The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans is a historic, grand hotel that reflects its 19th and early 20th century splendor. First built in 1983, the entire hotel was renovated after Hurricane Katrina, and reopened in 2009 under Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts.

[flgallery id=49 /]
The Roosevelt is centrally located just one block from Canal Street and the French Quarter, so it’s an easy walk to wherever you want to go while taking advantage of staying on a quiet street during some of New Orleans’ busiest times.

What will you find? A block-long golden lobby with dozens of sparkling chandeliers, signature mosaic tiles throughout the lobby and guest rooms, the renowned Blue Room (which is quite popular for private events and weddings), ballrooms and meeting space for conferences and events, the Sazerac Bar (also the hotel’s unique and signature drink), the Guerlain Spa (a top luxury day spa), a fitness center, John Besh’s Domenica Restaurant, an intimate rooftop pool and bar, the Emporium Gift Shop (where you will find cost effective, quality gifts), and excellent hospitality.

The Roosevelt Guest Rooms

The Roosevelt has 504 rooms, including 125 suites across two towers. Each of the rooms and suits are slightly different, based on room layout. And you will be transported back in time by the room’s quality, early 20th century period furnishings along with modern amenities.

I stayed in a King Suite (15h floor, room 110), which featured a separate living and sleeping area — roughly the size of two deluxe rooms (650 square feet or 60 square meters). If you’re visiting New Orleans for business, I think it’s important to have this amount of space so that there’s comfortable spaces to work, relax and sleep. Each room had its own 42″ flat screen TV, and the living room includes a sofa, two chairs and a business desk (which I find very useful).

Restaurants at The Roosevelt

Dining options at The Roosevelt include the Sazerac Restaurant, The Sazarac Bar (suggest stopping in at the end of the night as I did), Domenica, Teddy’s Cafe, The Rooftop Bar and in-room dining. Of course, New Orleans is a food city, so you’re likely to head out and try other options for breakfast, lunch and dinner (expect to gain weight during your visit).

What’s nice about Domenica and many of the restaurants in New Orleans is that the attire is smart casual, and I had dinner on my first night there. It’s a lively and contemporary restaurant with rustic tables and regional Italian dishes. I had an Abita Amber (a great local brew), a platter of cured meats (which is a great idea for private events), Gnocchi (scallions infused into pasta) with herbs, chunks of beef tongue and a short ribs broth, and Budino (chocolate hazelnut pudding and candied hazelnuts) for dessert.

Guerlain Spa at The Roosevelt

If time permits in the schedule, I think business travelers should select hotels that include a great spa whenever possible. And Guerlain is a name that is synonymous with beauty and skin care.

In New Orleans, the Guerlain Spa is one of three hotels (currently) with a spa. Facilities include 10 treatment rooms, a couples therapy suite, a VIP treatment room (for ultimate privacy), and salon spaces with the full line of Guerlain products. Its focus, according to spa director Debra Oakley, is to take a very personalized approach to each guest’s treatment. That’s key to helping ensure your overall well-being. Services include massages, facials, specialty therapies, hand and foot therapies, salon and make-up services.

So, I ended my visit to New Orleans with two treatments: a hydrotherapy treatment followed by a 50 minute Swedish massage. The treatment was so relaxing that I was able to briefly fall asleep.

Events and Meetings at The Roosevelt New Orleans

The Blue Room, located on the lobby level, was famous in the early 1930s as a supper club, and was where celebrities such as Louis Armstrong, Ray Charles, Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Durante and Sonny & Cher (among others) performed. Today this space is used as a historic setting for conventions, private events and weddings.

But for more traditional meetings, there’s also a 20,000 square foot ballroom (which can be divided into five sections), 23 meeting rooms, an executive board room, business center, and on-site A/V.

Enjoy New Orleans

All of the main activities and attractions of New Orleans are an easy walk or cab ride away, including Jackson Square, the French Quarter, shopping on Royal Street, museums, the convention center, Harrah’s Casino, the Mississippi River, the Garden District and more.

The Verdict?

The Roosevelt Hotel New Orleans is a unique hotel with a legacy of where the political, business and social elite came together to gather and meet. Today, it lives up to the unique experiences you would expect from a Waldorf Astoria property. The staff is friendly and ready to answer any question. The Roosevelt is an excellent hotel to consider for a future meeting or event, or to serve as your base to explore the Crescent City.

And be sure to check out the antique clock in the lobby of the Roosevelt New Orleans. It is wound by hand every eight days, and was featured in the 1867 and 1878 Paris exhibitions. The base is carved solid onyx marble, and atop is a bronze sculpture depicting a robed female figure who holds a scepter that rotates soundlessly from her hand.