Spicy Nights and Sweet Dreams

Four Seasons Hotel New Orleans nearly ready to welcome guests

ILLUSTRATION BY TONY HEALEY

Jennifer Gibson Schecter was once a tourist in New Orleans herself and is now proud to call NOLA home. She also writes the Wednesday Tourism Blog on BizNewOrleans.com.


 

In a city that barely has two seasons, it may seem disjointed to welcome the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences to New Orleans. However, luxury is in style regardless of the weather.

Construction is nearly complete to transform the iconic World Trade Center and International Trade Mart building at 2 Canal Street into a new luxury hotel, spa, function space and private residential facility. The Four Seasons New Orleans is officially set to open in May 2021.

Known for its opulent offerings, the newest location in the famous hotel chain will combine its exclusive guest experiences with the flair that only New Orleans can offer. The interior was specially designed for guests to see and feel the “celebration of New Orleans” throughout the hotel.

“New Orleans has long been a desired location for a Four Seasons hotel, as it is renowned as one of the greatest hospitality destinations in the world,” said Mali Carow, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences New Orleans. “The people, service and charm here are truly world-class, and we are thrilled to be a part of the economic recovery of New Orleans, as the first luxury hotel to open here in over 20 years.”

The hotel’s amenities include 341 accommodations, 92 private residences, a fifth-floor rooftop infinity pool, a spacious spa, 24-hour fitness center, two ballrooms and seven function rooms, a private garden, 34th floor rooftop observation deck and perhaps most important to the culture of New Orleans, two new restaurants and a lobby bar.

The lobby level restaurant will be James Beard Award-winning Chef Alon Shaya’s restaurant, called Miss River. It will also open in May. Billed as Shaya’s “love letter to Louisiana,” it features his take on an ingredient-driven and culturally inspired menu of New Orleans grand dining. Dishes will reflect the regional cuisine and locally sourced ingredients, using classic techniques for their preparation.

An exemplar Four Seasons lobby bar will also get the Alon Shaya touch. The Chandelier Bar will feature a stunning crystal chandelier, specialty cocktails, an impressive Champagne selection and bar bites by Shaya.

The second restaurant on the property will be led by Louisiana native and James Beard Award-winning Chef Donald Link. His restaurant will be located on the fifth floor with panoramic views of the Mississippi River. The name and concept are still being finalized but will likely incorporate Link’s Cajun and Southern foodways background in contemporary iterations such as those that grace the menu at Herbsaint and Pêche Seafood Grill. His new Four Seasons restaurant is scheduled to open in October 2021.

Four Seasons will market the restaurants and other hotel amenities using traditional media, social media, and also in conjunction with festivals, events and conventions. The hotel management is working in coordination with state and city hospitality partners to promote tourism in New Orleans. Carow said that in light of COVID-19, the regional drive-in market is going to be critically important, and as recovery emerges, Four Seasons will also focus on its traditional feeder markets of both New Orleans and loyal brand guests.

To create the guest experience Four Seasons is known for, it expects to hire 500 employees for the new hotel. Recruiting began Feb. 8, with approximately half of those positions being hired in April and May, and the remainder of the roles will be filled by the end of the year. Its full-time positions offer benefits such as health care and paid time off. All candidates are required to apply online at jobs.fourseasons.com.

“As the first luxury hotel to open here in over 20 years, we are introducing what will be one of the best hotels in the country – with incredible accommodations, phenomenal restaurants and world-class amenities,” said Carow. “In addition to that, it’s important to us that we’re appreciated by our employees, who truly are the heart of any Four Seasons hotel around the world. They are the ones who will make everyday experiences here magical, build relationships with our guests and really be the ambassadors [of] our hotel. Our ultimate success will be measured by the ability of our employees to make our guests happy, feeling the magic of New Orleans and wanting to return.”

Room rates will be available March 16, 2021 when reservations go live. They are still being determined and will be in line with other Four Seasons hotels. Hotel information is available at fourseasons.com/neworleans/. Inquiries about the Four Seasons Private Residences New Orleans can be made at twocanal.com.