown and the French Quarter), the resto features recycled and salvaged elements from buildings in New Orleans, Texas and Mexico. The colorful ambience only enhances the food, such as specialty plates of Chilaquiles del Dia (fried corn tortilla strips topped with crema Mexicana and queso fresco). Oh, and the bar features over 100 tequilas and mezcals. @casaborrega
A bit off the beaten path (for tourists anyway) is the hidden gem, Ivy, located Uptown on Magazine Street. Executive Chef Sue Zemanick whips up sumptuous small plates (think cheese and charcuterie plates, mint-lamb meatballs with tomato-sherry jam, or spicy fried baby back ribs with celery and blue cheese), all paired with carefully chosen wines and classic cocktails.
Pêche Seafood Grill
With two recent James Beard Foundation Awards—one naming Pêche as the Best New Restaurant in the country, and another naming chef and co-owner Ryan Prewitt Best Chef: South (he tied with culinary star Zemanick)—you know you’re in for a treat. Located in the burgeoning Warehouse District, the resto serves up coastal seafood with a modern twist, cooked on an open hearth over hardwood coals. Sure-fire winners here include the whole grilled fish and anything from the raw bar. @pechenola
Cane & Table
Island flare and Creole cuisine go head-to-head at this new restaurant and bar in the French Quarter. Grab a seat at the relaxing bar, and order one (or several) of the fruity tiki drinks. Our fave cocktail of choice is the Animal Kingdom, made with house-spiced rum, Angostura bitters, Bäska Snaps (a Swedish-style bitter spirit), Falernum, lime, pineapple and passion fruit. @caneandtable
Expect a Zen-like ambience, small plates meant for sharing and topnotch attention (bottle service, anyone?) At this ubercontemporary Asian-themed lounge, located in the Warehouse District. Over-the-top decor includes 24K gold-leaf domes, 350-year-old vases and a bar topped in solid bamboo. Choose from an extensive menu of Sake, crafted slings (a type of libation that predates the cocktail) and artisanal cocktails.
This new bar and resto—located along the Fulton Street pedestrian mall near Harrah’s Hotel & Casino—just so happens to offer 12 bowling lanes, plus a mixture of traditional and craft cocktails (with one of the most extensive collection of liquors in the Crescent City). A Southern/ American-influenced menu features snacks and sharable small plates. It’s fun; it’s flirty; it’s a lucky strike! @fultonalley
If you enjoy local craft beer, then you’ll love the new tap room at NOLA Brewing’s Irish Channel-area brewery. Choose from an array of beer that’s sold on the market (such as NOLA Blonde, Hopitoulas and Flambeau Red), plus eight specialty beers that are only available in the tap room. And be sure to catch the brewery tours (and free beer!), taking place every Friday from 2-3PM. @nolataproom –Misty Milioto