As I get older, and life gets busier, there is nothing that I value more than family time, especially with my mom (sorry dad). About a year ago, our favorite singer ever, Celine Dion, announced she’d be going on tour again and we immediately got tickets to go see her at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans. My mom lives in Guatemala and I live in Houston, so we only get to see each other a few times a year, therefore, I immediately turned this concert trip into a fun mom + me vacay, so we could relax, eat good, indulge in a drink or two, and spend some quality time together.
Where To Stay
When I heard The Westin New Orleans underwent a $30 million renovation throughout the entire hotel, I knew I wanted to check it out during our visit! The location is just perfect: you’re steps away from the French Quarter, and you’re also steps away from the CBD!
As soon I stepped out of the elevator and entered the lobby, I was immediately captivated by the floor to ceiling windows overlooking the French Quarter and the Mississippi River. These views were breathtaking both during the day and nighttime! To the left of the elevators I saw the check-in area, and on the right…my favorite part of this hotel: Observatory Eleven bar and lounge. We will talk more about the bar later.
The hotel also features a restaurant called Bistro at the Bend, which was extremely convenient for breakfast the next morning after our concert outing, a new special event space, Riverbend Ballroom, a gym that is open 24 hours a day, and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
The renovated rooms were also to die for! The room was extremely spacious, featuring chic decor and huge windows with French Quarter and Mississippi River views, a coffee maker, the softest robes, and even a lavender essential oil to help you get a good night’s sleep.
What I most enjoyed about this hotel is that not only do they want their guests to have a great time at the hotel and in the city, but they also want to encourage their guests to practice wellness; the hotel features healthy eats at Bistro at the Bend and room service, a fully equipped gym, AND they will even rent out New Balance workout gear for you in case you forgot to bring your tennis shoes or activewear.
The hotel even hosts a running group that will take you for a 5K run throughout the French Quarter! The running group, led by GM Jerry Reyes, typically meets on Wednesdays at 6:30 AM (although this is flexible if guests would like to start a little earlier). You can sign up at the front desk upon arrival, during your stay or you can also email the request before arriving.
What To Eat & Drink
Friday Lunch at Commander’s Palace
Get dressed up in your most extra attire and get ready for the best lunch of your life at this NOLA institution. Don’t forget to try their $0.25 martinis, proceed with caution with these. Commander’s Palace is just a short Uber ride to the Garden District!
Head back to the French Quarter for a Beignet Cake at Café Beignet. Even if you’re not that hungry, you’ll want to check out this cake for the #insta with your mom!
Head back to The Westin and grab a seat at Observatory Eleven, this fabulous circular bar with 2,300 square feet of seating has fantastic views overlooking the river from the 11th floor! Their bar features a curated cocktail menu, including original craft cocktails and the classics, and a selection of beer and wine.
PS: They also have a great happy hour daily from 3-6 PM. The bar and lounge also offers live music Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings from 4-7 PM; you don’t have to be a guest at the hotel to check out the bar!
Just a few steps from your hotel you’ll find the gorgeous Justine, a french bistro featuring great food and delicious cocktails. It is the perfect place to end a fabulous night with your mom, plus, you get to walk back to The Westin if you want to call it an early night.
Breakfast at Bistro at the Bend
Because why would you want to leave the hotel for breakfast? I highly recommend the yogurt parfait and avocado toast! Bistro at the Bend’s offerings feature Southern cuisine through a regional lens; the restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Chef Daniel Mills’ signature dishes include savory blue crab beignets, Gulf Coast au gratin, blackened scallops, and pimento cheese arancini.
Do a late lunch at Domenica (they have happy hour from 2-6PM) and indulge in pizza and wine. I also recommend you start with their famous Roasted Cauliflower!
After lunch, head over to Copper Vine for 30+ wines on tap. If the weather is nice, be sure to sit on their outdoor patio! Just a few blocks away from Copper Vine you’ll find Bar Marilou, a French-style bar in a former library, mixing up creative cocktails. If you feel like taking an Uber instead of walking, I recommend you go to Elysian Bar and/or Bacchanal Wine.
If you want to splurge on dinner, check out August and order the tasting menu with the wine pairings. If you’re looking for a more fun and casual place try either Cochon Butcher, St James Cheese Company or Meril!
Head back to Observatory Eleven for a last cocktail before bedtime and take in those nighttime views!
What To Do
Go To A Concert
Not sure if Celine Dion will be back any time soon, but New Orleans is the birthplace of some of the best music ever. Check out a performance at Preservation Hall, visit Tipitina’s for more music, or find out if you and your mom’s favorite musician might be making a NOLA appearance anytime soon!
Attend a Festival
There are many, many, maaaaaany, festivals coming up and the best time to visit New Orleans is during festival season. Some of our favorite festivals that your mom will love too are: French Quarter Fest, Jazz Fest, New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, Top Taco Fest, & Hogs For A Cause.
New Orleans has so many cute boutiques where you can get fabulous outfits and NOLA souvenirs. Check out our Guide to Shopping in NOLA for more on where to go shop ‘til you drop with your mom!
Visit a Spa
Because there’s nothing better than lounging in a robe, sipping on champagne while getting pampered. Some our favorite spas in town are Belladona, the spa at the Ritz-Carlton & Spa Atlantis. If you want to keep it low key and just get your nails done check out this nail salon guide.
A mom and daughter weekend, whether a staycation or exploring somewhere new is the ultimate way to bond, laugh, and have a good time with your mom! So don’t let another year go by, and start planning one now.
Thank you to The Westin New Orleans for hosting this visit! For more information on this amazing hotel or to make a reservation, please visit their website.