WHEN YOU WALK into the air-conditioned entrance of New Orleans' only AAA Five-Diamond luxury hotel, you're not just leaving Canal St. — you're entering another world altogether. From the doorman's greeting to the friendly and efficient front desk associate, the place really lives up to its credo of “We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen.” While you know you're in a hotel, the feel is more of a stay with a gracious host in one of the antebellum mansions in the Garden District.

This elegant 452-room property, which was a department store up until a few years ago, has been renovated and restored to include more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space — including a 7,500-square-foot grand ballroom, a 3,500-square-foot junior ballroom, a boardroom, and 13 breakout rooms — and a beautiful interior courtyard with lots of lounging spaces and a tinkling fountain. Among the perks for meeting planners are a dedicated conference concierge, shipping and receiving services, high-speed Internet access, and a technology butler, not to mention a highly dedicated conference services department and cuisine to die for.

The spa features such French-inspired treatments as the signature Napoleon's Royal Massage. And being set on the edge of the French Quarter, there's plenty to see and do.