People head to New Orleans for many reasons bachelor parties,
conventions, Mardi Gras. How about getting over a broken heart?
The Avenue Inn Bed and Breakfast has teamed up with the Southern
Comfort Cocktail Tour (which usually offers drinking tours of the
Big Easy) to offer a “Breaking Up Is So Very Hard to Do, But I’ll
Get Over Him” hotel package. The “healing experience” includes
three nights with continental breakfast, souvenirs and voodoo doll
(pins included) and a one-hour massage at Bodyjoys Day Spa and
The rejuvenation treatment, although not always catering to
heartache, is part of a trend to incorporate spa visits with hotel
stays. Several hotels and bed and breakfasts in New Orleans offer
spa packages to allow visitors a chance to unwind.
Major hotels offering spas and pampering packages include the
Monteleone in the French Quarter, the Ritz-Carlton on nearby Canal
Street, the Windsor Court and Loew’s fronting the Mississippi River
with streetcar connection to the Vieux Carre. Others include the
Avenue Plaza Hotel & Spa on St. Charles Avenue and Miss Celie’s
Spa Orleans within the Olde Victorian Inn, a historic bed and
breakfast on the edge of the French Quarter.
Located on Royal Street in the heart of the French Quarter, the
Monteleone is a favorite among tourists and locals alike,
particularly the city’s writers. The elegant hotel was recently
named a Literary Landmark for its association with William
Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Truman Capote and Ernest
The hotel also earned the American Automobile Association’s Four
Diamond award this year.
After enjoying an original drink at the Carousel Bar, where
literary figures once warmed the seats, visitors can head to the
Spa Aria, a full-service spa that offers everything from facials to
body wraps. Packages, such as “The Gentleman’s Treat” and the “The
Monteleone Experience,” range from 1½ to four hours and cost $150
Spa Aria also features a “Girls Day Out” for groups of women,
according to Elizabeth Townsend, spa manager.
“It’s more like a bride’s day,” she said, adding that the
package includes champagne, mini pedicure, full manicure and a
Miss Celie’s Spa Orleans and Old Victorian
Miss Celie’s began as a bed and breakfast in an historic
building at the north end of the French Quarter, said co-owner
Keith West-Harrison. Then he discovered its colorful history.
“We bought the building years ago and had no idea of its
history,” West-Harrison said. “A friend of ours pointed out that it
had the beauty parlor.”
The building was once owned by Celie Brune, a Creole woman who
pampered New Orleans’ socialites at her “Maison de Beaute,”
according to West-Harrison. The story has it that the salon was
located in what was then a rooming house owned by Lizzy Agnes
Francais, the eccentric widow of an indigo baron. Francais spent
most of her life traveling with Miss Celie as her nursemaid and it
was during these trips that the two discovered European spas. The
building was bequeathed to Miss Celie in 1890 by Francais upon her
West-Harrison hoped to continue the building’s tradition of
pampering, including offering worldly spa treatments. The spa
offers body treatments, manicures and pedicures, massage and its
trademark Ma-KOH-DO-ssage, a Japanese incense infused body work
that centers around an hour-long massage preceded by 15 minutes of
The spa features wellness packages that coincide with stays in
one of three guestrooms at the bed and breakfast that overlook the
courtyard. A week program costs $4,965 and includes a seven-night
stay, breakfast, morning French Quarter walks, cooking classes,
personal wellness consultations, spa lunches, massages, personal
yoga lessons and DNA analysis, which is used to examine how clients
are aging on a cellular level. A miniature version of the program,
which consists of a three-night stay, costs $2,125.
The Windsor Court
“The Windsor Court’s ‘Spa to You’ program turns the hotel into a
virtual 324-room spa,” said Cary Alden, publicist for the AAA Four
Diamond hotel. “Guests can indulge in massages, facials, manicures,
pedicures and body wraps in the comfort of their suite” by the
hotel’s staff of trained estheticians.
Aromatherapy candles and relaxing music of the client’s choosing
can be incorporated in the treatment.
Alden added that celebrities and wealthy clientele are regulars
to the hotel, so the in-room service offers privacy they could not
receive at a public spa.
Suite packages, that combine hotel room, room service
continental breakfast and a choice of up to $250 worth of spa
treatments, are available.
Louisiana’s only AAA Five Diamond hotel offers a full-service
spa that’s been garnering accolades, such as being named the “Top
Luxury Spa” by Healing Lifestyles and Spas magazine and the “Top
Urban Hotel Spa” by Spa Finder magazine.
Signature treatments include the Ritz-Carlton New Orleans
Signature Facial, where warm stones infused with essential oils are
used to relax the muscles of the upper torso, followed by a facial.
Napoleon’s Royal Massage consists of a bath in a hydrotherapy tub
followed by a Swedish massage infused with a lemon verbena eau de
cologne. For something a little more Southern, try the Magnolia
Sugar Scrub, a body polish with the essence of magnolia.
The hotel also offers hotel-spa packages, such as the
Ritz-Carlton Signature Spa (from $510), which includes deluxe
accommodations, two signature massages, breakfast for two and valet
Avenue Plaza Hotel and Spa
The 9,000-square-foot Mackie Shilstone Pro Spa at the Avenue
Plaza Hotel in uptown New Orleans offers a fitness facility,
whirlpool, sauna and steam room, in addition to massage,
aromatherapy, herbal treatments and body wraps by appointment.
Specialized treatments include body scrubs and steam wraps.
Packages range from “The Big Easy,” a body massage, scrub and
herbal wrap for $119 to Bayou Bliss, a body massage, scrub, wrap,
facial, manicure and pedicure for $215.
One of the newest hotels in New Orleans, Loew’s offers spa
services such as massages with a variety of enhancements available
(aromatherapy, pre-natal, deep tissue and more), facials, body
treatments, waxing and manicures and pedicures.
For the Couples Instructional Massage, a licensed massage
therapist instructs one guest while giving the other the massage.
Then the couple trades places.
In-room treatments are also available for a slightly higher