The Hotel: An elegant, 1906 Beaux-Arts-style building houses this gem of a hotel, with interiors done by L.A.-based celebrity designer LM Pagano (Johnny Depp’s favorite). Décor in the 134 rooms and suites is refined without being fussy—damask bedding, tufted armchairs, ornate light fixtures, and lazily spinning ceiling fans are offset by high ceilings, huge windows overlooking the city skyline, and sleek, modern baths. Jasmine white tea martinis are served in the candlelit, velvet-upholstered, slightly Gothic bar—appropriately called Loa, the voodoo term for “divine spirits.”
The Locale: Although it’s technically in the Central Business District, the hotel is just a couple blocks south of the French Quarter—which means the historic balconied homes of Royal Street, the gardens and buskers of Jackson Square, and the city’s most fabulous restaurants, antique shops, and live music venues are moments away.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.