The Roosevelt Hotel, New Orleans
This grand property, just one street west of the French Quarter, embraces the elegance and drama of 1893 New Orleans. The 2009-renovated hotel features restored 1920s geometric mosaic floors in the whisper-quiet lobby, which is also adorned with monumental crystal chandeliers, potted palms, and an 1867 gilt clock (fun fact: every Waldorf Astoria hotel has a featured historic timepiece). As part of the renovation, the hotel expanded the size of its rooms, turning what was once 700 rooms into 504 (including 125 suites). Accommodation layouts vary dramatically; and all rooms feature flat-screen televisions, 300-thread-count sheets, and art by local artists. Downstairs, the 12,500-square-foot Guerlain Spa has 10 treatment rooms outfitted in soothing bamboo-inspired neutrals, and the in-house Italian restaurant, Domenica, run by local celebrity (and Iron Chef America winner) John Besh, brings in a young, coiffed crowd to the stark black-and-glass dining room.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.