NOLA Adventure: The Roosevelt Hotel and WWII Museum

New Orleans — By Erik Hastings on April 8, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to introduce a guest post from travel radio show host Erik Hastings. on a mission to get more people experiencing the positive power of travel. Every week he hosts a syndicated radio show heard coast to coast including WABC in New York. His video webcast Travel Show Live can be found on his website:

Yet another reason to visit New Orleans! The National World War II Museum was renamed and dedicated on November 6, 2009. A new wing has been built and houses one of the most spectacular 4D movies I have ever seen. In addition to the museum, this trip was all about experiencing the culinary artistry of Chef John Besh and WOW my palette felt like Mardi Gras with every expertly designed meal.

I was graciously welcomed at The Roosevelt Hotel. This legendary property just underwent 170 million dollar renovation, and it shows. The property is elegant, well decorated and the staff was welcoming at every service point. I took a tour of the property and my only regret is that my schedule did not allow time for a spa treatment at The Guerlain Spa located on property; it looks like a very relaxing oasis. Also on my visit, I had cocktails at the Sazerac Bar and ate at every restaurant on the property (more on that in a second). The outdoor pool was open (as was the poolside bar) and we spent a few minutes unwinding with a fruity drink in the hot tub. The Roosevelt is located at 123 Baronne Street with the French Quarter a five minute walk from the front entrance. The location is perfect for someone who wants to be one step removed from the hustle and bustle of the Quarter. The only less than stellar performance was the on-property restaurant called The Sazerac Restaurant. My lunch was good but not up to the Roosevelt’s standards. It may have just been an off day for me or the kitchen. In my opinion, the menu needs an overhaul and some solid execution. The service, however, was fantastic. Staying at The Roosevelt felt like a luxurious urban resort with every amenity at my finger tips.

You’ll love it there.

One of the newer restaurants in New Orleans, Domenica, opened in late 2009 and is located inside the Roosevelt Hotel. It is Chef John Besh’s latest New Orleans property and I had a chance to enjoy an Italian culinary experience that knocked my socks off. The atmosphere is elegant, with clean lines, dark wood and an open kitchen. The vibe is hip yet approachable. The food is delicious. It is easy to see evidence of true craftsmanship in every dish. John and his staff deserve high praise for this creation. Whether you stay at the Roosevelt or not, make plans for dinner (or lunch) at Domenica.

The main event was the opening of this marvelous museum honoring the men and women who served this country in World War II. It was originally named the D Day museum, but was recently renamed The National World War II Museum and recognized by the US Congress as an authority on the subject matter. The ceremony I attended was the opening of a new wing where inside, is the 4D movie narrated by Tom Hanks called “Beyond All Boundaries”. It plays every hour and it suited for children as young as 12. The movie is breathtaking and it definitely is worth your time on your next visit.

Overall, I was thrilled with this trip to New Orleans. I was reminded (yet again) that New Orleans is a truly unique US destination because of its Cajun and Creole heritage, friendly locals, live jazz and unbeatable spirit.

[Image: Infrogmation/Flickr]

Tags: Domenica, Guerlain Spa, John Besh, New Orleans, Roosevelt Hotel, World War II Museum

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