Luxury Escapes Guide to New Orleans

From flavour-filled jambalaya to the historic lawns of Jackson Square, there’s no better place to find your joie de vivre than New Orleans.

Lush, lavish and larger-than-life: there’s mystery and magic to be found on the banks of the Mississippi. With a cross-cultural heritage supercharged by the city’s vibrant, non-stop culture, The Big Easy’s dressed to impress. Whether it’s the French Quarter’s centuries-old dining rooms and legendary jazz bars, Uptown’s Revival-era mansions and tree-lined boulevards or Marigny’s well-preserved Creole cottages and artist colonies, New Orlean’s inimitable spirit is yours to be discovered – and only a streetcar-ride away.

Here, the music on the street rivals that on a stage; world-class bartenders mix up sazeracs, hurricanes and Herbsaint frappes nightly; the food, from shrimp-stuffed po’ boys to beignets deep-fried to golden perfection, is celebrated across the globe. With a calendar jam-packed year-round with festivals, attractions and celebrations, there’s always something going on – and New Orleans invites you to join the party.

Escape to New Orleans

Things to see and do

Dance the night away to live music on Frenchmen Street

Experience New Orleans’ legendary live music scene in its purest form on Frenchmen Street, perfectly positioned between the French Quarter’s old world charm and Marigny’s soulful art markets. Walk past preserved, single-storey Creole cottages, stuccoed architecture and sloping palms to sample the street’s riches, such as late-night bebop powerhouses like Blue Nile, The Maison and Snug Harbor among many others. There’s plenty of places to refuel along the way – a muffaletta sandwich, stuffed with cold cuts and giardiniera, is one of the city’s favourite late-night bites.

Take a stroll through the magnificent French Quarter

No visit to New Orleans is complete without a stroll through the French Quarter. Originally founded by the French in 1718, the world-famous district is brimming with countless points of interest – centuries-old restaurants, distinguished antique shops, Voodoo shops, courtyard cafes, above-ground cemeteries and some of the country’s best mixology bars all await. Begin in Jackson Square, the neighbourhood’s emerald heart – and home of St. Louis Cathedral, the oldest of its kind in America – and see where the day takes you, taking each wonderful surprise as it comes.

Join in on the festival fun

New Orleans loves to party, and there’s no greater bash than Mardi Gras, when the city’s krewes (carnival clubs) parade through the street and raucous cheer reigns supreme. While Mardi Gras season is easily the busiest time to visit New Orleans, the festival-obsessed city has a packed calendar year-round. Go in April for the French Quarter Fest, celebrating the district’s rich musical and culinary heritage; August for Satchmo Summerfest, honouring Louis Armstrong’s righteous trumpet and contribution to modern jazz; October for Halloween fun and the city’s annual Music Month, with festivals and live shows dominating the streets for 31 extraordinary days of funk, blues, jazz and more.

Hitch a ride on an historic streetcar

There are few symbols of the The Big Easy as timeless as the streetcar, with five lines servicing the city from historic St. Charles Avenue to the riverfront. There’s no better way to discover New Orleans’ best spots. Take the Canal line to see some of the city’s storied cemeteries, St. Charles line to see many of its most storied streets or the Rampart/Saint Claude Streetcar line to visit the Saint Claude Arts District. It’s affordable, too, with one-way rides starting from $1.25.

Lux moments

Take a sip of history at Sazerac House

An intoxicating blend of museum, multi-media exhibition, mixology lab, distillery and bar, Sazerac House lovingly traces the history of New Orleans’ favourite cocktail from inception to modern day. It’s a glimpse into the story of the drink behind so much of the city’s fascinating history, housed in one of the city’s most magnificent buildings, a masterfully renovated three-storey Italianate building that once served as a hat factory. Dive in with a self-guided tour before treating yourself to one of the establishment’s spirited tasting experiences, introducing guests to some of the region’s most notorious cocktails, like the Corpse Reviver #2 and the Shrunken Skull. Spooky!

Wander through Julia Street’s world-class galleries

Affectionately called ‘Gallery Row,’ Julia Street proudly hosts more than a dozen of the city’s finest art galleries, ranging from local Louisiana outré pieces at 600 Julia to the Ogden Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of Southern art. For something a bit zestier, Jonathan Ferrara Gallery has a reputation for showcasing highly charged political art, while the Contemporary Arts Centre goes broader with a focus on multidisciplinary and under-represented artists. The first Saturday of each month offers the perfect opportunity to discover Julia’s treasures, with each gallery proudly premiering new exhibitions to the public.

Cherish moments of serenity at Spa Atlantis

After time discovering New Orleans’ legendary taste for excess, a day of calm, quiet indulgence can be just what you need. While the city offers an abundance of excellent day spas and wellness centres, Spa Atlantis stands a cut above the rest with treatments ranging from raindrop essential oil therapy to tarot card readings, full-body seaweed wraps, IV treatments and more. It’s the perfect chance to slow down, restore, rejuvenate and ready yourself for more.

Find your flourish at the award-winning Peacock Room

Southern socialite-inspired whimsy doesn’t come any better than at the Peacock Room. Boasting luxury flourishes in every conceivable harmony of blue and gold, this modern cocktail lounge is the perfect place to begin (or end) your night in New Orleans. The cuisine more than matches the decor, with decadent French classics given a mighty Cajun spin. Think eggs benedict topped with Louisiana Gulf shrimp or brioche hot chicken sandwiches slathered with fiery comeback sauce. The cocktail menu is equally dressed to impress; try the Washoku Marii, a ramen-themed spin on the bloody Mary, or sip your way through the house’s signature high tea punch, built with bourbon, chai and citrus and best enjoyed with a friend.

Top places to eat and drink

Commander’s Palace

For an authentic taste of Louisiana history with a heaping side of Dixieland jazz, look no further than Commander’s Palace. The acclaimed Garden District institution has been serving lip-smackingly good Creole since 1893, picking up seven coveted James Beard Foundation Awards along the way. Highly recommended is the restaurant’s signature jazz brunch, best enjoyed beneath the dining room’s glittering chandeliers. Start with a bloody Mary and the Creole gumbo (dashed lavishly with hot sauce), finish with the whiskey-cream bread pudding souffle and savour every moment of the journey in between.

Restaurant R’evolution

Reimagined after a multi-million-dollar renovation, Restaurant R’evolution’s back with a vengeance. Expect Cajun classics delivered with playful whimsy, with dishes like the Death by Gumbo, served with a whole roasted quail, and a coffee and chili- rubbed rack of venison. A constantly evolving cocktail menu serves as the perfect accompaniment – try the Le Beau, a revitalising highball of brandy and housemade strawberry tarragon shrub, topped with soda.


There’s a guaranteed recipe for the perfect afternoon in the French Quarter: spend it at Arnaud’s. Start with a champagne cocktail – prepared by a tuxedoed bartender and heady with VS cognac – at French 75, the restaurant’s elegant libation parlour, before enjoying a meal at any of the establishment’s four exquisite dining rooms. You won’t want to skip the shrimp cocktail entrée – doused in a tangy remoulade blend, it’s justifiably Arnaud’s signature dish – but highly recommended is the frogs legs Provençale, crispy fried and topped with a delicious compound butter infused with Herbsaint, the city’s signature absinthe-adjacent liqueur.


After eight years as executive chef of Commander’s Palace, celebrated chef Emereil Lagasse set out to redefine modern New Orleans cookery. He more than delivered with Emeril’s, breathing new life into Louisiana classics like smoked salmon cheesecake (finished with reserve caviar) and lobster matched with buttered leeks and red wine gumbo. Not even the drinks are safe: the old fashioned’s been given a facelift with small-batch bourbon and artisanal bitters, while the humble punch jug is elevated with fresh blueberries, hibiscus and lavender.