Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans
Looming on a majestic city block (the site of a former famous department store), the Ritz-Carlton unsurprisingly rubs shoulders—almost literally—with the best luxury hotels in the city. The astonishing attention to detail and levels of service, from the lobby staff to the farm-to-table ethos of the M Bistro, is truly impressive. The plush, colorful furnishings of the regular accommodations will meet even the most exacting standards, but an even more sophisticated approach can be found at the Maison Orleans Club, which affords guests the experience of a luxurious Southern townhouse. Jazz great Jeremy Davenport serenades guests in his eponymous lounge every weekend.