Ritz-Carlton knows about creating memories. They understand that your kids will not be little for long, and that every vacation with your sweet one is special. Without fail, RC comprehends that feeling and creates a scenario where “forever-memories” – you know, the ones that stick with you for a lifetime – come with ease and grace. And that is why we sought out Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans on our first family visit to the Crescent City.
Here are nine ways that Ritz Carlton, New Orleans helped our family connect and make memories…I know you will love them as much as we do!
We loved the Studio Suite, which can comfortably accommodate up to 5 adults with antebellum mansion-inspired décor. It’s one of the smaller suites, but affords significantly more space than a standard room – almost 2x the square footage.
The living area includes a large flat-screen TV, honor bar and mini fridge, desk, and seating area. Around the corner, in the foyer, you’ll find Ritz-Carlton’s signature tea and coffee station.
The sofa transforms into a bed easily, with a cozy mattress. Beyond the 3/4 wall sits two Queen-size beds, a side table, dresser and another flat-screen TV. Corner-to-corner windows also show off the city of New Orleans.
This set-up works well with kids; we could easily put them to sleep, but still watch a little TV and drink a bottle of wine while they slumbered.
The bathroom was grand, with a separate tub and shower. Shower heads are important to me, and Ritz never disappoints; I adored the rainforest shower. Gorgeous marble floors, countertops and double sinks ensured the room was bright and fun (especially wth a little bubble bath for the kids, from the spa downstairs.)
In this suite, we played a few card games…giggled at the bubble bath excitement… watched the holiday lights come alive on the streets below…
Spending a little more for a lot more space can make sure that “suite memories” follow you home.
A Cozy Fireplace
Just off the main lobby is a stunning wood-paneled room with a comfortable sofas, a chess table and the coziest of fireplaces. When we weren’t exploring New Orleans, this is the very spot you could find our little family.
The boys perfected their chess game here. We warmed ourselves by the fire after getting caught in a small downpour. We sat on the couches and sipped delicious hot chocolates (complete with a few shots of Baileys for mom and dad!)
The walls of this room heard many conversations, with the warmth and magic to draw our boys off their electronics and talk to us for great lengths of time.
This special room made our vacation. It was exceptional, extraordinary…maybe a little miraculous?! And if it sounds like I’m going overboard, then I challenge you to visit with your kids. This room truly encapsulates the #RCMemories promise.
Gumbo, Hot Cocoa, and Jazz
We stayed with Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans for three nights, and enjoyed a sampling of their New Orleans gumbo each evening in the lobby. While not an entire bowl, it’s just enough to convince you that a stop into M Bistro is a must! In fact, they have been touted as having the best gumbo in the French Quarter.
We also enjoyed complimentary hot cocoa, complete with mini marshmallows. A small cup is the perfect accessory for heading outside in the winter. A sweet treat for the boys, for sure.
By the way, don’t miss ordering a larger, personalized hot chocolate for the kids from the Davenport Lounge. It is pure creamy deliciousness, complete with toasted marshmallows. And later, should you have a sitter (or grandparents with you) then grab your spouse and head back for complimentary jazz from 9pm.
Ritz Kids Program
Visiting NOLA with kids is a treat. Kids can check in when you do at their own NOLA Streetcar Desk. They’ll get a Ritz Kids booklet, complete with scavenger hunt allowing them to explore and learn about the hotel. Once they’ve completed the scavenger hunt, they can return it to the front desk for a present.
Every Ritz-Carlton offers different Ritz Kids programs, so always be sure to ask about them at the front desk.
As you can see from this photo, we visited during the Christmas season. The Courtyard was dazzling with poinsettias, trees and lights – but it was obvious to see that this is a special place all year ’round. The wrought iron gazebo was my boys’ favorite…maybe the flickering old-world lantern lights…but for me, it was the soothing sound of the fountain.
We met another family in the courtyard one night, also letting their kiddos run off some steam. They had a great time together, and the Davenport wait staff were kind enough to stop in to request our order. We enjoyed drinks and a few plates of fries…it was a great place for snacking.
Pro tip: There are gorgeous glass doors into the “fireplace room” from the Courtyard. #WinWin
An indoor pool is always a welcome hotel amenity when you’re traveling with kiddos. The Ritz NOLA pool is a resistance pool, which was fun for my strong swimmer. The pool area also includes a hot tub!
I should note that this pool area (with restrooms for changing) is attached to the fitness center and spa. It wasn’t specially “designed” to be kid-friendly – but it is still fun for children. One time when we visited, there were a few other kiddos. Another time, after we’d been there about 20 minutes, a couple came in – obviously looking for some adult time – so we happily skipped out for a game of chess by the fire.
Another note – as I was preparing for our visit, a TripAdvisor review continuously came up for me, in which the author states that there are “kid hours” for this pool. I didn’t see anything posted about this – and I double checked with the front desk. They assured me kids were welcome during ALL the hours the pool is open.
Location, Location, Location
This gorgeous, historic hotel sits on Canal street in the Garden District..on the edge of the French Quarter. You’re within walking district of the Aquarium and Insectarium (which we LOVED!)
You can easily jump on the red Canal Streetcar Line for easy access along a 5.5-mile route of museums and restaurants and parks. Be sure to look for the Jazzy Pass to save some dough.
The famous Cafe Du Monde is an easy walk – and you can see the joy in my son’s face (above) when we went for beignets one morning.
Our other favorite breakfast stop (besides the awesome breakfast buffet at M Bistro) is The Ruby Slipper Cafe, only a half-block from the hotel. We first went when we visited the Alabama Beaches, and it was just as great here in its home-city.
If you have kids, you know that even an extra half-hour of checkout time is valuable. Ritz New Orleans gives you an extra two hours more than most hotels, allowing for a noon check out. #GameChanger
On the Monday morning we were checking out, we had time for a leisurely breakfast off the property, a final dip in the pool, a Bloody Mary by the fire, and plenty of time to pack.
Ritz-Carlton wants your last moments to be those you cherish… not a nightmare whirlwind out the door. And, once again, they deliver.
When it was finally time for the valet to pull our car around front and load it up, I was calm, cool, collected, and ready for a peaceful ride back to Atlanta.
Fun With Fido
When you’re making forever-memories with your family, Fido is often part of that story. Our lab is getting old and doesn’t travel well, so we were without her…but I know pets are an important part of family travel.
Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans invites pets 30 lbs and under to visit for a nominal fee; just be sure to make arrangements beforehand. The fee covers the cost of deep-cleaning the room once your pet is gone.
Your pets are welcome in the arrival areas of the 1st and 3rd floors, and the room. You may not bring them with you into the public areas where food and drinks are served.
As I mention above, we visited about a week before Christmas – and oh what a time to be in New Orleans! You can read all about our favorite NOLA Christmas Events here.
With the lights, gingerbread house, tea with Santa and so much more offered by Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans….it just wouldn’t be the same without a weekend stay here! In fact, the Papa Noel Package starts at under $250.
Whether you visit during winter like we did, or in the heat of summer, a family vacation to New Orleans is just made better with a stay at Ritz-Carlton.
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Disclosure: Thank you to Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans for partnering with us on this post. As always, opinions here are our own.